The Machinist is a creepy, psychological thriller about an insomniac. Careful use of colors, imagery, and music pay homage to Hitchcock’s best and combined they take an ordinary plot and twist it into something dark, uncertain, and disturbing. The pacing is often intentionally slow and the cinematography makes for great photograph-style shots that are captivating and complex. Christian Bale is perfectly unhinged as machinist Trevor Reznik, and one can only imagine the starvation diet he endured during filming – Adrian Brody’s character in The Pianist looks healthy by comparison.
The only questionable aspects were the scenes shot in the machine shop. Having spent a little time in those environs, the machinery and atmosphere were reasonably authentic, but no business in their right mind would allows welders and machinists to go without protective head and eye coverings. The little details do count for something.