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Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Crime . Comedy . Drama . Romance . Thriller . Biography

Television made him famous, but his biggest hits happened off screen. Television producer by day, CIA assassin by night, Chuck Barris was recruited by the CIA at the height of his TV career and trained to become a covert operative. Or so Barris said.

Actors: Drew Barrymore , Sam Rockwell , Michael Cera , Maggie Gyllenhaal , Jerry Weintraub , George Clooney , Matt Damon , Brad Pitt , Rutger Hauer , Julia Roberts , Dick Clark , Michelle Sweeney
Directors: George Clooney
Release: 2003-01-24
More Info:
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    It's a funny, strange, sad and wonderful picture, packed with delightful performances by Hollywood stars and made by a director with a startling facility for the form and an expansive cinematic imagination. Full Review
  • Bill Gallo

    A fascinating, frequently hilarious meditation on delusion, self-loathing and personal salesmanship

    Dallas Observer Full Review
  • Robert Koehler

    A powerful and creative film.

    Variety Full Review
  • Desson Thomson

    A darkly enjoyable roller-coaster ride -- Clooney and Kaufman deftly interweave the macabre with lightheartedness.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    As for myself, I think he made it all up and never killed anybody. Having been involved in a weekly television show myself, I know for a melancholy fact that there is just not enough time between tapings to fly off to Helsinki and kill for my government.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    A head-clearing, mind-blowing blast from the past - one of the year's best.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Screenwriter Kaufman is in fine meta-fettle here, even if he's still losing control of his material toward the end, and while it's too soon to tell whether Clooney has the stuff of a great director, he certainly knows who to hire.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    The fascination of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the sharp, funny, unreasonably compelling adaptation of Barris' autobiography, is the way it soft-shoes past our skepticism.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Michael Atkinson

    Confessions keeps its cards close, and Kaufman is perfectly capable of starving his screenplay to save it, and perfectly happy with being misunderstood.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Stephen Hunter

    A picture that is surely one of the oddest ever made.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Clooney fashions a style all his own: visceral, vital and churning with off-the-wall ideas. That's what makes you want to see Clooney direct again. You can feel his joy in it.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Mark Caro

    Reflects the sensibilities of its director, whose comedic performances in particular have indicated a game spirit and droll sense of humor.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    Clooney shows strong filmmaking imagination in his directorial debut, but the movie's driving force is Charlie Kaufman's screenplay, a genre-bending romp that blurs all boundaries between the factual and the fantastical.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Jami Bernard

    A perversely enjoyable entry in that new genre, the biopic of the tawdry TV personality.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    All about the wacky borderlands where reality and invention intersect. But there are no safe demarcations -- no demilitarized zone, no Berlin Wall -- to cue us to which side we're operating in, or that Barris is operating in.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    A moody picture that's filled from start to finish with camera tricks, unexpected angles and innovative flourishes.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    May not be a straightforward bio, nor does it offer much in the way of Barris' motivations, but the film is an oddly fascinating depiction of an architect of pop culture.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    This fairy-tale quality gives director Clooney, who's making his debut behind the camera, his stylistic clue. He's in perfect sync with writer Kaufman; they treat even the most "serious" scenes like Monty Python routines.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    An attractive, charming film that has fun with its period settings, its goofy plot and its off-kilter performances.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    A great, bizarre, and ultimately very, very unique film.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • William Arnold

    Even though he's strikingly played by Rockwell, Barris comes off as such a distasteful character and the silliness is so unrelenting that the movie wears you out. Long before it's over, you feel yourself reaching for that gong clapper.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    It's nice to see Clooney choosing something offbeat (as opposed to "safe") for his first outing behind the camera. If he continues to develop, he has the potential to become a good director -- he's just not there yet.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Sam Rockwell plays Barris with a hipster’s shimmy that’s creepily effective -- The problem with making a movie about a hollow man is that, when things start to get heavy, you’re stuck with nothingness at the core.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • John Powers

    Ultimately just another celebrity bio-pic, and far less trenchant than, say, the more conventional "Auto Focus." For all their whirring ingenuity, Kaufman's scripts require a director who will tether his cleverness to reality.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    A good piece of work more often than not, and this is one of the few times an actor turned director has chosen to subvert the feel-good genre for his maiden voyage.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    Clooney badly botches the spy plot by casting himself as Barris's agency contact... and a truly awful Julia Roberts as Barris's Mata Hari lover (she's soundly upstaged by Drew Barrymore as his devoted girlfriend). Yet the mounting delirium drives home Kaufman's basic point: that a shadow government rules by bread and circuses.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Maitland McDonagh

    It's tremendously clever, but ultimately pointless.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    I suppose it's too much to expect Pirandellian stature from the madness of Chuck Barris -- but that's about the only thing that would have made this mixed-up ego trip work.

    Slate Full Review
  • Darrin Keene

    The ingredients were there for Confessions of a Dangerous Mind to become a cult classic, but the resulting film is a tedious Hollywood yawner.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    For the story of a man who made his mark on pop culture by being a likable buffoon, the irritatingly arch Confessions of a Dangerous Mind takes itself way too seriously.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Michael Sragow

    You won't believe the story director George Clooney and his goofball TV host are trying to sell. Really.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    George Clooney's first effort behind the camera was doubtless more stimulating to direct than it will be for audiences to watch.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    The finished film afflicted my own mind with an unwilling suspension of belief. I couldn't connect with it on any level, despite Sam Rockwell's terrific performance as an emotional desperado who wants only to be loved.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
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