The Machinist (2004)

“A little guilt goes a long way.” Bleak, disturbing and uncompromising, The Machinist is not necessarily a “feel-good” movie but it has definitely evolved into somewhat of a cult classic over the years. Directed by Brad Anderson, this psychological film features Christian Bale as the title character – a frighteningly gaunt industrial worker named “Trevor Reznik” who suffers from chronic insomnia and starts experiencing extremely paranoid visions, while totally alienating his co-workers with his strange behavior and emaciated appearance. One of the “highlights” of the film is the Route 666 funhouse ride: “You’re going straight to hell on Route 666!” Jennifer Jason Leigh portrays a prostitute named “Stevie.” Several references to Fyodor Dostoevsky can be found in the film. Bale reportedly lost 62 pounds for the role, dropping his weight to 120 pounds (the filmmakers prevented him from reaching his goal of 99 pounds due to health concerns!).

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