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Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg, who has long been fascinated by the ways new technology shapes and manipulates the human beings who believe they are its masters, is in familiar territory with eXistenZ, a futuristic thriller which combines elements of science fiction, horror and action-adventure. What is eXistenZ? According to the glossary Cronenberg put together for this film, it is a new organic game system that, when downloaded into humans, accesses their central nervous system, transporting them on a wild ride in and out of reality. What's more, it changes every time it is played,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"I just don't happen to like puzzle films of any kind, but I must credit Mr. Cronenberg with more intellectual depth than most of his fellow pessimistic movie pranksters."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"Jennifer Jason Leigh is an ideal Cronenberg heroine, projecting a personality that is smart, wary and capable of obsessiveness."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"It's a disturbing, disorienting sensation -- puzzles within puzzles, games within games -- that continues right up to the last shot."
‑ Jim Lane, Sacramento News & Review
"Brave moviegoers and fans of writer-director David Cronenberg will find funny dialogue and grotesquely engrossing scenes in his latest sci-fi horror tale."
‑ Judith Egerton, Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
"a genuinely jolting yarn... Cronenberg eventually succeeds in making the audience feel as disoriented as Allegra..."
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
"Dark, delirious fun."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"[It's] meant to have a whiff of the philosophical, even if its intellectual ambition seems mostly limited to spelling affectations."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Experienced gamers should find much to savor through the films unique assessments on the nature of reality."
‑ Rob Humanick, Projection Booth
"Fans may find certain similarities between eXistenZ and Videodrome bothersome, but both films are the real thing."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Cronenberg's commentary here, though grotesque, belies a certain intelligence."
‑ Annlee Ellingson, Boxoffice Magazine
"It's good art direction in search of an idea."
‑ Jeff Millar, Houston Chronicle
"The Matrix is mainstream sci-fi, but eXistenZ, written by Cronenberg, is much stranger; it creates a world where organic and inorganic are not separate states, but kind of chummy."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"[Cronenberg is] a laughing existentialist here, a philosopher who sees the comedy in disorientation."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"An evolution for the filmmaker that will reach maturity in the quiet, devastatingly economical eloquence of Spider."
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
"The premise is solid, the script is clever and well-thought-out, and the movie is consistently engaging..."
‑ William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
More reviews for Existenz on Rotten Tomatoes

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