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Iranian expatriate Amir Naderi completes the trilogy he began with Manhattan by Numbers and A, B, C...Manhattan with this unusual drama about a woman obsessed. Gretchen (Sara Paul) is a woman living in Manhattan who is fascinated with crossword puzzles, and has issued a stern challenge to herself -- to complete over 77 newspaper crossword puzzles in 24 hours, which would beat the number she did in a similar period the previous year. Gretchen does most of her work riding subways or busses, following the square grid of the city which somehow resembles the puzzles that fascinate her, and when she… More
Directed By
© Alphaville Films
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"With so little action or even insight, Marathon is far too long at only 74 minutes."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"A portrait of a certain urbanite mind and a city whose tolerance of anonymity provides a perfect stage for compulsion, neuroses and the fulfillment of hidden needs."
‑ John Anderson, Newsday
"We need to endure rather a lot of amateurish filmmaking to get to the raw, important story that's being told"
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"What really makes the film work is Paul's striking performance."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Ludicrously long at this running time -- even seven minutes would have overstated its case -- Marathon truly lives up to its name."
‑ Ashley Cooper, Film Threat
"It makes for a satisfyingly excruciating experience."
‑ Lisa Rose, Newark Star-Ledger
"The beauty of Mr. Naderi's filmmaking lies in his combination of acute social observation and pure, almost mathematical formalism."
‑ Dave Kehr, New York Times
"A visual valentine to New York subways and streets as well as a meditation on the universal human yearning to test ourselves against self-imposed limits.."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"A minimalist's dream film, "Marathon" should be able to find a small but very devoted group of fans, eager to experience something quiet and thought-provoking."
‑ Edward Havens,
"It's certainly a gem; a probable "underground" masterpiece."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The real star ... is Michael Simmonds, whose manic black-and-white camerawork captures the unique vibrancy of New York City."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Marathon offers one of the most inventive reimaginings of the MTA since D.A. Pennebaker's 1953 cine-poem Daybreak Express."
‑ David Ng, Village Voice
"Marathon contains nothing more than its thin premise."
‑ Jordan Reed, Boxoffice Magazine
"Crossword mavens may enjoy it, but it's too monomaniacal for comfort."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"I get it, she's always isolated. She's a lonely soul. Noise makes her feel a part of something. But this film could have been 7-minutes long and part of my Film Techniques class and I would have got that."
‑ Erik Childress,
More reviews for Marathon on Rotten Tomatoes