The Minus Man

1999

Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

8
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 58% · 36 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 46% · 2.5K ratings
IMDb Rating 6.1/10 10 7149 7.1K

Top cast

Owen Wilson as Vann
Brian Cox as Doug
Meg Foster as Irene
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.01 GB
1280*690
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 52 min
Seeds 20
2.07 GB
1920*1036
English 5.1
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 52 min
Seeds 22
1 GB
1280*720
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 51 min
Seeds 10
2.06 GB
1920*1080
English 5.1
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 51 min
Seeds 12

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by helpless_dancer 7 / 10

Such a thoughtful little killer

Typical Sundance film: weird and off beat. Vann Siegert is not your usual serial killer; no, he slays in peculiar ways. Siegert, a likable drifter, is starting to come unraveled but manages to keep his dark side locked away and his secrets his own. Good drama: thumbs up.

Reviewed by hippiedj 10 / 10

"...sometimes what you do chooses YOU."

"I've never done anything violent to anybody, just the minimum that was necessary. No fear, no pain, they just go to sleep. But after it's done there's no going back, no second chance, if I made a mistake I'll pay for it."

The Minus Man is a very special film. It doesn't rely on sleuthing and big chases to find the truth. It doesn't have big car chases and women being chased through hallways or down dark streets. What it DOES do is show how subtlety can be more deeply disturbing and effective in telling a story about a serial killer that enters a small town and changes the lives of those who are drawn to him.

"You don't always choose WHAT you do, sometimes what you do chooses YOU. That's where discipline comes in." Vann (Owen Wilson) speaks lines such as that one throughout the story, and in many ways they help you understand him (yet not completely) and what may hinder his actions. He's likeable, quiet, and seems to be what people want or perceive him to be: their friend, tenant, and co-worker. Vann just happens to start breaking his personal rules and poisoning people nearby, and things start getting complicated. But we like Vann, we have affections for him, we know what he's doing is wrong but we want him to be alright.

His landlords Doug (Brian Cox, cinema's original Hannibal Lecter) and Jane (Mercedes Ruehl), have their own skeletons in the closet and it seems that everyone ELSE'S problems are what could mess up Vann's quiet killing spree.

Owen Wilson handles his role with such ease, eating his Clark bars and having discussions with imaginary detectives played by Dwight Yoakam and Dennis Haysbert. These scenes show an extension of Vann's psyche, and actually keeps him in check, maintaining his sanity really. Janeane Garofalo is surprisingly affecting and quite serious as the co-worker with a crush on Vann. A major surprise is the wonderful performance of Laurie played by singer Sheryl Crow.

It's nice to see such a beautifully crafted psychological "thriller" where we as the audience are part of the atmosphere around Vann, seeing more than anyone else yet not completely let in on his reasoning. I didn't find this method elusive, rather it was giving us the chance to witness a portion of time in a town, what happened there, and then Vann moves on, leaving us to wonder what his next chapter will be. The great thing is that you will never be bored by this--all the conversations, the thoughts in his head, the killings, we get to absorb them into our minds and figure it all out for ourselves.

The Minus Man is a subtle and brilliant film from Hampton Fancher. A very human story that doesn't need buckets of blood and people chasing everyone around. It leaves many things throughout to help you gather your own clues and interpretations and is guaranteed to have you discussing it long after it's over. I am very happy to have this DVD in my collection, and most stores don't stock a title like this because it's not "top hits" fare...do yourself a favor and seek this one out, it makes a nice companion piece to Egoyan's film "Felicia's Journey."

If one thing left an impression on me to this day, it's the headline on a newspaper Vann was reading in a diner: "Boy Trapped Inside Travelling Exhibit"...a rather nice metaphore on Vann's situation I think....no? Well, we could talk about it for HOURS..........

Reviewed by jhclues 7 / 10

If Norman Bates Had A Brother...

An unassuming, charismatic personality and a bottle of poison prove to be a lethal combination in `The Minus Man,' directed by Hampton Fancher and starring Owen Wilson. When a personable young man drifts in from the Pacific Northwest and settles in a small coastal town, a number of people's lives are soon changed forever, and not for the better. Vann Siegert (Wilson) is a likable fellow with a winning smile and always a credible story regarding who he is, where he's been and where he's going; he's also a psychotic killer who chooses his victims seemingly at random, yet is so ingratiating that he never falls under suspicion. And such is the case when he rents a room from an unsuspecting couple, Jane and Doug Durwin (Mercedes Ruehl and Brian Cox). Without realizing, of course, that he's enabling a murderer, Doug helps Vann find gainful employment, allowing him to establish himself within the community, and the rest-- as they say-- is history. In one of the more telling scenes in the film, Vann reflects to himself, `If it weren't for me, these people would all be doing something else today...' What they are doing, in fact, is searching for one of their own who has gone missing, courtesy of Vann. What is so distressing about this movie is the lack of menace outwardly presented by someone so intrinsically evil; like Norman Bates in `Psycho,' Vann is simply too unprepossessing and benign to be considered a threat to anyone. The contrast between his countenance and his crimes is chilling; and the fact that he perpetrates his deeds in such a matter-of-fact, unemotional manner gives new meaning to the phrase `cold blooded killer.' One of the interesting aspects of the film is that Vann acts as narrator as well, which effectively puts the audience inside the mind behind the madness, even more so than in `Silence of the Lambs,' because in this case, the viewer is privy to the actual thought process that precipitates the crimes. And it becomes a bit unnerving after some reflection upon what is actually transpiring under the guise of `normalcy.' Owen Wilson is well cast and gives a stunningly credible performance as Vann; he conveys such a low-keyed, eye-in-the-center-of-the-storm manner that he is instantly recognizable as the boy next door you'd be more than happy for your daughter to date. And after watching him in action it becomes truly disconcerting to consider that in the real world there are those who look and act like Vann and are capable of such heinous acts of violence and deceit. As the couple who takes Vann in-- and are subsequently taken in by him-- Ruehl and Cox capture the essence of the `everyman/woman' that can be found in any neighborhood in any town, and the fact that they are people with whom it is so easy to identify makes it even more upsetting when you realize that the vulnerability to which we are all prone can be exploited with such facility. In a supporting role, Janeane Garofalo is a welcome presence as Ferrin, a co-worker of Vann's who is drawn in by his winsome facade; and rounding out the supporting cast are Sheryl Crowe (Caspar/Laurie), Dwight Yoakam (Blair), Dennis Haysbert (Graves) and Alex Warren (State Trooper). Ultimately, `The Minus Man' is a cautionary tale that may spark a touch of paranoia in the viewer, and with good reason; and after spending some time with Vann, it just may alter your perception of some of your more casual acquaintances and even some old friends, especially those who seem so `ordinary.' It's a film that kind of sneaks up on you and takes you by surprise; and it may leave you pondering the darker side of human nature. I rate this one 7/10.

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