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The Man Without a Past

PG-13 Released Apr 4, 2003 1h 37m Comedy Drama List
98% Tomatometer 100 Reviews 90% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings After a brutal beating in a Helsinki park, a middle-aged welder (Markku Peltola) falls into a coma. When he wakes up, he cannot recollect a single detail about his life. Unable to provide information to the authorities, the man has no legal way to regain his life. He finds a community of homeless people, and creates a home out of a metal container. He eventually meets Irma (Kati Outinen), a Salvation Army worker, and they fall in love while he rebuilds a life with new friends and a new job. Read More Read Less
The Man Without a Past

What to Know

Critics Consensus

Kaurismäki delivers another droll comedy full of his trademark humor.

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Critics Reviews

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Empire Magazine Rated: 4/5 Dec 30, 2006 Full Review Jay Boyar Orlando Sentinel Kaurismaki's movies can tickle you with the briefest of statements, the smallest of gestures. Rated: 4/5 Aug 29, 2003 Full Review Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times At the end of The Man Without a Past, I felt a deep but indefinable contentment. Rated: 3.5/4 Jun 27, 2003 Full Review Farah Cheded A Good Movie To Watch It’s not often a movie can so persuasively reassure us of people’s inherent goodness, but it’s even rarer still for it to be done with as much deceptive, charming simplicity as here. Sep 2, 2023 Full Review Barbara Majsa barbaramajsa.com M is a multilayered character. He is both an outcast and an artist, but he could be much more. He is no one and everyone, and Helsinki for him is nothing and everything. Feb 22, 2020 Full Review Jeffrey Overstreet Christianity Today With its rusty railroads and dingy metal canisters where the downtrodden dwell, [this film] finds color, surprise, and joy in the simplicity of struggling Helsinki outcasts. Rated: B+ Mar 16, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Cam H This movie should go down as once of the greatest films made. I’m obsessed with this movie Rated 5 out of 5 stars 05/23/24 Full Review Aender S There's over-acting, but there's also under-acting like in this film. It still achieves to transmit the characters' feelings to the viewer, great film. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 04/13/24 Full Review Dani G One of my favorite Aki Kaurismaki films. All the elements, and even his muse present here, but this one has something special Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/24 Full Review Abhijit S The first Kaurismäki film that I watched. Mesmerising, magical storytelling. Have watched the movie countless times and each time a new nuance emerged. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 11/03/23 Full Review Audience Member Well-written and well-performed on realistically pondering what would it be like if we lost our memorable selves and it becomes shared diegetic knowledge when unfolding the character with satisfying turns, even if it has to involve few disruptive connections that lingers between mysterious and unrelatable apart from the prompt's aforementioned effect. (B+) Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/17/23 Full Review dave s As with all of his films, Aki Kaurismaki's The Man Without a Past is minimalism at its best. After taking a severe beating and being pronounced dead, the nameless protagonist rises from his hospital bed and embarks on a new life with no memory of his past. The humor is droll, the performances are generally emotionless, the dialogue is laconic and the pace is unhurried. And, like all of Kaurismaki's works, it is wildly successful, as improbable as that may sound. Among other things, it deals with the issue of identity – is it determined by our past or by how those in the present perceive us? Granted, it's not for all tastes, but, for those willing to go along for the ride, it is a joy to watch. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Man Without a Past

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis After a brutal beating in a Helsinki park, a middle-aged welder (Markku Peltola) falls into a coma. When he wakes up, he cannot recollect a single detail about his life. Unable to provide information to the authorities, the man has no legal way to regain his life. He finds a community of homeless people, and creates a home out of a metal container. He eventually meets Irma (Kati Outinen), a Salvation Army worker, and they fall in love while he rebuilds a life with new friends and a new job.
Director
Aki Kaurismäki
Producer
Aki Kaurismäki
Screenwriter
Aki Kaurismäki
Distributor
Sony Pictures Classics
Production Co
Sputnik Oy, Bavaria Film, Pyramide Productions, Pandora Filmproduktion, Yleisradio
Rating
PG-13 (Some Violence)
Genre
Comedy, Drama
Original Language
Finnish
Release Date (Theaters)
Apr 4, 2003, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Jan 28, 2015
Box Office (Gross USA)
$921.5K
Runtime
1h 37m
Sound Mix
Dolby Stereo, Dolby Digital, Dolby A, Surround, Dolby SR
Aspect Ratio
Flat (1.85:1)