A little guilt goes a long way.
It’s a bit horrifying to see Christian Bale in The Machinist after he lost more than 60 pounds for the role. But after you accept his look (which is hard to ever forget), the film becomes more of a meditation on how we treat people and how we see the world. Precisely constructed with careful shooting and editing, it lays all of the elements of the story out and then things begin to click together. While it’s a story that is somewhat familiar, the visual treatment and performances make it stand out from more conventional treatments of the same topics.