Max

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Released 2003

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Movie Summary

Director:
Menno Meyjes
Released:
2003
Rating:
R
Max is a 2002 drama about an unusual friendship. In 1918, Max Rothman (John Cusack) has returned from World War I with a much different life than he had before becoming a soldier. His great natural talent as an artist is no longer possible, since Max lost his arm during combat. Art is still Max's passion, however, and so the young Jewish man decides to open a modernist art gallery and support other struggling artists. He has the support of his wife, Nina (Molly Hunter), and his mistress, Liselore (Leelee Sobieski). One day, Max meets a new artist on the scene, Adolf (Noah Taylor). Like Max, Adolf also fought during World War I and is also left with complicated feelings about the nature of war and politics. He expresses himself through his artwork. Max feels strangely drawn to the lonely and bitter young man, and becomes Adolf's artistic mentor. Sometimes Adolf expresses anti-semitic views that offend Max, but the art dealer is willing to put aside their differences and work towards a better life. While Adolf's interest in politics grows stronger, his friendship with Max grows less stable, and soon the two must make important decisions about their future plans.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 70

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    A historical fantasy connecting fact and wild supposition into a provocative work of fiction that poses ticklish questions about art and society.

  • 60

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    The film is ultimately too glib in its suggestion that Hitler's discovering his career path was a matter of sheerest chance, even an accident.

  • 30

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Just because people are objecting to Max for all the wrong reasons doesn't make it a good film, and it's not. It's a bizarre curiosity memorable mainly for the way it fritters away...

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    Drama