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The Truman Show (1998)

On the air. Unaware.

Rating: 9/10

Running Time: 103 minutes

UK Certificate: 12


Everything Truman Burbank does is witnessed by a global audience of millions. Whether he's eating, sleeping, heading off to work or visiting the little boys' room, the world is watching – and he doesn't even know it. At least, not at first.

Jim Carrey takes the title role in this marvellous thought-provoking slice of satire from director Peter Weir and writer Andrew Niccol. Since birth, Truman has been brought up inside a giant Hollywood dome, inside of which is the made-for-TV town of Seahaven. Everyone he knows – his neighbours, his workmates, his parents, his wife, and even his best friend since childhood – are actors hired by media mogul Christof (Ed Harris) for the planet's biggest and most intricate one-man gawp-fest.

The trouble is, Truman gradually starts getting itchy feet. He wants to travel the world in search of his one true love Lauren (Natascha McElhone), an actress quickly pulled from the show for attempting to tell him the truth. And, when things start going wrong in Seahaven, such as giant pieces of production equipment falling from the sky and accidentally picking up a radio frequency describing his every movement, Truman finally begins to smell a particularly large rat. So he begins planning his escape – and not before time.

It's an exploration into the idea that we always accept the reality of our surroundings without question, and it's pulled off brilliantly. Carrey's performance is nothing spectacular, and at times he seems to struggle to keep his largely inappropriate “madcap” shtick out of the proceedings. He is, however, likeable in the role, and you can't help but feel for Truman as he slowly finds his whole concept of reality crumbling around his feet. Harris, meanwhile, is the perfect choice as the beret-wearing svengali whose own life has come to revolve around playing God.

The scary thing is that for us, the “Big Brother” generation, the notion of a 24-hour TV prisoner really isn't all that far-fetched. Perhaps the birth of a real Truman isn't as far into the future as we might like to think.

It's Got: Complete originality and a breath-taking concept. Its also extremely entertaining, which never hurts.

It Needs: More DVD extras! What exactly are we supposed to be paying for here?

DVD Extras Nothing but a couple of trailers. DVD Extras Rating: 1/10


One of the most intelligent, mentally stimulating and memorable movies of the 90s. A must-see.