The Man Without a Face (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Man Without a Face1993

The Man Without a Face (1993)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Man Without a Face Photos

Movie Info

Mel Gibson made his feature film directing debut with this drama, loosely based on the book by Isabel Holland, which combines elements from The Elephant Man, Mask, Scent of a Woman, and The Karate Kid in a study of the capacity for human trust and compassion. Gibson plays Justin McLeod, a former teacher who, after having his face and his body terribly disfigured in an automobile accident, has taken to living alone in a big house in an island off the coast of Maine. McLeod works as a free-lance artist who undergoes the humiliation of being shunned by his neighbors and called "hamburger head" behind his back. McLeod keeps to himself and wants nothing to do with his neighbors. But one day an adolescent boy, Chuck Norstadt (Nick Stahl), comes knocking at his door desperate for a tutor. At first suspicious, McLeod gradually warms up to Chuck and they become pals. But their burgeoning friendship is frowned upon by Chuck's family and the local police chief, Stark (Geoffrey Lewis), apparently because of rumors circulating that McLeod had a record concerning child molestation. This piece of gossip threatens Chuck with the loss of his teacher and a new-found friend.

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Mel Gibson
as Justin McLeod
Nick Stahl
as Chuck Norstadt
Geoffrey Lewis
as Chief Stark
Michael DeLuise
as Douglas Hall
Ethan Phillips
as Mr. Lansing
Jean De Baer
as Mrs. Lansing
Jack De Mave
as Mr. Cooper
as Mrs. Cooper
Justin Kanew
as Rob Lansing
Sean Kellman
as David Taylor-Fife
Chris Lineburg
as Scott Pearson
Kelly Wood
as Amy Banks
Jessica Taisey
as Signy Eaton
David A. McLaughlin
as Chuck's Father
George Martin
as Sam the Barber
Michael Currie
as Mr. Cameron
Stanja Lowe
as Mrs. Cameron
Zach Grenier
as Dr. Talbot
William Meisle
as Judge Sinclair
Robert Hitt
as Mr. McDowell
Mary Lamar Mahler
as Miss Fletcher
Robert DeDiemar Jr.
as Chuck (age 17)
Drew Guenett
as Ferry Crew Member
Gene Leverone
as Holyfield Master 1
Malcolm MacRury
as Holyfield Master 2
George D. Fuller
as Speaker at Graduation
Edmond Genest
as 6th Husband
John B. Guptill
as Chuck's Friend
Michael Forte
as Pedestrian
Elizabeth S. Clarke
as Ferry Passenger
View All

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Critic Reviews for The Man Without a Face

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (6)

The Man Without a Face is such a noble, well-intentioned little film that one feels like an ogre picking on it. Alternately poky and melodramatic--and occasionally witty and insightful--the uneven screenplay too often strains credibility.

February 9, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The movie is Gibson's debut as a director, and shows him not only with a good visual sense, but with what is even rarer, the confidence to know what needs to be told and what can be left unsaid.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Stahl carries the film, with a fine performance balanced on the preadolescent cusp of spontaneity and craft. Once again, the story is about coming of age. Growing up, it seems, never goes out of fashion.

October 8, 2019 | Full Review…

intriguing and involving

April 21, 2008 | Rating: 4/5

One of the best movies of Gibson's career

May 4, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

Offers a glimpse of grace as two individuals restore each other's souls with gifts of trust and love

August 20, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Man Without a Face


Two outsiders of society, one a boy thought stupid and the other a burn victim with a criminal record, encourage each other and find reasons to persevere in a misunderstanding world. A quiet and emotional piece that subverts Gibson's characterisation as merely an action hero.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Mel Gibson's directorial debut deals with a familiar territory we have seen in many films - A deformed reclusive befriending a young boy, believing that he has been given a second chance to heal old wounds. But the movie has more to it especially with the revelation of character's dark past. Even with a less than convincing makeup, Mel Gibson delivers a powerful performance as the face burned loner.

Sajin P A
Sajin P A

Super Reviewer

This Awesome piece from Mel Gibson factory made me watch it several times.

Wahida K
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

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