Pi (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Pi (1998)



Critic Consensus: Dramatically gripping and frighteningly smart, this Lynchian thriller does wonders with its unlikely subject and shoestring budget.

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Movie Info

God and man and math: The tawdry meets the Talmudic in this complex thriller about a tortured computer genius trying to beat the stock market.

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Sean Gullette
as Max Cohen
Mark Margolis
as Sol Robeson
Ben Shenkman
as Lenny Myer
Pamela Hart
as Marcy Dawson
Stephen Pearlman
as Rabbi Cohen
Ajay Naidu
as Farrouhk
Espher Lao Nieves
as Jenna's Mom
Joanne Gordon
as Mrs Ovadia
Lauren Fox
as Jenny Robeson
Stanley Herman
as Moustacheless Man
Clint Mansell
as Photographer
Ari Handel
as Kabbalist
Oren Sarch
as Kabbalist
Lloyd Schwarz
as Kabbalist
J.C. Islander
as Man Presenting Suitcase
Abraham Aronofsky
as Man Delivering Suitcase
Ray Seiden
as Transit Cop
Sal Monte
as King Neptune
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Critic Reviews for Pi

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (17)

A tour-de-force of grainy, high-contrast black-and-white photography and inventive editing and sound design, π at times ventures to the limits of cinematic legibility.

April 11, 2018 | Full Review…

Aronofsky, who has parlayed this movie's Sundance success into two Hollywood deals, is that rare indie filmmaker who doesn't want to make hip romantic sitcoms. He's a genuine experimenter with a spooky visual style.

March 29, 2009 | Full Review…

We share Max's feelings of imminent psychological disintegration as the film probes our own insecurity in the face of the eternal. Maths meets millennial doom in one of the decade's true originals.

February 29, 2008 | Full Review…

It's remarkable to what extent Aronofsky has rendered the cerebral kinetically intense. The film's imaginative, diverse images create a mind's-eye urban claustrophobia.

June 6, 2007

Audacious and bursting with ideas.

July 12, 2002 | Rating: 3/4

The movie's low-budget look neatly matches the claustrophobia of Max's life, but the filmmakers have also devised some special shooting methods for certain scenes. These sequences -- breathless and jangly chases, for the most part -- look terrific.

December 19, 2001 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Pi

This cautionary parable brings up the age-old question of whether our drive for power through deeper knowledge of the natural world will also carry us to our personal or possibly collective annihilation. It reminds me of the revelation that it's not our fear of failure that prevents us from trying something, but rather our fear of success. What happens when our capabilities accelerate faster than we can understand them? We find out one possibility as we follow a man haunted with an obsession to discover the core numerical pattern behind all things and behaviors in the universe.

Matthew Slaven
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer


It is a highly disturbing and bizarre film, yet despite its dizzying--and somewhat unnerving, off-putting tone--it is brilliantly and artistically constructed. Darren Aronofsky is able to bring to life a unique, engaging story while using elements of legendary filmmaker Roman Polanski's best films. Pi is able to achieve what many other so-called "psychological thrillers" are not capable of due to its fantastic cinematography--which creates an appropriately suffocating environment--and its ingenious film editing.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

This gritty, low budget, black and white indie thriller is the debut of the maverick auteur Darren Aronofsky. Set in New York's Chinatown, the film follows a reclusive mathematician who, for the past ten years, has been working on cracking the code behind the numerical pattern of the stock market. The closer he gets to the solution, the more chaotic the world becomes around him. Dogged by both a ruthless Wall Street firm and some shady Kaballah sect intent on using him to decode the Torah, Max becomes increasingly detached from reality and sanity. This is a really stunning picture. I give it major props for having a unique vision, killer art direction and set design, and being done independently on the cheap. The math angle is a little out there, but not so obscure that it is impossible for a lay person to follow. Even then, this isn't a film for everyone, but if you like mind benders, borderline sci-fi thrillers, and enjoy seeing films about people who go nuts, then this is a film for you.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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