Robert Pattinson's 'Cosmopolis': The Reviews Are In!

'Twilight' actor takes a turn for the Cronenberg in his new existential thriller, in theaters today (August 17).

The game has changed for "Twilight" actor Robert Pattinson, if reviews of his latest film, "Cosmopolis," can be believed.

Pattinson stars in the David Cronenberg slow-burn thrill-ride as Eric Packer, a brilliant finance wizard sitting atop a throne worth billions and billions. In the midst of economic uncertainty and one of the worst traffic jams in recent New York history — and with a threat against his life to boot — Packer decides to pursue the only course of action that makes any kind of sense: drive across town and get a haircut.

"Cosmopolis," even as the 2012 MTV Movie Brawl winner, was always destined to be a divisive film. But to hear most critics tell it, the legendary Cronenberg and his star have created something unusual and worthwhile, even if it's not for everyone. Read on for a sample of "Cosmopolis" reviews.

The Story

"Writer-director David Cronenberg's adaptation of Don DeLillo's 2003 novel is a formally exquisite exercise in tension -- intellectual, emotional, and if you're on the squeamish side, likely physical -- that very deliberately withholds the very sort of release that 99 percent of other motion pictures are engineered to deliver. So it is perhaps fitting that the movie's subject is, ahem, a member of the 1 percent, as they call it: Eric Packer, whom you could have called obscenely rich with impunity back before rich people themselves learned to play the victim card. Young Eric is in need of a haircut, and he wants his stretch limo to take him across town for one. 'Cosmopolis' is the story of how he gets half a haircut." -Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies

Cronenberg At His Cronenbergiest

"'Cosmopolis' is Cronenberg's best film since 'eXistenZ' and further viewings may place it higher than that. Rare is it that a movie can anger up the blood, keep you laughing and engage the more artistic quarters of the mind. There's also the added benefit of the casting coup, and wondering how the unwashed masses who flock to Pattinson's sparkly vampire films will respond to this complex work." -Jordan Hoffman,

Robert Pattinson Shines In Darkness

"'Cosmopolis' is a game-changer for him. He's distant, sardonic, nihilistic, enigmatic and very watchable. It's intriguing to imagine how different it might have been with original lead Colin Farrell, a man with proven shadowy sexual charisma ('Fright Night') and compact star power ('Phone Booth'). But Cronenberg has helped lift another level of performance from Pattinson, who channels his vampiric blankness for deeper purposes and never disappears completely behind Packer's black suit and shades." --Rob James, Total Film

The Emptiness Inside

"To the extent that 'Cosmopolis' functions as a super-literal conceptual exercise, it's simultaneously irritating and fascinating. But much of the film fails to function as drama and never more so than in the interminable final scene, a two-hander in which Packer finally confronts his would-be assassin in what could be rooms of his own mind. As the standoff escalates, music crescendoes to underline that we're supposed to be feeling . . . something. That we don't might be Cronenberg's own endgame." --Karina Longworth, The Village Voice

The Final Word

"If you can get past the psychological density of the source material (Don DeLillo's 2003 novel) and the tabloid noise around the star (RPatz leaves KStew!), this mesmerizing mind-bender ought to prove two things: (1) Robert Pattinson really can act; (2) Director David Cronenberg never runs from a challenge. ... In this fever dream of a movie, Pattinson is incendiary, notably in a climactic gun scene with the great Giamatti. 'Cosmopolis,' demanding as it is daring, is no easy ride. I mean that as high praise." --Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Check out everything we've got on "Cosmopolis."

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