Mank Review: A Dream for Cinephiles Only

Our review of David Fincher's newest movie Mank, and an explanation why it's a dream for cinephiles and a nightmare for general audiences.
mank review

Six years after his last movie, David Fincher returns with Mank, a drama set in the Hollywood of the 1930s.

According to Netflix, “1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing wit and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish Citizen Kane.”


It’s been quite a while since David Fincher’s last movie Gone Girl was released in theatres. 2014 to be accurate, now he returned to the big and small screen with Mank, his new Netflix original movie. Written by his father Jack Fincher and directed by Acclaimed director David Fincher, Mank turned out to be a flawed, but technical marvel, which is by far not Fincher’s best, but neither his worst.

What Makes Mank Work

mank cast

One of the highlights of the movie are the performances, especially Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried. Oldman (The Dark Knight Trilogy) plays Herman J. Mankiewicz, the author of the classic Citizen Kane. He delivered one of his finest performances, stumbling across the screen and delivering greatly written monologues. He is for sure going to be nominated during awrds season and it’s absolutely deserved. But the true highlight out of the ensemble cast was Amanda Seyfried. She just stole every scene she was in with her charme and energy, making her the frontrunner in the ‘Best supporting actress category’ and it will be hard for her contenders to steal her place.

The most outstanding part of Mank are the technicals. Mank is a technical marvel. The movie was captured in beautiful black & white, resulting in some mesmerizing shots, which make cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt the frontrunner in this awards seasons ‘Cinematography’ category. But this counts for basically every other aspect too, production design, costume design and the score are nothing short of fantastic.

The biggest problem that Mank has is the unaccessability. If you aren’t a cinephile, who loves or is interested in this era of Hollywood and gets excited about the technical apsects, there isn’t that mucht to be enjoyed. General Audiences will most likely lose interest relatively fast, as the movie is very dialogue heavy, tackling the political situation and the change in Hollywood in the 1930s. If that isn’t something that peaks your interest you most likely won’t like Netflix’s biggest awards contender of this year.

Mank is by no means a bad movie, it will definitely be praised by cinephiles for it’s topic, actors and technical aspects, but ultimately suffers through it’s unaccessability for general audiences.


It stars: Academy Award Winner Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Arliss Howard, Tom Pelphrey, Sam Troughton, Ferdinand Kingsley, Tuppence Middleton, Tom Burke, and Charles Dance.

Mank is available globally on Netflix.

What do you guys think? Are you planning to watch Mank? Have you seen an of Fincher’s previous works? Let’s discuss everything in the comments down below and on our Twitter.



Picture of Finn Schlote

Finn Schlote

Finn thinks and talks about movies all day, has a strong interest in how movies are made and he loves great cinematography. Comedy or horror, arthouse or big-budget blockbuster, Finn watches everything. He is a passionate Blu-Ray collector and is still waiting for a Jumper (2008) sequel.