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Surrounding Otto Alexander (Tom Hanks) for the duration of A Man Called Otto are obnoxious bit players, obvious villains, and a few people who genuinely care. Otto hates them all.

Why wouldn’t he? A Man Called Otto shows a certain social decay. When a man falls on train tracks, the 20-somethings nearby waste their time pointing their phones at the danger, begging others to help. A questionable construction company tears down a gorgeous forest to build gaudy condos, and looks to raze Otto’s neighborhood for an expansion. There’s the annoying tracksuit-wearing loner, and countless others who don’t follow the rules. It’s not difficult to understand – or even be – Otto.

A Man Called Otto is about finding purpose

A Man Called Otto isn’t about an angry old man lashing out after a tragic loss. That’s part of it, of course, watching Otto turn from relatable antagonist to a soft-hearted contributor in the neighborhood. This is more about fate, the ironic ways it intervenes, and by the end, discovering life continues to have purpose no matter the situation.

Sappy? Yes. Predictable? Absolutely. A Man Called Otto doesn’t take any unexpected turns and relishes the chance to bring out Otto’s story in flashbacks to tighten its hold on viewers. Hanks, delivering a performance worthy of his lengthy, Oscar-winning caliber, turns Otto instantly likable, because he’s living what many see as a fantasy – lashing out at those being idiots, utterly carefree, even if said idiot is a hospital clown.

Otto doesn’t want to live. He’s ready to go, but delayed by whatever higher power keeps intervening. Because again, A Man Called Otto is about finding purpose, whether that’s the simplicity of a home made cookie, helping out a lost cat, or trapping a corporation in a scheme, saving his friend’s and their house. Those things we so rarely appreciate; first world living give us countless delicious meals, and it’s too easy to miss the effect we have on one another.

It’s easy to envision A Man Called Otto as a retread of Falling Down, albeit much softer in tone, a twisted fantasy about lashing out at a broken world where everyone’s purpose is their own, and theirs alone. That’s how Otto lives, initially. The frustrations, the irritations, the annoyances; that’s all Otto sees until someone (someones, actually) finally breaks through his grief. Then everyone cries, but that’s only because Otto has that impact on everyone. Good thing he realized it.


A rarity anymore, A Man Called Otto was shot on film, then finished at 4K. Sony’s encode doesn’t struggle with the super fine grain structure. Instead, the resolution shines, drawing out the definition and making for a spectacularly sharp presentation. Wide shots of Otto’s street show superb precision, and close-ups define every speck of facial detail.

Diluted color skews toward an orange/teal palette, but more cool than warm. It’s flat, even dull, and contrast wanes a little as a result. A Man Called Otto isn’t lacking in brightness, just somewhat dimmer than peak white. Black levels fade slightly too, turning more toward the blue side of things. Flashbacks, set in the ’70s, favor a golden sepia tint.


Sufficient DTS-HD 5.1 mixing gives the charmingly basic score spacing. Otherwise, it’s primarily a centered track, dialog strictly staying tight to the middle, with rare motion. Low-end comes primarily from flashbacks featuring some dense musical stings.


A general making of runs nearly nine minutes. There’s a music video, making of the video, and a short deleted scene.

A Man Called Otto
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


Delightful and emotional, A Man Called Otto is a dramedy gem with one of Tom Hanks’ best character portrayals.

User Review
3.5 (2 votes)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 34 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots grabbed directly from the Blu-ray:

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