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73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 68 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: When a half-Chechen, half-Russian immigrant turns up in Hamburg's Islamic community, laying claim to his father's ill-gotten fortune, both German and US security agencies take a close interest: as the clock ticks down and the stakes rise, the race is on to establish this most wanted man's true identity - oppressed victim or destruction-bent extremist? Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jul 24, 2014
    100
    [A] crackerjack thriller, at once brooding, claustrophobic and unbearably tense.
  2. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Jul 24, 2014
    88
    The rare film that will remain on your mind long after you’ve left the theater.
  3. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jul 24, 2014
    83
    Corbijn keeps the intrigue uncluttered, guided by Andrew Bovell's economical adapted screenplay.
  4. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jul 24, 2014
    75
    Like most of le Carré’s novel, A Most Wanted Man has a veracity most spy thrillers lack, and the suspense is of the intellectual, not visceral, kind.
  5. 70
    What’s on display here is a great actor at his absolute peak — damn it all.
  6. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Jul 25, 2014
    63
    Corbijn keeps the action of A Most Wanted Man at arms length or greater, never finding the heart of the piece despite mostly solid performances and strong production values.
  7. Reviewed by: Trevor Johnston
    Jul 22, 2014
    40
    Disappointing plod of an espionage thriller.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 3 out of 29
  1. Jul 27, 2014
    10
    Hits on all cylinders. Acting, directing, cinematography, writing. Dimensional characters, tautly acted, against a great story. You can tell there was craft in the directing and cinematography, but it doesn't call attention to itself, rather choosing to serve storytelling. Expand
  2. Aug 6, 2014
    9
    A wonderful, intelligent movie - not the dumb shoot-up, blow-up, kill-all flick of today. Thank God for it. Almost better than the book. Great acting, directing and cutting. A MUST SEE, if you like some food for your brain. The only bothersome point for me was how my old hometown Hamburg was portrayed... dirty, dreary and covered in so much graffiti that one, who doesn't know it any better, has to wonder what kind of "dump" this actually most beautiful, greenest, classiest and livable of all German cities is. Yes, graffiti is a problem here... but not to the extent presented in the movie with not an inch of a wall, house entrance and staircase visible without some scribble on it. Expand
  3. Jul 28, 2014
    8
    Hoffman plays the role of spy agent superbly, as he does in all his films. Without him, the movie is OK, but his presence adds a dimension to the film that is consistent with a LeCarre character. He knows exactly how to play the forlorn agent in all its aspects, from ennui to excitement to extreme disappointment. The other actors are just the players in this film. The ending is so unexpected that you have to quickly think about what has happened. Put it all together and it really is a fine spy story. Expand
  4. Aug 24, 2014
    8
    Overall, A Most Wanted Man was satisfying as all hell. Like I said above, we rarely get spy thriller movies like this anymore and this one definitely filled the big empty hole for this type of movie in my life. It was interesting, exciting, intense, and the perfect amount of thrill to make a money spy movie. But going back to it all, Philip Seymour Hoffman delivered as he usually does, almost bringing a tear to your eye as we now know that he leaves us with one his best performances ever. Expand
  5. Aug 6, 2014
    7
    Based on a John le Carré espionage novel of the same name, A Most Wanted Man follows a German intelligence officer in Hamburg as he attempts to prevent terrorists from attacking his city. The plot is woven with many unexpected turns and relies on realism to distinguish itself from its counterparts. This focus on realism is a refreshing change from the normal thriller template, but it in turn has its own set of drawbacks.

    The foremost of them being pacing. The film drags on at a brutal pace. Although it attempts to create slow burning tension the result accumulates to a very slow two acts. To further enunciate the pacing problem, A Most Wanted Man never feels like if failure does come much would be lost. Various scenes attempt to create feelings of tension but these are mitigated by lack of a consequence for failure. Simply put, very little seems to be on the line.

    A Most Wanted Man also has a slew of redeeming qualities. Take the late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance for example. His chain smoking, German accented portrayal of the fictional Günther Bachmann is both engaging and undeniably cold. His performance exemplifies true emotion and is one of the best in his outstanding career. The direction is also very polished and stylistic; and the score greatly complements the somber tone of the film.

    Although Its focus on realism slows down the pace; this gives it time to propel the emotions of its lead characters. A Most Wanted Man excels through its poor pacing to become a worthy entry in the thriller genre.
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  6. Aug 8, 2014
    7
    Totally contemporary, A MOST WANTED MAN feels like a brooding and sad remnant from the cold war. But no. This is today. A MOST WANTED MAN portrays a world in which good/evil and right/wrong are lost. All is pointless, empty, banal but then, why fight so hard to save the world when in fact no one cares. A MOST WANTED MAN is a poignant and sad statement of our time. Expand
  7. Sep 18, 2014
    0
    Absolutely awful film, the worst I have ever seen. Almost everyone at the showing left the cinema before the end of the film. Extremely slow and boring. Expand

See all 29 User Reviews

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