Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 180 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A gifted author hired to ghostwrite the memoirs of a controversial former British Prime Minister becomes a hunted man when he uncovers explosive secrets about the past. (Summit Entertainment)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. 100
    This movie is the work of a man who knows how to direct a thriller. Smooth, calm, confident, it builds suspense instead of depending on shock and action.
  2. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    The Ghost Writer is a triumph: elegant, accomplished, and (this is the hardest part to admit) occasionally even wise.
  3. Satisfying, melancholy political suspense story.
  4. The Ghost Writer hasn’t the complexity or breadth of such stunners as "Chinatown" or "The Pianist," but it is nevertheless a solidly built little roundelay of intrigue with a veracity that seems torn from newspaper headlines.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    In Polanski’s hands, it’s an unholy pleasure: a diversion that stings.
  6. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Saved by often delightfully bitchy British dialogue.
  7. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    What the picture most needed was a complete cinematic rethink and, yes, even some action to move it along.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 79
  2. Negative: 16 out of 79
  1. Jan 19, 2011
    It's not the best Polanski I've seen (the most unsettling for me is still The Tenant) but it is still a Polanski, very political - smashing over plausibility to make a point - very critical, dark and thrilling. Loved it. Expand
  2. Aug 11, 2010
    In his day Roman Polanski was and still is one of cinema's top directors directing such revered classics such as "Nó w wodzie"( Knife in the Water) Polanski's directorial debut, "Repulsion"(1965), the noir classic "Chinatown"(1974), "Tess"(1979), "Frantic"(1988)," Cul-De- Sac"(1966), "Le Locataire" (The Tenant), "The Pianist"(2002) and "Oliver Twist"(2005). Over the last forty-eight years, Polanski has established himself as one of cinema's greatest and most controversial directors he has left an impression on Hollywood that will live on long after he has died and some will stand up and cheer when that day happens I might be one of them. There is no denying that Roman Polanski is a director of monumental skill he puts a certain flare and style to sometimes overused plot devices and stories making them viable daring pieces of filmmaking that surprisingly surpass anything Hollywood could possibly throw out of their shops. With his latest effort, "The Ghost Writerâ Expand
  3. Dec 20, 2011
    I'm with Ebert on this one. A clever script with convincing acting on the whole, The Ghost Writer offers tension of the good and entertaining sort.

    Its moody locations (much of it was shot on location in Germany) is accompanied by a well-crafted soundtrack that befits the mystery encounters and places; this is one finely crafted suspense thriller with a surprise ending to boot.
  4. Jul 28, 2014
    Consistently heard negative reviews of this one, but was pleasantly surprised when I finally gave it a chance. THE GHOST WRITER had me guessing the entire way through and was an exciting ride. Admittedly, the style of the film is at times inconsistent - specifically I am thinking of the ending - this was my one criticism. The Northeastern backdrops and stylish hotel interiors helped to create a sophisticated, and, well, damn cool mood throughout. The production designer on this film deserved double whatever he was making. McGregor and Williams are especially great.

    Overall, Polanski's suspenseful THE GHOST WRITER is a solid 8/10.
  5. Jun 7, 2012
    Let me start off by stating simply that I cannot compare THE GHOST WRITER to any of Roman Polanskiâ
  6. Nov 15, 2010
    The Ghost Writer is a film that sticks with you after a first viewing, and certainly encourages another viewing. I can think of few higher compliments than this. I'd forgotten how cool Ewan McGregor is, and Olivia Williams is smoldering in this film. However, the mysterious tension that makes this film great ultimately dissipates as the rather conventional plot is revealed. Basically, The Ghost Writer goes from **** to Clancy in a matter of minutes. A shame really, because the final scene is rather brilliant. Expand
  7. Nov 1, 2010
    Yikes. Couldn't wait for this mess of a movie to end, to say nothing of my indifference as to how it would, after a great deal of tedium, end. The idea is paper (ha ha ha) thin, and certainly didn't warrant the 2+ hours worth of bad writing it took to complete this exercise in... I need a adjective for god awful crossed with paralytic boredom. Anyway, a hell of a lot of talent got wasted on this film. If there was a conspiracy it was on the part of the script writer, editor, and Polanski, to create wooden characters who people a sterile 2 dimensional world it is impossible to care about. The twist, when it finally does come, is paltry, and irrelevant, precisely because so little effort was put into creating a background against which the revelation might matter. And then the very end, when the car speeds by, and the papers come floating past the camera. All I could think is, "are you fuc*ing serious?" I think it's safe to say Mr. Polanski's best work was finished long long ago. Expand

See all 79 User Reviews


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