The Ghost Writer

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 199 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 199

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User Reviews

  1. Pat
    Mar 3, 2010
    5
    Too long and too contrived, I did not like it. And the sex was gratuitous.
  2. DavidY
    Mar 29, 2010
    4
    Rather predictable, and somewhat slow, the film failed to thrill or provide interesting suspense. The dialogue was well written, and the tone was spot on - helped in large part by Alexandre's Desplat's score, but in the end, I left the theater disappointed. I would have given the film a 5/10, but for the final shot - Polanski should be embarrassed by such a cliche ending.
  3. Nov 15, 2010
    6
    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 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. Collapse
  4. Jan 8, 2011
    6
    No this is not academy award material. This is just a fun movie with twist and turns. It is suspenseful and entertaining as it builds to the climax.
  5. Jan 11, 2011
    6
    Good old, Roman Polanski. Known for his international film work and dark psychological tales, as well as some rather troubling personal issues, here he offers us a "Hitchcock-like" political thriller. The film follows a man hired to finish the auto-biography of a former Prime Minister after his predecessor mysteriously died. As he delves deeper into the past of the Prime Minister (PierceGood old, Roman Polanski. Known for his international film work and dark psychological tales, as well as some rather troubling personal issues, here he offers us a "Hitchcock-like" political thriller. The film follows a man hired to finish the auto-biography of a former Prime Minister after his predecessor mysteriously died. As he delves deeper into the past of the Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan in a totally underwhelming performance), he questions more and more regarding the current political drama surrounding his employer.

    The film uses slow, methodical suspense rather than shock and action tactics. I suppose it works for some, but frankly it began to put me to sleep. I was still curious to know how the story would unfold and though mostly predictable there were a few unexpected twists. However, it was not able to grasp my attention as it felt more like I was just waiting to be told an answer vice learning or discovering it for myself.

    The acting performances also left something to be desired. Kim Cattrall never uses the same accent twice. Brosnan, as mentioned earlier, is nothing special and one-dimensional. McGregor, as the main character and ghost writer, gives it his best shot and probably nails what Polanski was asking from him. And so I blame the director more than anyone else. When all is said and done, The Ghost Writer just didn't inspire me, or surprise me, or entertain me, or invoke any feelings at all much less the suspense it aims for. The story is interesting enough but the presentation method is just so slow and draining that by the time it reached a conclusion I just didn't care anymore. If you're a fan of Hitchcock you may enjoy this. I never really was, and I didn't.
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  6. Jun 16, 2011
    5
    The Ghost Writer was a mediocre film that I felt still managed to entertain to an extent. Being the Ewan McGregor fan that I am, I found his performance to be favourable as always. I don't believe the film would engage at all if it weren't for an actor like Ewan. Politics is not normally an interest of mine, but the film's speculative atmosphere kept me from falling asleep or walking awayThe Ghost Writer was a mediocre film that I felt still managed to entertain to an extent. Being the Ewan McGregor fan that I am, I found his performance to be favourable as always. I don't believe the film would engage at all if it weren't for an actor like Ewan. Politics is not normally an interest of mine, but the film's speculative atmosphere kept me from falling asleep or walking away as I may have otherwise. The sex scene was unwarranted and highly unrealistic in the situation it was portrayed in, so that would probably be one of the most notable of flaws. Otherwise, the film was a decent watch but not directly recommended. Expand
  7. Jul 17, 2012
    5
    Despite it trying to look professional, the plot felt like a complete muddle of sorts. I've seen so many films where the people making a film try masquerading them in clever disguises that are easily see through. There was barely any depth and when it got to a good, intense moment, it suddenly jumped to something else. My favourite character though was the nameless Ghost Writer, who we seeDespite it trying to look professional, the plot felt like a complete muddle of sorts. I've seen so many films where the people making a film try masquerading them in clever disguises that are easily see through. There was barely any depth and when it got to a good, intense moment, it suddenly jumped to something else. My favourite character though was the nameless Ghost Writer, who we see in possibly the most thrilling scene in the film. But, in the end, it was just pretty boring. Expand
  8. Dec 31, 2011
    5
    Overwrought is the word that comes to mind about this movie. I wanted to like it. Heck, if Ebert gives it 100 out of 100 it better be good. There were times when the suspense was okay, but mostly it was just ... boring. For the first hour I thought that it might be a nice, minimalist thriller. Turns out, it was just a contrived, long, telegraphed snoozer.
  9. Dec 8, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I don't like these kinds of movies that leaves lots of questions unanswered but if you don't know this, then it's a good 2 hour movie that keeps you glued to your seat. Expand
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. This is a slicker, shallower exercise. It's hypnotic as it unfolds, but once the credit roll frees you from its grip, it doesn't bear close scrutiny.
  2. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    50
    What the picture most needed was a complete cinematic rethink and, yes, even some action to move it along.
  3. 70
    If it is possible to watch this work as a movie rather than using it as a referendum on its maker’s guilt or innocence, the audience that craves mature, sophisticated and grown-up entertainment will find much to admire here.