Summit Distribution | Release Date: February 19, 2010
7.4
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 211 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
165
Mixed:
22
Negative:
24
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3
StephenSFeb 27, 2010
Clearly the reviewers and I did not see the same movie. The writing was contrived and plot-driven. The audience was laughing out loud at scenes that were supposed to be tense. There was so much implausibility here. Then when the wife of the Clearly the reviewers and I did not see the same movie. The writing was contrived and plot-driven. The audience was laughing out loud at scenes that were supposed to be tense. There was so much implausibility here. Then when the wife of the prime minister jumps into bed with MacGregor, the audience fell out of their chair. This is a weak movie. Could someone please tell me I'm not crazy? thank you. Expand
4 of 4 users found this helpful
10
HCSouzaJan 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.
4 of 4 users found this helpful40
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8
grandpajoe6191Sep 27, 2011
Roman Polanski uses "The Ghost Writer" to show that he's still not old, and he perfectly demonstrates his abilities to the audience. He leads the movie with smooth direction and even has the capacity to add humor in such tense situations.Roman Polanski uses "The Ghost Writer" to show that he's still not old, and he perfectly demonstrates his abilities to the audience. He leads the movie with smooth direction and even has the capacity to add humor in such tense situations. Man, I do like this guy... Expand
4 of 4 users found this helpful40
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1
PaulM.Mar 6, 2010
Contrived and boring. Not even DVD worthy. Comparing this to Hitchcock is akin to comparing Mannheim Steamroller to Mozart.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
1
maxwellf.Feb 28, 2010
Terrible boring movie. what is everyone so happy about? this movie does not work on so many levels. its like watching paint dry. these reviewers who loved it must be gettin paid off by the studio who released the movie.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
8
SpangleJul 4, 2016
Slow burning and purposefully paced, The Ghost Writer is the kind of thriller that is certainly not for everyone. However, it was definitely up my alley. Smart and wisely crafted, The Ghost Writer is yet another impressive entry into RomanSlow burning and purposefully paced, The Ghost Writer is the kind of thriller that is certainly not for everyone. However, it was definitely up my alley. Smart and wisely crafted, The Ghost Writer is yet another impressive entry into Roman Polanski's filmography. Say what you want about the man, but the filmmaker is brilliant. The film is, again, slow but never boring. Instead, it entertains and keeps you on edge waiting to see how the clues will all come together in this politically-based story. Ewan McGregor turns in a very good performance as the unwitting ghostwriter for a former British Prime Minister played by Pierce Brosnan. In that role, Brosnan is cool, calculating, and deeply mysterious, which expertly captures the very essence of this politician shrouded in controversy. Even better, The Ghost Writer is not your typical modern thriller and instead shows Polanski's trademark of despair and deeply unsatisfying conclusions which, to me, is far more realistic. Once more, Roman Polanski showcases why he is such a revered filmmaker inspite of his personal sins. The Ghost Writer is a smart, well crafted thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what twist and turn comes next. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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7
AbeMCJul 6, 2016
Slow-moving suspense that is beautifully filmed and well-acted. Ewan MacGregor is really extraordinary in The Ghost Writer; he dominates the screen by being almost completely self-effacing. That's probably as much a testament to Polanski asSlow-moving suspense that is beautifully filmed and well-acted. Ewan MacGregor is really extraordinary in The Ghost Writer; he dominates the screen by being almost completely self-effacing. That's probably as much a testament to Polanski as it is to MacGregor. I've enjoyed Olivia Williams' acting since A Heart of Me (2002), and she is great again. And though his scenes are few, Brosnan really gets to chew the dramatic scenery. Speaking of scenery, the north coast of Germany subbed for the Massachusetts coast; it's bleak, sandy and wind-swept. Alexandre Desplat created an oddly unique score; it felt out of place in the beginning, but seemed to fit more and more as relationships were tested and bonds broken.

So what kept me from giving The Ghost Writer a higher score? While possessed of a clever ending, I didn't find the suspense of the film to be very, well, suspenseful. Even when I didn't know what would happen next, I didn't find myself surprised by what did happen. Given that this is billed as a suspense thriller, it was a bit of a let-down. I still enjoyed the drama and the interplay of relationships, though, so The Ghost Writer is an easy recommendation from that point of view. And Polanski's skills are clearly as sharp as ever.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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3
KaryKMar 13, 2010
I can't believe critics liked this, maybe because Polanski directed it? Kim Cattrall with a fake British accent (sometimes American, sometimes fairly British, sometimes in between -- yes I know she was born in Liverpool). Olivia I can't believe critics liked this, maybe because Polanski directed it? Kim Cattrall with a fake British accent (sometimes American, sometimes fairly British, sometimes in between -- yes I know she was born in Liverpool). Olivia Williams' performance was completely uneven, and I normally like her in everything. Pierce Brosnan's character was totally 1 dimensional, a stereotypical politician as acted in any movie. And, Ewan McGregor's character was unbelievably stupid. I predicted in the beginning who the bad guy was (won't tell here) and what the likely outcome would be. There were no real plot twists at all. I just wanted the 2+ hours to be over so I could know my prediction was correct (it was). This was a waste of time and money. Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful
5
PatMar 3, 2010
Too long and too contrived, I did not like it. And the sex was gratuitous.
3 of 5 users found this helpful
2
LynAug 22, 2010
I'm very surprised at the critics' adoration for this film, and can only assume it's because of their admiration for the director. Despite the excellent actors, there's virtually no suspense, and a twist at the end is one that you can seeI'm very surprised at the critics' adoration for this film, and can only assume it's because of their admiration for the director. Despite the excellent actors, there's virtually no suspense, and a twist at the end is one that you can see coming from 90 minutes away. And Kim Cattrall does perhaps the worst put-on British accent in film history! Expand
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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4
DavidYMar 29, 2010
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 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. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
9
CoDFatherSep 11, 2010
Roman Palanski, being himself, after his years of not being seen for what shall not be named, I think this is one of his very successful movies that, even with the ending, was a four- star winner and exciting within every minute of the wholeRoman Palanski, being himself, after his years of not being seen for what shall not be named, I think this is one of his very successful movies that, even with the ending, was a four- star winner and exciting within every minute of the whole movie. The perfect combination of excitement, frightement, and cliff- hangers, even with the ending. Endings like that have been dissappointing me for years, but that movie is for sure, no doubt, positively, in my top 20 favorite movies of all time. If you haven't seen this movei, I reccomend it to all those people who love long movies, and can pay attention, but if you can't last longer than Zombieland- length, don't bother. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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9
BikerjamesDec 30, 2010
I was mesmorized by this film - very similar to **** in style. Even when the film slows down a bit, the atmosphere and cinematography grips you. I was never bored. This is Ewan McGregor's best performance since the underrated comedy "DownI was mesmorized by this film - very similar to **** in style. Even when the film slows down a bit, the atmosphere and cinematography grips you. I was never bored. This is Ewan McGregor's best performance since the underrated comedy "Down With Love". The ending was a little perplexing for me, but I still enjoyed it. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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0
NazguleroMar 18, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I fell asleep several times during the movie, but so did the main character. What exactly was the plot ? I don't remember. If you have something to hide, why would you let someone into your house, and actually hire someone to sniff out your past ? Investigative journalism must have taken a turn for the worse when an amateur can simply use Google search to uncover the most secretive things of your past. Quite embarrassing, especially if you are the British Prime Minister. It's all right there, on the Internet.
Things moved along, yes, but they moved along at the speed of sound in a vacuum. At one point, the main character shakes a tail, where did these guys learn to follow someone ?
The ending was probably the most ridiculous one in movie history. I was in DC recently, and you can see the sniper on the roof of the White House from about 5 miles away. Security for the British PM must have forgotten that a guy in full camouflage, carrying a rifle and climbing onto the roof of the airport building might not be hunting for ducks.
Wait, that was not really the end. The end was that the main character got hit by what, a car, a bus ? After surviving all sorts of dangerous situations, he simply gets run over in the middle of a big city ?
In summary, this movie is just god awful. What is the purpose of making these films ?
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0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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10
kettavanFeb 4, 2011
The movie was nice and interesting. I enjoyed the filmThe movie was nice and interesting. I enjoyed the filmThe movie was nice and interesting. I enjoyed the filmThe movie was nice and interesting. I enjoyed the film
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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9
JasonBMar 5, 2010
Saw this in Poland, Polanski's home country. The audience loved it and I did too. Cinematically I thought it was perfect, at times I felt it could have moved a little faster but the acting and cinematography was top notch. I think the Saw this in Poland, Polanski's home country. The audience loved it and I did too. Cinematically I thought it was perfect, at times I felt it could have moved a little faster but the acting and cinematography was top notch. I think the story was all a bit too familiar but the way it was transferred to the screen was superb. I thought the comment about writers not being kittens was hilarious. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
GilbertLApr 5, 2010
Nice thriller from Polanski. Loved the shout outs to his previous films: Chinatown: caught in web of deceit; Rosemary's Baby: increasing paranoia; The Tenant: forces compelling protagonist to assume role of predecessor. Also liked the Nice thriller from Polanski. Loved the shout outs to his previous films: Chinatown: caught in web of deceit; Rosemary's Baby: increasing paranoia; The Tenant: forces compelling protagonist to assume role of predecessor. Also liked the ghost conceit that hovers over the movie, besides that of the writer...brilliant! Using the weather to augment the movie's atmosphere was clever. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MiloszP.Feb 26, 2010
No one does it like Roman - that's exactly the way a thriller should look like. Amazing.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
MatsCMar 12, 2010
The movie per se is really great, with great performances by the actors. Unfortunately though,one of the important and interesting features of the book is gone.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
GeorgeHMar 16, 2010
Only a true dullard would think that this movie is anything but exceptional, thoroughly engaging, suspenseful and masterfully crafted. One "User" complained that the the movie was "plot-driven"! What a laughable comment.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
ashogoMar 22, 2010
An extremely suspenseful thriller with a perfectly eerie atmosphere and a nice mix of dry humor here and there. It's very deliberately paced, and the clues unfold slowly at first, then gather speed until all crashing together in the An extremely suspenseful thriller with a perfectly eerie atmosphere and a nice mix of dry humor here and there. It's very deliberately paced, and the clues unfold slowly at first, then gather speed until all crashing together in the finale. Although I'm not a huge Polanski fan, I can say that he knows how to pull the right strings in an audience and that he is a great filmmaker. The ending seems to be love/hate with a lot of people, but I thought it was brilliant. If not for the ending itself, but the actual way it was shot. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JamesH.Mar 22, 2010
I loved this film. Cleverly crafted and beautifully shot, with great performances all around. It reminded me of some of the good Hitchcock films. There were no boring moments and I couldn't wait to find out the outcome. Loved the ending I loved this film. Cleverly crafted and beautifully shot, with great performances all around. It reminded me of some of the good Hitchcock films. There were no boring moments and I couldn't wait to find out the outcome. Loved the ending as well, although I'm not sure why he "passed the note" at the end of the movie knowing how dangerous it would be. Highly recommended. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
BobK.Mar 7, 2010
I found the movie engaging. Some aspects may be contrived, it is true, but this is also true for most films. The scary thing is that plots not far from this one might actually occur.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JaneS.Apr 3, 2010
Wonderful smart movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
KenGApr 3, 2010
Seldom has a movie that does such a nice job avoiding cliches along the way, end up feeling so much like a cliche itself. The film does a very nice job of building up intrigue and tension as it goes along, but it is something of a let down Seldom has a movie that does such a nice job avoiding cliches along the way, end up feeling so much like a cliche itself. The film does a very nice job of building up intrigue and tension as it goes along, but it is something of a let down when it is revealed what's really going on. Polanski does a very good job building up the story, but he never really figured out how to finish it off. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
PatG.Feb 26, 2010
I enjoyed most of this movie. BUT--one big problem with credibility re the big revelation at the end. The mode of revealing the secret is very Victorian. Would a 21st-century person really choose such an obscure, gimmicky way of setting up I enjoyed most of this movie. BUT--one big problem with credibility re the big revelation at the end. The mode of revealing the secret is very Victorian. Would a 21st-century person really choose such an obscure, gimmicky way of setting up something that might never be noticed? Don't we have more effective modern ways of sharing secrets? Any comments on that? Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
LornaS.Mar 11, 2010
A political thriller which leaves you involved in the story,wondering what's next as the suspense builds.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
DinoR.Mar 11, 2010
When did P-L-O-T get thrown out the window in film? "The Ghost Writer" doesn't have one, you don't care, and, frankly, if you do, you've lowered your standards to the point it doesn't matter. Polanski should be arrested When did P-L-O-T get thrown out the window in film? "The Ghost Writer" doesn't have one, you don't care, and, frankly, if you do, you've lowered your standards to the point it doesn't matter. Polanski should be arrested and put in jail for THIS as well as victimizing a thirteen year old girl. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
TArkoB.Mar 10, 2010
You're joking--this is like a moderately well directed episode of Murder She Wrote. The performances are weak, especially in the day player roles, and the dialogue seems to have been written by Stephen J. Cannell. Manhola Dargis needs a You're joking--this is like a moderately well directed episode of Murder She Wrote. The performances are weak, especially in the day player roles, and the dialogue seems to have been written by Stephen J. Cannell. Manhola Dargis needs a new job. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
KenPMar 12, 2010
The Ghost Writer has some decent performances and occasional good lines, but is just not believable as a political thriller. Ewan McGregor's character switched between cynic and naif. Many of his character's decisions are The Ghost Writer has some decent performances and occasional good lines, but is just not believable as a political thriller. Ewan McGregor's character switched between cynic and naif. Many of his character's decisions are incredible, and exist solely to progress the plot. Roman Polanski's depiction of politics in the US seemed completely imagined, and is not believable. The plot borrows ideas from many other movies, and offers nothing new. The smoking gun revealed at the end is more like child's cap gun, without the caps. Very disappointing- I can't understand the rave reviews. Obviously, Polanski thought the conspiracy theories presented in The Ghost Writer would resonate with European audiences, but it's a very juvenile effort overall. P.S. It was funny how Belmont, MA. was depicted. There are no rural roads in this fully developed suburban community, much less pine forests like the ones shown in the film. FTR, this did not bother me at all- it was just humorous. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful