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77

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

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 174 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
    90
    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
    75
    In Polanski’s hands, it’s an unholy pleasure: a diversion that stings.
  6. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    70
    Saved by often delightfully bitchy British dialogue.
  7. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    50
    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: 56 out of 77
  2. Negative: 16 out of 77
  1. Jan 19, 2011
    10
    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. Nov 19, 2010
    10
    While certainly not a masterpiece , this movie was very enjoyable for me . I knew nothing about it ahead of time so I had few expectations . A little more editing to pick up the pace would have been helpful but the cinematography was excellent . I quite enjoyed my afternoon with The Ghost Writer . Expand
  3. Jun 18, 2014
    9
    The Ghost Writer is a Polanski film, so i immediately knew it would be good. I also immediately knew that none of the scenes would be in the U.S. So, the only part of the movie i didn't care for was the unconvincing British island that doubled for Long Island. However, the acting is brilliant, the screenplay amazing, and the atmosphere very tense. The movie reveals one piece at a time until the climatic ending, and then a shocking twist that will stun you. See this movie. Expand
  4. Sep 27, 2011
    8
    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
  5. Sep 30, 2012
    7
    A little slow paced at times but other then that it was a rather good film. Well acted, Suspensful, and definently worth watching imo. I liked it and would recommend it. Expand
  6. 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 (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.
    Expand
  7. Nov 1, 2010
    0
    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 77 User Reviews

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