User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 252 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 48 out of 252
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  1. Dec 17, 2012
    4
    For what is supposed to be a suspenseful mysterious type movie, it was anything but captivating. The directing style and the script made the entire movie seem like a boring blur. Rachel Weiz did quite an excellent job when she was on screen, but nothing about this movie would make me ever want to see it again.
  2. TigranH.
    Mar 20, 2006
    4
    A fragmented cinematic effort. At times a beautiful postcard of Africa, a love story that never emerges fully, a theme that never reaches a crescendo or a climax, and acting that is just above the average. An excellent theme ruined by a bad script and not so great directing. Compared to Munich (which also carries an anthemic and current affairs theme) this is just a shadow of a movie. A fragmented cinematic effort. At times a beautiful postcard of Africa, a love story that never emerges fully, a theme that never reaches a crescendo or a climax, and acting that is just above the average. An excellent theme ruined by a bad script and not so great directing. Compared to Munich (which also carries an anthemic and current affairs theme) this is just a shadow of a movie. Ralph Fiennes is the only light in this wasted opportunity. He carries the movie and all the actors around him. The fundamental problem is that this movie wanders off aimlessly or without any real destination. The pharmaceutical "villans" are not portrayed as they should have, the suffering of the African people without proper medication is not given as it should and there is no real momentum in this whole story. I don't think Fernando Meirelles nor John Le Carré really worked together here. All in all a wonderful opportunity wasted. Expand
  3. RamonaC
    Oct 25, 2005
    0
    Boring and ridiculous premise in every way. Moronic and overhyped. Avoid.
  4. HinckleyA.
    Sep 11, 2005
    0
    The reason for the zero is that I went to the theater expecting to see somthing spectacular. Instead, I was treated to a very slow developing poltical statement against the big drug corporations who test medicines in the third world nations in Africa. Excuse me but are we suggesting that these pharmaceutical companies actually knowingly kill innocent people purposely? Of course not. It is The reason for the zero is that I went to the theater expecting to see somthing spectacular. Instead, I was treated to a very slow developing poltical statement against the big drug corporations who test medicines in the third world nations in Africa. Excuse me but are we suggesting that these pharmaceutical companies actually knowingly kill innocent people purposely? Of course not. It is no different that the world's soldiers who actually get killed fighting are poor people from around the world. In order to perfect a drug it must be tried somewhere before obtaining FDA approval is it not? So what we are doing is providing our drugs for FREE to third world nations and monitoring its effects. Yes, some drugs I'm certain have side effects. But most, actually help sick people, a fact that was lost on the producers of this one sided propaganda film. As for the acting it was okay but the story had more plot holes than Carter had little liver pills. Very slow moving and boring to tell the truth. The rave reviews are not warranted considering the subject matter. Expand
  5. Alvin
    Sep 13, 2005
    3
    Grossly overrated with a self serving implausible storyline. Do we really believe the pharmaceutical giant corporations are out to kill humanity? Like everything else before we obtain FDA approval a drug must be tested. Have you ever heard the expression "Being a pawn?" This is true for every facet of life. The poor are always our soliders and guinea pigs. These medicines must be tested Grossly overrated with a self serving implausible storyline. Do we really believe the pharmaceutical giant corporations are out to kill humanity? Like everything else before we obtain FDA approval a drug must be tested. Have you ever heard the expression "Being a pawn?" This is true for every facet of life. The poor are always our soliders and guinea pigs. These medicines must be tested somewhere? Where do you think we should start at the top of the food chain or the bottom? These drugs are given for free to the impoverished nations of the world. These medicines by and large help cure and prevent disease. To make the drug companies out to be cold blooded killers is not fair. Just another propaganda film to make us think otherwise. And before you think I have a agenda, NO I don't work for or any drug company or have a relative/friend that does. It just appalls me to see something sensationalized to make a movie and a boring one at that. Expand
  6. ChrisS.
    Feb 5, 2006
    3
    Very over-rated. Very slow. Very over-the-top. Just when you thought it was about sex it switched to a thriller--WITH RALPH FIENNES?? come on...that man does a lot of boring shows.
  7. AndrewW.
    Sep 14, 2005
    3
    A horrible movie, so predictable, that i found myself thinking there must be some other twist. movie was not the worst ever, but since it got the best reviews of the year, i believe the movie critics and the makers are in bed together. movie sales have steadily been going down for couple years, worst slump ever for movies, running out of good ideas, they need sales, which is why they giveA horrible movie, so predictable, that i found myself thinking there must be some other twist. movie was not the worst ever, but since it got the best reviews of the year, i believe the movie critics and the makers are in bed together. movie sales have steadily been going down for couple years, worst slump ever for movies, running out of good ideas, they need sales, which is why they give a totally mediocre movie like this good reviews. you heard it here first. Expand
  8. JasonH.
    Sep 19, 2005
    0
    Jack open your eyes. It was a horrible film, slow, tedious and very boring. And that was its good points. What truth were you referring to? The Hollywood spin zone? Do you really think pharmaceutical companies are hell bent on murdering underpriviledged third world nations? If you do I have a bridge to sell you! Awful movie in every sense of the word.
  9. JakeS.
    Sep 23, 2005
    3
    Rachel weisz is stunning, but the tale is poorly crafted and suffers from no plausibly explained threat, other than a vague machinery of TB proliferation. making this an amazing film takes much effort on the part of the viewer. so, suspend your disbelief and enjoy this film!!
  10. TedM.
    Sep 30, 2005
    4
    Dreadfully slow and preachy, I thought that even the Nicholas Cage film "Lord of War" had a more mature (and entertaining) perspective on Western exploitation of Africa.
  11. AndrewK.
    Sep 5, 2005
    3
    Everything is relative. In a season of below par film making comes a message movie that the fans of Michael Moore will embrace and cheer. But is this a great, even good movie? Not a chance. They makers want to beat you over the head for 80 or so miniutes or so until the actual thriller portion begins which is hardly edge of your seat thriller material. Look I like thrillers, and I like Everything is relative. In a season of below par film making comes a message movie that the fans of Michael Moore will embrace and cheer. But is this a great, even good movie? Not a chance. They makers want to beat you over the head for 80 or so miniutes or so until the actual thriller portion begins which is hardly edge of your seat thriller material. Look I like thrillers, and I like message movies. I believe in the ability of a quality film to relay the director's vision and touch people. This was niether. Save your money and pray for those who make and distribute films, to wake up and give us all the quality that we deserve. Right now that is not happening. Expand
  12. Kris
    Sep 5, 2005
    3
    I felt that the problem with the movie is that it just doesn't make sense that Tessa wouldn't have contacted newspapers with her suspicions rather than going through "diplomatic" channels. So for me, it just wasn't very realistic.
  13. jackr.
    Sep 7, 2005
    1
    A blunt instrument.
  14. Rex
    Sep 8, 2005
    3
    Drawn out, but well acted. So predictable and takes a year to get to the conclusion. Plot holes galore. Ho hum is the best way to describe this very forgettable movie.
  15. GabrielK.
    Mar 4, 2006
    0
    Bad acting, bad script, switched it off after half an hour before it ruined my night. It was so full of it's own self importance yet so bad it was unbelievable. A complete insult to anyone with a brain. The opening 'interaction' between the two leads set the level for the whole film.
  16. PatC.
    Mar 6, 2006
    3
    I agree with Heather & Joe below. I am so tired of movies righteously asserting they advance the rights of a class of victims, then use such a claim of concern as an excuse for not doing their jobs. If I'm going to believe the people who run drug companies are evil, I want to know how they're evil, how their minds work, how they got that way. The mindset of this movie is exactly I agree with Heather & Joe below. I am so tired of movies righteously asserting they advance the rights of a class of victims, then use such a claim of concern as an excuse for not doing their jobs. If I'm going to believe the people who run drug companies are evil, I want to know how they're evil, how their minds work, how they got that way. The mindset of this movie is exactly why the liberals are getting their butts kicked in more and more elections. Stop insisting you're so smart and do your homework. Having been to Nairobi and being aware all hell is breaking loose in the Sudan, I appreciated the underlying feelings this film sometimes captured, and the film means well, but it's way too obtuse. Expand
  17. Kelvinl
    Nov 24, 2005
    3
    Pretty boring really. Although Ralph Fiennes does his best, there is little chemistry between him and Miss Weisz and subsequently you don't really feel any of Ralph Fiennes pain. There really is too small a plot to sustain interest for 2 and a half hours. After about 45 mins when most of the story had been revealed, I just wanted it to end quickly, instead it just went on and on, Pretty boring really. Although Ralph Fiennes does his best, there is little chemistry between him and Miss Weisz and subsequently you don't really feel any of Ralph Fiennes pain. There really is too small a plot to sustain interest for 2 and a half hours. After about 45 mins when most of the story had been revealed, I just wanted it to end quickly, instead it just went on and on, showing unecessary flash backs of Rachel Weisz. Ralph Fiennes gives his usual solid performance but the rest of the cast give standard by the numbers performances of their very sterotypical characters. In the end the film potrays merely little more than a political message which is repeated many times in the film and is something your average TV documentory would probably have done better. I did nearly fall asleep but the few actions scenes in the film seemed out of place and were put in as a safeguard to prevent people nodding off. Avoid! Expand
  18. Larry
    Oct 13, 2005
    0
    The most boring overrated overhyped movie of the year. Awful and preposterous.
  19. GabeS.
    Oct 19, 2005
    1
    This movie left a bad taste in my mouth. I have been browsing the internet for over an hour now, hoping to find a review that reflects my opinion. EdwardT M. comes close. The characters were unlikeable, ecspecially Tessa. She literally married the main character, Justin, in order to get to Africa. Then she continually belittles him while running around with other guys. Is this a woman This movie left a bad taste in my mouth. I have been browsing the internet for over an hour now, hoping to find a review that reflects my opinion. EdwardT M. comes close. The characters were unlikeable, ecspecially Tessa. She literally married the main character, Justin, in order to get to Africa. Then she continually belittles him while running around with other guys. Is this a woman worth dying for? Well, our hero seems to think so. It is preposterous! Expand
  20. Detroit
    Sep 15, 2005
    2
    Awful, slow and boring.
  21. CarlC
    Sep 19, 2005
    3
    I thought it was incredibly boring. Kept waiting for something to happen and nothing ever did. Great cinematography though. They should call this movie "beautiful footage of Ralph Fiennes riding in cars".
  22. TyroneL.
    Sep 22, 2005
    0
    Absolutely awful. Boring to the point that I wanted to puke. No chemistry at all between the stars. Overacted and sensationilized against the drug companies. Give me a beak as I could hardly keep my eyes open. Avoid.
  23. Joe
    Sep 2, 2005
    3
    [***SPOILERS***] Fiennes is great, direction & camerwork likewise. I'm normally a big fan of Le Carre, but this movie has problems. Of course there are issues with drug companies overseas (and at home), but the basic plot of the movie is silly because drug companies don't get blockbuster sales for long if their drugs kill people. It's also quite implausible that his wife [***SPOILERS***] Fiennes is great, direction & camerwork likewise. I'm normally a big fan of Le Carre, but this movie has problems. Of course there are issues with drug companies overseas (and at home), but the basic plot of the movie is silly because drug companies don't get blockbuster sales for long if their drugs kill people. It's also quite implausible that his wife would fail to tell him that the 'other guy', her constrant male companion, is gay. And to me the ending was the biggest improbability of all. Expand
  24. JasonN.
    Sep 25, 2005
    0
    The most incredibly boring movie I have ever seen in life. A significant number of people gave up and walked out during the movie.
  25. Hairston
    Sep 8, 2005
    2
    Way overrated to suit my taste. Quite frankly put me to sleep.
  26. JamesB.
    Jan 29, 2006
    0
    Slow? I walked out on this, and it was playing on my TV. After 45 minutes in, just a low-grade soap opera. If you have the patience to stick with it, maybe you'll like it more. My time is much too valuable. This is what I get for listening to other reviews.
  27. BorisC.
    Jan 31, 2006
    4
    I'm not sure which would be more exciting watching this movie again or being in a coma or 2 hours. I do believe it would be the coma.
  28. Burke
    Feb 3, 2006
    4
    Odd that this is so well rated by the professionals. I made it through the first hour and then gave up. Disjointed, badly photographed, oddly paced, bloody slow (at least through the hour I survived), and as nuanced as being hit with a hammer. Unfortunately, I suspect this movie rates so high because most reviewers like its political stance (especially the early anti-war monologue), Odd that this is so well rated by the professionals. I made it through the first hour and then gave up. Disjointed, badly photographed, oddly paced, bloody slow (at least through the hour I survived), and as nuanced as being hit with a hammer. Unfortunately, I suspect this movie rates so high because most reviewers like its political stance (especially the early anti-war monologue), rather than its actual merits as a movie. Odd that Lord of War, which is theoretically just a big dumb action movie, is slightly more nuanced. Expand
  29. MikeR.
    Feb 18, 2007
    0
    This was the SLOWEST MOST BORING movie I have ever seen. If you didn't see the movie I'll save you two hours. Drug companies are bad. There that's it, that's all the movie had to say. Terrible movie.
  30. Riren
    Mar 17, 2007
    3
    International pharmaceutical companies have been exploiting poor Africans in need of medicine for decades in order to test their drugs, regardless of their potentially crippling or lethal side effects. If the preceding sentence interested you, read a book about it. Don't see this movie. It's neither informative, nor an actually good film. The first half hour is a nearly International pharmaceutical companies have been exploiting poor Africans in need of medicine for decades in order to test their drugs, regardless of their potentially crippling or lethal side effects. If the preceding sentence interested you, read a book about it. Don't see this movie. It's neither informative, nor an actually good film. The first half hour is a nearly incomprehensible exercise in flashbacks and flash forwards, setting up a disconnected chronology to excuse all the later scenes in the film from having to occur along a realistic timeline. It works with the naivety of an action movie, but reaches insultingly for the depths of a conspiracy movie, and comes away with the satisfaction of neither. It decomposes into sentimental trash by the end, with its great cast Collapse
  31. Adrian
    Nov 16, 2005
    1
    Awful but beatiful scenery.
  32. wesley
    Nov 17, 2005
    2
    I give it 2 points for putting me to sleep. No chemistry and ridculous plot. He didn't know his wife when she was alive but after she died he became interested? Give me a break.
  33. oscar
    Nov 3, 2005
    1
    This movie was a terrible one. The premise and shots of Africa were great, but the characters were unlikeable and the cinematography was unwatchable. Halfway through the movie I found myself neither caring nor wondering why Tessa was murdered. I just wanted it to end. Sad really because the story of what big pharmaceuticals may or may not be doing in Africa is worthy of interest. Chalk This movie was a terrible one. The premise and shots of Africa were great, but the characters were unlikeable and the cinematography was unwatchable. Halfway through the movie I found myself neither caring nor wondering why Tessa was murdered. I just wanted it to end. Sad really because the story of what big pharmaceuticals may or may not be doing in Africa is worthy of interest. Chalk this one up to the critics liking something different because good this movie is not. Expand
  34. yvonne
    Oct 14, 2005
    0
    If you love to watch moss grow on a rock or paint dry then this is the movie for you. Otherwise stay away from this boring moronic sorry excuse for an action movie. A slide show would have been better. This movie crawls along at a snails pace and is preposterous.
  35. Geo
    Sep 17, 2005
    3
    Having a 60's-style raging "I'll fight for everybody's rights, even if it gets me killed"-activist married to a conservative, British diplomat, is as implausible, as it is impractical as a device that drives the story - it makes everything predictable in a crass, boring, no-surprises-left way. The raw, deliberately shakey camera work , and very quick cuts try to create Having a 60's-style raging "I'll fight for everybody's rights, even if it gets me killed"-activist married to a conservative, British diplomat, is as implausible, as it is impractical as a device that drives the story - it makes everything predictable in a crass, boring, no-surprises-left way. The raw, deliberately shakey camera work , and very quick cuts try to create visual tension, and extreme closeups that drive most indoor scenes project the feeling of oppressivenes. All of this fancy shooting might work, if the plot was actually dynamic or suspenseful. But since it is not, all the camera fireworks seem fake, "artsy," and gimmicky attempts to give the coveted "arthouse movie" feel to an otherwise plodding, boring, and largely predictable production. Expand
  36. EdwardTM.
    Sep 18, 2005
    1
    I give it a 1 only for the cinematography. I am shocked and amazed at the scores this unbelievably horrible film is getting. What does anyone see in this? The narrative is rambling and incoherent, the characters are phenomonally unlikeable and the plot is messier than the sink at the Burger King on Saturday night. Could some explain to me what was to like? The female charachter was such a I give it a 1 only for the cinematography. I am shocked and amazed at the scores this unbelievably horrible film is getting. What does anyone see in this? The narrative is rambling and incoherent, the characters are phenomonally unlikeable and the plot is messier than the sink at the Burger King on Saturday night. Could some explain to me what was to like? The female charachter was such a piece of dreck I am at a sincere loss as to why anyone in the film would find any single thing to like, or even admire, about her. I think the sentiment for anti-globalization has washed over everyone's brains and led them to believe they have seen a good movie. Good subject, bad movie. Expand
  37. JoeS.
    Feb 25, 2006
    2
    It's like being tied to a chair and hit on the head with a hammer while a political statement is repeated forcefully in your face. It gets a 2 only for the cinematography. The most serious accusations are made against "the drug companies" without any evidence, as if they're facts. If it were just some fictional company in the story, that would be no problem. But this is one of It's like being tied to a chair and hit on the head with a hammer while a political statement is repeated forcefully in your face. It gets a 2 only for the cinematography. The most serious accusations are made against "the drug companies" without any evidence, as if they're facts. If it were just some fictional company in the story, that would be no problem. But this is one of those Michael Douglas-type movies where everyone _acts_ like "it's just a movie" but the viewer is obviously supposed to get the message that "this is how it really is." Suspicions, sentiments, and "feelings" are the only basis given for what we're asked to believe is a major international conspiracy. With all the reporters and newspapers out there looking for a big story, wouldn't someone expose that? Oh yeah- they'll be assassinated by the drug companies if they try. Pathetic. The other truly pathetic thing about this movie is, they're supposedly presenting a realistic picture of Africa, and it's somehow supposed to evoke sympathy. These people are supposedly starving and in dire poverty, yet virtually every one of them is running around in brightly colored, freshly cleaned new-looking clothes. Hard to believe professional filmmakers could be that stupid. Then again consider the movie they made. Expand
  38. SteveP.
    Mar 31, 2006
    2
    This was the worst movie, that the academy awards clamed was good, that I every saw. What I hated the most was how the trailers for it depicted it as a cool mystery film about secret corporate practices in Africa, [***SPOILERS***] then you watch it and find it to be a really stupid romance between a super liberal woman and a guy who Gardens Constantly. The story was my biggest complaint, This was the worst movie, that the academy awards clamed was good, that I every saw. What I hated the most was how the trailers for it depicted it as a cool mystery film about secret corporate practices in Africa, [***SPOILERS***] then you watch it and find it to be a really stupid romance between a super liberal woman and a guy who Gardens Constantly. The story was my biggest complaint, they skip around so much that after a wile it seems less like a movie and more like a bunch of random pictures of Africa with some actors in it. They didn Expand
  39. [Anonymous]
    Aug 27, 2006
    0
    terrible, as unoriginal as discussing one's hatred for political correctness, don't see it, it sucks, i knew how it was going to end, within the first minute, but it didn't for a long long time.
  40. AndrewT.
    Nov 29, 2005
    0
    I'm a sucker for 4 star movies, but I sat through a half hour of this movie, waiting for it to make sense, or to get more interesting, or something. They're in the past, the future, who knows? And who's that guy? How could I have seen this much of the movie without knowing who anybody is? I walked out and caught 40yr Old Virgin instead.
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. 88
    Director Fernando Meirelles and screenwriter Jeffrey Caine put a human face on John le Carre's novel of sex, lies and dirty politics in modern Africa. Prepare for a thrilling ride.
  2. His (Fernando Meirelles) impressionistic, guerilla style of filmmaking works surprisingly well in capturing the hypnotic urgency of le Carre's fiction. And his viewpoint is less British and more Third World.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Succeeds in capturing the book's essential themes and concerns, albeit in a hectic style that could not be more antithetical to that of the literary master of international intrigue.