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. jack
    Sep 1, 2005
    10
    I just caught this film last night and really enjoyed the premise. The film realy takes you on a ride like no other so far this year. I look forward to seeing do well come Oscar season!
  3. mp
    Oct 8, 2005
    8
    The scene of Fiennes weeping silently when he revisits the Chelsea apt makes up for the flaws. He seems to excel in this existential anguish. I thought the movie worked best in the silent parts when it didn't preach.
  4. 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
  5. davida.
    Oct 2, 2005
    5
    Uh yea i walked out on it, there was some weird scratching noise in the theater that wouldnt stop and im also not smart for this movie, and its one of those types of movies that my parents will like, but since im a teenager i didnt enjoy. im sure it would have been good if i gave it the time of day.
  6. RamonaC
    Oct 25, 2005
    0
    Boring and ridiculous premise in every way. Moronic and overhyped. Avoid.
  7. LaurenC.
    Oct 8, 2005
    9
    I believe that the movie was slow for a reason. If the film zipped by and crammed all of the conspiracy and tragedy into the usual hour and a half block, it would not have been so suspenseful. You find yourself making assumptions about he characters and the actual plot of the movie until the very last minute.
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. James
    Sep 1, 2005
    10
    Loved this film!!
  11. DeVon
    Sep 20, 2005
    10
    Ralph Feinnes is quiet brilliance. Cinematography-breath taking. Subject matter- so much more worthy than the wasting the millions spent on typical hollywood fare.
  12. LingX
    Sep 24, 2005
    5
    For intelligent watchers only. this is boring if you're looking for some suspense and action.
  13. MarcK.
    Sep 30, 2005
    7
    As someone else alluded to before, this film was pretty bad until the last half hour or so, when it became interesting and worth watching. An above average film in a horrible movie year, but that doesn't mean it's a great film, because it's not. The politics of the film is definitely for the Michael Moore crowd, but I didn't think it was that excessive. And since I As someone else alluded to before, this film was pretty bad until the last half hour or so, when it became interesting and worth watching. An above average film in a horrible movie year, but that doesn't mean it's a great film, because it's not. The politics of the film is definitely for the Michael Moore crowd, but I didn't think it was that excessive. And since I didn't read the book, it would have been nice to know why the movie was called, "The Constant Gardener." Expand
  14. Bob
    Sep 6, 2005
    5
    Way overrated for my taste. Slow moving, boring, and tedious. Why didn't they just go to the newspapers? Big Yawn!
  15. martiej.
    Sep 7, 2005
    9
    Excellent thriller that stands out against the vapid thrillers out of Hollywood. "The Constant Gardener" stays with you for a couple of days and makes you think, which is more than most of the thrillers out there accomplish...Fiennes is absolutely excellent. Weisz is fantastic. For the reviewer who found the film "Michael Moore-like," I suggest perusing some medical journals. Huge Excellent thriller that stands out against the vapid thrillers out of Hollywood. "The Constant Gardener" stays with you for a couple of days and makes you think, which is more than most of the thrillers out there accomplish...Fiennes is absolutely excellent. Weisz is fantastic. For the reviewer who found the film "Michael Moore-like," I suggest perusing some medical journals. Huge pharmaceutical companies are out of control and the consequences are heartbreaking. Doctors, academicians, and scientists feel this way, not just firebrands like Tessa. Expand
  16. Don'tCare
    Sep 9, 2005
    8
    Hmm... I guess it was interesting, it was engrossing really. It was weel done, the shots were great, but where's the f'in THRILLER aspect of this film, it doesn't exist. It's not thrilling at all. The story is good, the acting is great especially by Fiennes and the movie as a whole is really good. Yet for me, it didn't ever really go anywhere and there was no real Hmm... I guess it was interesting, it was engrossing really. It was weel done, the shots were great, but where's the f'in THRILLER aspect of this film, it doesn't exist. It's not thrilling at all. The story is good, the acting is great especially by Fiennes and the movie as a whole is really good. Yet for me, it didn't ever really go anywhere and there was no real pay off at the end. Maybe i'm just being nitpicky but i think there were a few places where they could have earned a 10. Thus i give it an 8, good but definately not worth the buzz. Expand
  17. Bluezboy8
    Sep 9, 2005
    9
    Mesmerizing work from Meirelles! Fiennes turns in another great performance, as does the supporting cast, especially Huston and Nighy. This sophisticated "thriller" is layered with just the right amount of retrospect to effectively fulfill Tessa's life, but if I were directing, I would only decrease the frenetic handheld sequences by, maybe, half. The tension is already palpable, and Mesmerizing work from Meirelles! Fiennes turns in another great performance, as does the supporting cast, especially Huston and Nighy. This sophisticated "thriller" is layered with just the right amount of retrospect to effectively fulfill Tessa's life, but if I were directing, I would only decrease the frenetic handheld sequences by, maybe, half. The tension is already palpable, and the "caffeinated" lenswork serves only to nauseate more than titilate. Expand
  18. Darkmage
    Jan 20, 2006
    8
    You may want to enjoy this movie by yourself and not watch it with a date you don't want to disappoint. This movie is quite slow moving in many instances, with a lack of background music at times and British accents thick enough to make you miss dialogue if you're not accutely paying attention. All these glowing reviews make the movie look amazing -- and it is! -- but it You may want to enjoy this movie by yourself and not watch it with a date you don't want to disappoint. This movie is quite slow moving in many instances, with a lack of background music at times and British accents thick enough to make you miss dialogue if you're not accutely paying attention. All these glowing reviews make the movie look amazing -- and it is! -- but it certainly isn't a movie for any occassion. Expand
  19. PaalF.
    Feb 20, 2006
    10
    Excellent plot, excellent lead actors, excellent setting.
  20. 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.
  21. JohnV.
    Feb 7, 2006
    10
    The Constant Gardener is not the usual flare with which Hollywood treats Africa. It is not Lord of War, Tears of the Sun, or some other ethnocentric garbage. I think its very much in your face glimpse of what the world is doing in Africa. Having just returned from West Africa myself after several months, I feel as though this movie really did try and present Africa in a real sense, with The Constant Gardener is not the usual flare with which Hollywood treats Africa. It is not Lord of War, Tears of the Sun, or some other ethnocentric garbage. I think its very much in your face glimpse of what the world is doing in Africa. Having just returned from West Africa myself after several months, I feel as though this movie really did try and present Africa in a real sense, with real heart. An excellent film in every sense. Expand
  22. LindaL.
    Oct 1, 2005
    5
    Fiennes is fine, but between the dizzymaking camera work and the silly plot, I felt irritated. Exposing drug companies as Evil would not be a perilous task -- just feed the story to someone at the New York Times!
  23. Dave
    Oct 17, 2005
    10
    Great film! Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz were superb, probably the best from Fiennes since The English Patient. This proves that Fernando Meirelles is a great director and City Of God was not a fluke. Oh, and for those of you who thought it was boring or slow, while don't you just stick to Vin Diesel movies, or whatever the latest stupid blockbuster hollywood rolls out?
  24. DaveC.
    Dec 15, 2005
    7
    Some of the faux-English mannerisms in the film made me wince (somebody get a British screenwriter) while some of the narrative delineations were more smug than interesting, Rachel Weizs character meanwhile is idealised. That aside however, I thought this was a timely film which grips you from the very beginning. Pacing, strong performances and skillful direction, these elements combine Some of the faux-English mannerisms in the film made me wince (somebody get a British screenwriter) while some of the narrative delineations were more smug than interesting, Rachel Weizs character meanwhile is idealised. That aside however, I thought this was a timely film which grips you from the very beginning. Pacing, strong performances and skillful direction, these elements combine to make a highly entertaining thriller, so much so that its easy to forgive the lack of dimension to the lead characters and the film's overall fancifulness. Expand
  25. WelingtonS.
    Oct 22, 2005
    9
    Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles is on the top of the world of cinema industry. He proves with this flick all his talent, originality and social conscience. He took a commercial screenplay and transformed it in a nervous and brethtaking trip through Africa. I had to see it twice in a cinema in São Paulo, Brasil, to get all the informations and characters motivation to immerse Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles is on the top of the world of cinema industry. He proves with this flick all his talent, originality and social conscience. He took a commercial screenplay and transformed it in a nervous and brethtaking trip through Africa. I had to see it twice in a cinema in São Paulo, Brasil, to get all the informations and characters motivation to immerse into the history. The editing and cinematography are superb, the actors and actress are perfect. Rachell Weizz give the best female performance I saw this year. She shines in every frames. The chemistry between she and Ralph Fiennes rules the movie. Fiennes is also very good. It's a love story, a thriller and a social comment about our world. Unfortunatelly money rules the wold and the government is in their hands (just think in the USA and the war against Iraque, the petrol, the gas, the relation between Bush and the gas corporation. How many had to die for economica profits?). We can imagine that Le Carre and Meirelles are exagerating but if we start think about what is happening maybe they are not. It's an advice to the world: how we (the society, government and corporations) are treating (baddly) the people who lives in poor areas. Remarkable work. Welington Liberato (Sorry for my english) Expand
  26. LaDonaG.
    Dec 31, 2005
    10
    Rachel Weisz gives the best performance of all time.
  27. MathewD.
    Dec 3, 2005
    10
    This film is brilliant...I saw this movie with one other person, and we were joined by one bystander, sitting 3 rows up, nearly comatose...If you have any political persuasion whatsoever, or appreciate the melding of politics and filmmaking, see this movie--you won't regret it. Lovely, moving, painful, and appealing.
  28. DorothyM.
    Oct 5, 2005
    10
    Excellent from start to finish.
  29. MarkB.
    Sep 10, 2005
    7
    Last year's compelling and engrossing (if overextended and overlong) documentary feature The Corporation boiled down the most common characteristics of most global corporations; then, as if the firms were human beings, subjected them to a battery of psychological tests. The result was that the typical corporation displayed a profoundly psychopathic personality--completely devoid of Last year's compelling and engrossing (if overextended and overlong) documentary feature The Corporation boiled down the most common characteristics of most global corporations; then, as if the firms were human beings, subjected them to a battery of psychological tests. The result was that the typical corporation displayed a profoundly psychopathic personality--completely devoid of any sense of ethics, decency, morality or anything else that could possibly (if only slightly) get in the way of record profits and huge bottom lines. Well, if that film was the dictionary definition of a global superfirm, The Constant Gardener could very aptly serve as Figure 1-A. Fernando Meirelles' film of John leCarre's novel is an indictment of the actions of major drug concerns in testing an iffy tuberculosis medicine in Africa without consideration of moral or legal boundaries on any level; you know where the film's going early on when a character wisecracks that drug companies, even though in the business of healing, never do anything strictly out of the goodness of their hearts. The director received great acclaim (and an Oscar nomination) a couple years ago with the impressive but somewhat overrated City of God; the jigsaw-puzzle structuring, busy pictorial sense and jumpy MTV framing and editing style that distracted me rather than drawing me into the drama there is better suited for this movie's thriller material, and the distancing it provides is rather a blessing; knowing that the film involves using innocent people as guinea pigs, perhaps an approach that simmers rather than boils prevents a movie with this subject matter from being utterly unwatchable. You will, however, care very deeply about the two central adults involved in the mystery: Raph Fiennes has never been more engagingly wonky than he is in the role of the perhaps-too-diplomatic Justin, and the talented, underrated Rachel Weisz, again displaying the singular skill at completely concealing the author's secrets that she did in three 2003 films (Confidence, The Shape of Things and Runaway Jury), is wonderfully alive and sympathetic as Fiennes' radical and highly unlikely spouse. Jeffrey Caine's script adheres a little too firmly to certain well-worn thriller conventions near the end (a car chase that seems inorganic, the villain exposing his scheme to the hero in great detail), and unlike its current spiritual opposite, the compact and commercially apolitical suspenser Red Eye, this could've comfortably divested itself of about ten or fifteen minutes. But limitations and all, The Constant Gardener is still a worthy, provocative kickoff to the movies' annual Serious Season and an effective debate starter...although for me, the most thought-provoking image was a closeup near the end of a Bible being used for distinctly unscriptural ends. That shot (almost, but not quite a throwaway) and everything leading up to it, reminded me that, even though I know most Christians to be wonderful, decent, loving people, I probably will never "get" the Religious Right. Many of its number seem to be totally willing to write multinational corporations a legal and ethical blank check to do anything they want to do (doesn't that fall under the category of idolatry or worshipping mammon?) even if it involves murdering the opposition (isn't that what Jesus' foes tried to do to him?) And while it's well and good that they do everything possible to preserve the sanctity of life during pregnancy, the philosophy from the way that African children are regarded and treated in The Constant Gardener seems to be "We'll protect your lives as long as you're in the womb--but once out, you're on your own, kids!" Expand
  30. S.Leone
    Sep 1, 2005
    10
    A masterpiece made by a great director and fantastic actors. You must see it.
  31. Jon
    Sep 1, 2005
    5
    Maybe someone who doesn't work for Focus features should chime in here. It's not a very good movie at all, but unfortunately it's what passes for one now. Add Mireilles to the list of directors (Ridley Scott, anyone?) who make films that small minded critics can rave about.
  32. 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
  33. SteveC.
    Sep 16, 2005
    7
    The acting and the story line were excellent -- and the focus on the evils of the large, multi-national drug companies is long overdue. This otherwise excellent film is absolutly ruined by the manic cinemaphotography and editing: it had the look and feel of seeing the world through the eyes of a crystal meth addict. All the fine acting was completely upstaged by out-of-focus, jerky, and The acting and the story line were excellent -- and the focus on the evils of the large, multi-national drug companies is long overdue. This otherwise excellent film is absolutly ruined by the manic cinemaphotography and editing: it had the look and feel of seeing the world through the eyes of a crystal meth addict. All the fine acting was completely upstaged by out-of-focus, jerky, and just plain sloppy camera work that never let the viewer completely relate to the characters or the plot. A pitty! Expand
  34. dank.
    Sep 1, 2005
    10
    Considering that city of god is also a favorite, it shouldnt be a surprise that my anticipation level for this one was through the roof. i was worried that i was setting myself up for a huge disappointment and was doubly ecstatic to find out that was not going to be the case! ralph and rachel have real chemistry and you really believe his story and progression of character. on top of Considering that city of god is also a favorite, it shouldnt be a surprise that my anticipation level for this one was through the roof. i was worried that i was setting myself up for a huge disappointment and was doubly ecstatic to find out that was not going to be the case! ralph and rachel have real chemistry and you really believe his story and progression of character. on top of that, the pharma controversy IS something that can happen - it did 4 years ago. if you want to go see something intelligent this weekend, this should be on the top of your list. Expand
  35. 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.
  36. 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!!
  37. Peter
    Sep 2, 2005
    10
    Wonderful movie, rachel was fantastic so as ralph.
  38. BrianG.
    Sep 3, 2005
    10
    Has anyone made 2 movies in a row as consistanly brilliant as Meirelles? As great as Fiennes performance is, Meirelles is the star. The movie's composition is sublime. For a thriller, the complete storyline is completely believable. Not once did I say to myself, "Come on, no way would that happen." I can't believe I will see a better movie this year.
  39. 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.
  40. 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
  41. 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.
  42. GregS.
    Sep 5, 2005
    8
    Excellent movie; very strong performances. In my opinion, it deserves Oscar nominations for best actor, actress, and possibly supporting actor (Bill Nighy). It will almost certainly be nominated for cinematography. The movie's hook is that it creates two stories out of one plot; there's a conspiracy thriller with a powerful, liberal message, and, more memorably, a "retrospective Excellent movie; very strong performances. In my opinion, it deserves Oscar nominations for best actor, actress, and possibly supporting actor (Bill Nighy). It will almost certainly be nominated for cinematography. The movie's hook is that it creates two stories out of one plot; there's a conspiracy thriller with a powerful, liberal message, and, more memorably, a "retrospective romance", in which Quayle "learns" Tessa all over again, after her death. Advice before viewing: there is no stereotypical action movie baggage (gunplay, explosions, etc.); the few action scenes are played very low key. Don't go in waiting for that, even in the climax. Collapse
  43. jackr.
    Sep 7, 2005
    1
    A blunt instrument.
  44. 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.
  45. BJS.
    Jan 22, 2006
    7
    Very thought provoking but a little slow. Iwould not mention it as an oscar.
  46. HeatherW.
    Feb 28, 2006
    5
    Well, given the attention this movie has gotten, I was pretty disappointed. It was very mediocre in every way: writing, cinematography, acting. Loaded with cliches and one-sided predictable characters. And did anyone else want to slap Tess? I'm as much of a liberal as anyone out there and a bit of a saber-rattler, too, so it wasn't her politics that got up my nose. I just Well, given the attention this movie has gotten, I was pretty disappointed. It was very mediocre in every way: writing, cinematography, acting. Loaded with cliches and one-sided predictable characters. And did anyone else want to slap Tess? I'm as much of a liberal as anyone out there and a bit of a saber-rattler, too, so it wasn't her politics that got up my nose. I just didn't believe her. She was someone's fantasy of what an Amnesty International do-gooder is all about, and an annoying fantasy to boot. But more than anything, it was the way the story moved from one half-explained, half-realized scene to the next that really got on my nerves. The only interesting aspect of the movie was the scenes of African poverty juxtaposed with the scenes of a faded British imperialism and a sterile, removed U.N. That was well done. But the story itself was a snoozer. Wasn't invested in the political thriller *or* the tedious Ralph Fiennesian romance, which could have "The English Patient" all over again, except this time in subsaharan Africa instead of north Africa. Yawn. Expand
  47. CliveR.
    Feb 4, 2006
    5
    It had me in suspense all the way through but looking back it's such a depressing film! Bizzarly though I found the end quite satisfying.
  48. SalmanH.
    Feb 8, 2006
    10
    Incredible. just watched it on DVD. film was so moving. but it is for mature audiences. not the type of movie u wanna watch with all ur friends on saturday nite stay etc.
  49. 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.
  50. 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
  51. JonS.
    Jul 10, 2006
    9
    Pay no attention to those whose beef is with the film's politics. This is a masterpiece of filmmaking: personal, abstract, technicially marvelous, with an amazing story and as much suspense as one could ask for. Yes, the movie is hugely critical of some pharmaceutical company practices, but it never asserts this is what all companies do. Most impressively, the movie ties together a Pay no attention to those whose beef is with the film's politics. This is a masterpiece of filmmaking: personal, abstract, technicially marvelous, with an amazing story and as much suspense as one could ask for. Yes, the movie is hugely critical of some pharmaceutical company practices, but it never asserts this is what all companies do. Most impressively, the movie ties together a man's journey to know his wife into a journey to understand the world. Truly beautiful. Those that dislike the humane, intelligent, passionate politics of this film . . . well, they're part of the problem. Expand
  52. JoeC.
    Jul 16, 2006
    10
    Great movie. Works as a thriller, romance and drama. Great performances by Fiennes and Weisz and Meirelles is proving himself as a master of filmmaking!
  53. MennoV.
    Dec 4, 2007
    9
    Impressive movie, though a bit slow to start. Excellent casting, very good camerawork. It's been a while a movie sucked me in this deep!
  54. LoildoT.
    Feb 2, 2007
    9
    Great Movie, unquestionably! But, of course, this kind of movie requires maturity and patience, as for most interesting things.
  55. DavidH.
    Feb 3, 2007
    5
    Le Carre's most disappointing book turned into a disappointing film. Odd collection of villains, some nice scenery, and a couple of pretty actors brooding.
  56. AlexP
    Nov 23, 2005
    9
    Can't believe I saw the same film as those rating 0. Beautiful in every way - script, cinematography, acting. Why can't a film be a romance, a travellogue, a political drama & a conspiracy theorist simultaneously? If you want single genre films then don't see this one. I can't remember the last film that tried to be many different things & succeeded so well. Anyone who Can't believe I saw the same film as those rating 0. Beautiful in every way - script, cinematography, acting. Why can't a film be a romance, a travellogue, a political drama & a conspiracy theorist simultaneously? If you want single genre films then don't see this one. I can't remember the last film that tried to be many different things & succeeded so well. Anyone who believes that drug companies are solely motivated by altruism should probably get out more. Or read medical journals. Or investigative journalism. Or use Google. If you can't admire the subtlety then maybe Michael Moore is more your thing. The expression on Fiennes' face on being told of his wife's death is worth one of those little golden statues alone. A defining moment in English reserve. Also refreshing to see a film bereft of Americans for those of us not from the US. Can't recommend it highly enough. If you're expecting car chases & gun fights & believe drug companies 'just want to make people better' then probably best not to go see this film. Expand
  57. 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
  58. TomG.
    Nov 27, 2005
    9
    This is a great film. If this film doesn't win an Oscar in any number of categories they should never give the award out again. They should make more LeCarre novels into books.
  59. JakM
    Nov 20, 2005
    10
    Brilliant direction and cinematography make for a beautiful and moving film. You can see that director Fernando Meirelles and cinematographor Cesar Charlone lovingly thought about every single shot. The depiction of Africa was realistic, with several scenes including the raid by the Janjaweed, hitting this home. Great acting by the two leads made you give a damn about them. The best film Brilliant direction and cinematography make for a beautiful and moving film. You can see that director Fernando Meirelles and cinematographor Cesar Charlone lovingly thought about every single shot. The depiction of Africa was realistic, with several scenes including the raid by the Janjaweed, hitting this home. Great acting by the two leads made you give a damn about them. The best film I have seen all year. Expand
  60. Larry
    Oct 13, 2005
    0
    The most boring overrated overhyped movie of the year. Awful and preposterous.
  61. Rev.Rikard
    Oct 13, 2005
    10
    Most films provide us with a fleeting escape from reality, or reveal a mirror into which we see reflections of the self. This film offers that rare window through which we gaze upon a world that is startling and worrisome. It is a world to which we are intimately connected, yet we are unaware of its existence. It is a world from which we are emotionaly disconnected because of the personal Most films provide us with a fleeting escape from reality, or reveal a mirror into which we see reflections of the self. This film offers that rare window through which we gaze upon a world that is startling and worrisome. It is a world to which we are intimately connected, yet we are unaware of its existence. It is a world from which we are emotionaly disconnected because of the personal contentment within the secure, insulated worlds of our making. Director Mierelles succeeds in giving us that window. He employs "contrast" to keep us in suspence. However, suspence here is used honestly. It is not tossed in to make a film about a serious issue profitable. The suspence arises from the issue itself and the contradictions and contrasts that live within that issue. The viewer witnesses commited love and jealous suspicion; politics as career versus politics as an obstacle to change. We watch individuals deeply concerned about themselves, as the poor are treated like laboratory mice. Perhaps the most potent contrast is the beauty of ultimate commitment to truth for compassion's sake against "altered and adjusted truth" for financial profit. The acting is outstanding and the story is mesmerizing. As we gaze through Mierelles' window, the film dares us to sacrifice our desensitizing manner of living that we might rediscover the power of compassion, and finally capture that ellusive experience in life called "purpose." Expand
  62. C.B.Browne
    Oct 18, 2005
    9
    Beautifully shot & compelling from beginning to end. Dissenters must be tied to the pharmaceutical industry.
  63. 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
  64. bertl.
    Dec 18, 2005
    10
    One of the best movies i've seen.
  65. AliM.
    Dec 24, 2005
    10
    Outstanding .... A serious contender for BEST PICTURE WINNER at the oscars this year. Well done to both Rachel Weisz and Ralph fiennes for delivering an ASTONISHING performance !!! A must-see!
  66. CyB.
    Oct 23, 2005
    10
    For those who thought the filme is boring, I may tell u that maybe your brain is a little slow. For those who thought it's sensacionalism, go to Africa, and find yourself. The movie? Excellent is not a word for it. It's overwhelming. It may let you thinking how worst it could become or how can you keep sat an do nothing while all of it is hapenning? But, you will only think For those who thought the filme is boring, I may tell u that maybe your brain is a little slow. For those who thought it's sensacionalism, go to Africa, and find yourself. The movie? Excellent is not a word for it. It's overwhelming. It may let you thinking how worst it could become or how can you keep sat an do nothing while all of it is hapenning? But, you will only think about it if u have at least a little sense of humanity. If you haven't, so u may say the movie is preposterous. Expand
  67. WallyS.
    Dec 6, 2005
    10
    One of the best movies of the year. Gripping, absorbing and extremely intelligente. A love story that runs away from stereotipes, and convinces the audience with sheer wit and deep suspense.
  68. RF
    Oct 3, 2005
    7
    Great photography, too bad the story went very slow towards the end. I think it's a direction mistake. i didn't expect this from the director of city of god.
  69. PrudenceK.
    Oct 4, 2005
    10
    Rachel Weisz is absolutely brilliant. She is totally amazing.
  70. Robert
    Aug 26, 2005
    10
    Wonderful!!!!
  71. katherineb.
    Sep 1, 2005
    10
    Having read the book I was pleasantly surprised to find the movie kept the thrust of the social statement. The acting was excellent and both Fiennes and Weisz made Justin and Tessa more vivid almost than the book - which was excellent. The scenes in Nairobi were startling and the use of filters for the various scenes, esp. in Britain, was most effective. Music was great.
  72. KenG.
    Sep 11, 2005
    7
    Intelligent thriller, which was well acted and also works as a poignant love story, thanks largely to genuine chemistry between Fiennes, and Weiss. It is also nice to see that this movie understands that a thriller doesn't have to have large body counts, or characters whose only point in being in the movie is to be knocked off. I hope Hollywood is taking notes, but I doubt it. Intelligent thriller, which was well acted and also works as a poignant love story, thanks largely to genuine chemistry between Fiennes, and Weiss. It is also nice to see that this movie understands that a thriller doesn't have to have large body counts, or characters whose only point in being in the movie is to be knocked off. I hope Hollywood is taking notes, but I doubt it. However, this movie blows its ending (alot of movies this year have done that) for 2 reasons. First of all it is overly vague, (and takes on an artsy-pretentious feel) even allowing for the fact that not everything has to be spoon-fed to us. Secondly, it feels phony. Fiennes makes a decision that it doesn't feel believeable he would make at that moment. Maybe later on he would make a similiar decision, but at that time he would want to see things through and make sure things worked out the right way, and not trust it to fate and a stranger, when things could still go wrong. Overall I enjoyed the movie, but because of the ending I did work out with an unfulfilled feel. Expand
  73. DavidD.
    Sep 12, 2005
    9
    With the exception of one very short period, this movie kept me involved from start to finish. Extremely well acted by all.
  74. DanB.
    Sep 13, 2005
    7
    The thing about "intelligent thrillers" is that they're often more intelligent than thrilling. And when they are then not as intelligent as they might think they are, then... regardless, good acting, looks lovely, good story... but a bit slow for a purported thriller, and its political message is weakened simply because it's so one sided. It could be perfectly correct and true The thing about "intelligent thrillers" is that they're often more intelligent than thrilling. And when they are then not as intelligent as they might think they are, then... regardless, good acting, looks lovely, good story... but a bit slow for a purported thriller, and its political message is weakened simply because it's so one sided. It could be perfectly correct and true and I would be skeptical, because it's so one-sided. Expand
  75. AndyB.
    Sep 13, 2005
    9
    Fiennes character was one of the most interesting that I have seen in a very long time. I was never caught up in suspense or intrigue with what would happen next, but rather with what "he" would do next. He was an exagerrated nice guy, never ruffling feathers, no judgement and no interference in others' affairs. I thought this movie was more about his path toward taking a stand for Fiennes character was one of the most interesting that I have seen in a very long time. I was never caught up in suspense or intrigue with what would happen next, but rather with what "he" would do next. He was an exagerrated nice guy, never ruffling feathers, no judgement and no interference in others' affairs. I thought this movie was more about his path toward taking a stand for something. The story itself was pretty interesting and Weisz was amazing as usual. Expand
  76. Detroit
    Sep 15, 2005
    2
    Awful, slow and boring.
  77. Steve
    Sep 17, 2005
    10
    Brilliant picture!!!
  78. Julie
    Sep 17, 2005
    10
    Mesmerizing
  79. EduardoC.
    Sep 18, 2005
    10
    Intelligent.
  80. StanleyS.
    Sep 18, 2005
    5
    Anyone that has read an article or two about the subject matter which this movie deals with (i.e. drug testing on 3rd world populations) will be bored-silly by this movie. Some may find that the interplay between the personal and political aspects of the film to be interesting, but for me it leaves the movie muddled. The ethical issues are oversimplified, character development is MIA and Anyone that has read an article or two about the subject matter which this movie deals with (i.e. drug testing on 3rd world populations) will be bored-silly by this movie. Some may find that the interplay between the personal and political aspects of the film to be interesting, but for me it leaves the movie muddled. The ethical issues are oversimplified, character development is MIA and the plot is not tight or thrilling. Judging from the critics' response, this is the most over-rated movie of the year. Expand
  81. KrisS.
    Sep 19, 2005
    9
    This movie is real. Between the simpel plot is a mosaic of beautiful camera-work and splendid editing. It's an intense african experience.
  82. ElmoL.
    Sep 19, 2005
    9
    Fabulously directed, mesmerizing cinematography, tight performances. One of the best films to come out in years.
  83. SusanD.
    Sep 19, 2005
    10
    Best movie thus far of the decade.
  84. RickC.
    Sep 19, 2005
    5
    A well-filmed, fairly well-directed and acted movie of a completely implausible story that reeks of politics. If the politics were removed, it would have been a much better film, but then there would have been no story at all.
  85. 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".
  86. 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.
  87. 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
  88. 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.
  89. ScottS.
    Sep 26, 2005
    10
    Enjoy the images, the superb storytelling and the acting. Since this film aims for mature audiences, you'll also enjoy sitting in a theatre NOT over-ran by 14 year-old boys and girls.
  90. DaveF.
    Sep 28, 2005
    9
    Ralph Fiennes can convey more emotion with a squint and a funny half-smile than most actors can using all of their tools. He and Rachel Weisz are terrific. The story gets a bit convokuted, but you have to love the "bad guys" comeuppance.
  91. Jenny
    Sep 29, 2005
    10
    Excellent.
  92. Aaron
    Sep 3, 2005
    10
    An excellent film. With this movie, Meirelles proves that 'City of God' was no fluke. He has fashioned a passionate, provocative, thoroughly engrossing adaptation out of Le Carre's novel. Fiennes and Weisz are terrific, I hope they are remembered come Oscar time. The visual style and editing in this film are amazing. Unless you have read the novek, go into this film cold, An excellent film. With this movie, Meirelles proves that 'City of God' was no fluke. He has fashioned a passionate, provocative, thoroughly engrossing adaptation out of Le Carre's novel. Fiennes and Weisz are terrific, I hope they are remembered come Oscar time. The visual style and editing in this film are amazing. Unless you have read the novek, go into this film cold, you will appreciate it more. Definitely one of the best films of 2005! Expand
  93. Keith
    Sep 3, 2005
    7
    A good, but not great film. Excellent performances by Fiennes and Weisz, but the plot was difficult to follow and the camera action jarring at times. This was a movie that critics will love more than a general audience.
  94. DanaM.
    Sep 5, 2005
    9
    Excellent entertainment with wonderful cimematography. Dialog difficult to follow when action picks up. Ending a disappointment after such a buildup. But overall defintely worth seeing.
  95. ChadS.
    Sep 5, 2005
    8
    Since Justin's jealousy over Tessa's secret life is what transforms the thriller/suspense elements in "The Constant Gardner" from being the stuff of mere escapist entertainment into a story we take seriously, keeping Ralph Fiennes tortured to the very last frame would've helped this very good film be a great one. Tell us, but don't tell Justin. Rachel Weisz does a Since Justin's jealousy over Tessa's secret life is what transforms the thriller/suspense elements in "The Constant Gardner" from being the stuff of mere escapist entertainment into a story we take seriously, keeping Ralph Fiennes tortured to the very last frame would've helped this very good film be a great one. Tell us, but don't tell Justin. Rachel Weisz does a wonderful job of channeling Kate Winslet in this career-changing performance. She might've made "Beyond Borders" watchable. Expand
  96. Hairston
    Sep 8, 2005
    2
    Way overrated to suit my taste. Quite frankly put me to sleep.
  97. StanC.
    Sep 9, 2005
    6
    Not a great mystery...not very likeable characters; yet beautifully filmed, with great acting. A real mixed bag...glad I saw it, I think!
  98. JonathanB.
    Jan 12, 2006
    10
    Very great, and good.
  99. 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.
  100. 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.
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.