The Conversation

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 88 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 88
  2. Negative: 3 out of 88

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User Reviews

  1. May 2, 2016
    10
    Unfortunately, it appears with every passing day that the great American paranoid political thrillers of the 60's and 70's, with its strongest work bookended by 'The Manchurian Candidate' (eerily foreseeing the JFK assassination) and 'All the President's Men' (placing a coda of closure on the Watergate scandal), simply haven't aged a day, and are as timely as ever in conceptualizing theUnfortunately, it appears with every passing day that the great American paranoid political thrillers of the 60's and 70's, with its strongest work bookended by 'The Manchurian Candidate' (eerily foreseeing the JFK assassination) and 'All the President's Men' (placing a coda of closure on the Watergate scandal), simply haven't aged a day, and are as timely as ever in conceptualizing the palpable fear that ordinary citizens have in those in control of their destinies, namely the police and government of their communities. It's the American ideal that any person born, regardless of circumstances, is in control of their destiny, and that with hard work, guile and determination, can make something of himself. Whether that was ever the case is questionable, but it seems more than ever that the people in power are in control of way more than we could ever suppose, or would ever want to know.

    This was a nice smaller-scale film that, incredulously, Coppola was able to dish up in a run that is one of the finest a director would ever have, up there with Hitchcock's in the late 50's-early 60's, and Melville a decade later. It's definitely excellent work by Hackman (along with his Popeye Doyle in the pair of great 'French Connection' movies), and is up there with the greatest dissertations ever about the double-edged sword of surveillance, namely De Palma's 'Blow Out' and Antonioni's 'Blow-Up'.

    As a human being, I only wish this film wasn't as important as it is.
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  2. May 30, 2016
    9
    1974's The Conversations shows us once again why Francis Ford Coppola was the god, and definitive filmmaker of the 70's because he presents us, yet again, a masterpiece.
    This movie is mysterious, thrilling, exciting, yet slow and also sometimes dragging in pace, which is the only complaint i can think about. The leading man, called Harry Caul, as he is portrayed by Gene Hackman, is an
    1974's The Conversations shows us once again why Francis Ford Coppola was the god, and definitive filmmaker of the 70's because he presents us, yet again, a masterpiece.
    This movie is mysterious, thrilling, exciting, yet slow and also sometimes dragging in pace, which is the only complaint i can think about. The leading man, called Harry Caul, as he is portrayed by Gene Hackman, is an expert wiretapper and one of the most affecting, tragic and interesting characters in the history of cinema.
    The writing is superb, it keeps you guessing, and the camera work is methodically slow and beautiful.
    At the first viewing, you might be a bit confused or 'bored' because you have some sort of a clue what's going on but it doesnt seem all that interesting, but when the final moments hit towards the end of the film, you see the full picture, which makes latter viewings even more rewarding.

    The Conversation is yet another masterwork by Francis Ford Coppola
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  3. Oct 1, 2010
    8
    Unravels through excellent sound and picture editing, superb acting from Gene Hackman, and of course Coppola; a true auteur of a director who during the same year also made the unforgettable Godfather II.
  4. ECW
    Dec 28, 2014
    8
    Good movie..more than ever
    It's a film that addresses the old issue between what should remain in private matter and what should be made public.
    As such, this work reflects on one of the basic rights of human beings: the Privacy ... not in a simplistic way but applying that right with others as the Freedom and Security. It's a movie that could be of this year (2014) or any coming year
    Good movie..more than ever
    It's a film that addresses the old issue between what should remain in private matter and what should be made public.
    As such, this work reflects on one of the basic rights of human beings: the Privacy ... not in a simplistic way but applying that right with others as the Freedom and Security.
    It's a movie that could be of this year (2014) or any coming year ... the wikileaks cases of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden prove the timelessness of this work masterfully directed by Francis Ford Coppola ... without any doubt it's his most kafkian film, immersed in anguish where the citizen becomes a pawn piece on the board controlled by the state.
    The interpretation of Gene Hackman is masterful (his best?).
    The end of the film (no happy end) seems to demonstrate that the more we have computer means to ensure our safety ... more defenseless we become. It's the price to pay for such technological advancement.
    What I like most about the film is the feeling of Solitude that runs throughout the film and its main character ...

    A 'bitter' irony: bigger and better means of information and communication ... greater solitude.
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  5. Jan 12, 2013
    7
    An intelligent slow paced thriller. A very intriguing story line with very good acting across the board. The story slows almost to a crawl during the middle third and came very close to losing my interest. The twist at the end and the intrigue set up at the beginning however are enough to make this a strong watch.
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 6 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. 80
    Gene Hackman excels in Francis Ford Coppola's tasteful, incisive 1974 study of the awakening of conscience in an "electronic surveillance technician."
  2. 100
    As he is played by Gene Hackman in The Conversation, an expert wiretapper named Harry Caul is one of the most affecting and tragic characters in the movies.
  3. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    100
    Another great, landmark American film of the '70s.