The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer Image
Metascore
77

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

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 201 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)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. 100
    The Ghost Writer is the kind of impeccable adult entertainment, able to alternate edge-of-your-seat episodes with bleakly comic moments, that Hitchcock used to specialize in and that Polanski himself realized so successfully in "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby."
  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. 75
    Offers an unusually astute glimpse of power at its most alluring and corrosive.
  6. 70
    Saved by often delightfully bitchy British dialogue.
  7. The result is a political thriller refreshingly long on grown-up dialogue yet lamentably shy on, well, thrills. This chatty thing does go on.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 82
  2. Negative: 16 out of 82
  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 - smashingIt'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. JaneS.
    Apr 3, 2010
    10
    Wonderful smart movie.
  3. Jun 27, 2011
    9
    The script is smart and suspenseful and the story is well developed.It's certainly not Polanski's best film but it still proves that he's aThe script is smart and suspenseful and the story is well developed.It's certainly not Polanski's best film but it still proves that he's a great director.The movie remains tense throughout and McGreggor's performance is very strong. Expand
  4. Jul 4, 2016
    8
    Slow burning and purposefully paced, The Ghost Writer is the kind of thriller that is certainly not for everyone. However, it was definitelySlow 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
  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 likedA 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. Nov 15, 2010
    6
    The Ghost Writer is a film that sticks with you after a first viewing, and certainly encourages another viewing. I can think of few higherThe Ghost Writer is a film that sticks with you after a first viewing, and certainly encourages another viewing. I can think of few higher compliments than this. I'd forgotten how cool Ewan McGregor is, and Olivia Williams is smoldering in this film. However, the mysterious tension that makes this film great ultimately dissipates as the rather conventional plot is revealed. Basically, The Ghost Writer goes from **** to Clancy in a matter of minutes. A shame really, because the final scene is rather brilliant. 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.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 82 User Reviews

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