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Generally favorable reviews- based on 181 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 181

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  1. Jan 19, 2011
    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.
  2. Aug 11, 2010
    In his day Roman Polanski was and still is one of cinema's top directors directing such revered classics such as "Nó w wodzie"( Knife in the Water) Polanski's directorial debut, "Repulsion"(1965), the noir classic "Chinatown"(1974), "Tess"(1979), "Frantic"(1988)," Cul-De- Sac"(1966), "Le Locataire" (The Tenant), "The Pianist"(2002) and "Oliver Twist"(2005). Over the last forty-eight years, Polanski has established himself as one of cinema's greatest and most controversial directors he has left an impression on Hollywood that will live on long after he has died and some will stand up and cheer when that day happens I might be one of them. There is no denying that Roman Polanski is a director of monumental skill he puts a certain flare and style to sometimes overused plot devices and stories making them viable daring pieces of filmmaking that surprisingly surpass anything Hollywood could possibly throw out of their shops. With his latest effort, "The Ghost Writerâ Expand
  3. Sep 16, 2010
    El más reciente filme del veterano Polanski es una de sus cintas más accesibles al gran público que ha hecho en toda su carrera -siempre y y cuando ese gran público, aclaro, no padezca de síndrome de atención y se empiece a quejar de que "todo va muy lento". La trama, sobre el bestseller homónimo de Robert Harris, es una pesimista extensión especular de la vida política del exPrimer Ministro británico Tony Blair aunque, para ser francos, las cuestiones políticas específicas es lo que menos le interesa a Polanski. Estamos ante un thriller profundamente desesperanzador con un memorable desenlace de guillotina y fuera de cuadro. Expand
  4. Sep 11, 2010
    Roman Palanski, being himself, after his years of not being seen for what shall not be named, I think this is one of his very successful movies that, even with the ending, was a four- star winner and exciting within every minute of the whole movie. The perfect combination of excitement, frightement, and cliff- hangers, even with the ending. Endings like that have been dissappointing me for years, but that movie is for sure, no doubt, positively, in my top 20 favorite movies of all time. If you haven't seen this movei, I reccomend it to all those people who love long movies, and can pay attention, but if you can't last longer than Zombieland- length, don't bother. Expand
  5. Aug 28, 2010
    A well script base on the novel that selled and a direction mastered. The Ghost Writer is a thriller that will remind the audiences Hitchcock's films.
  6. Sep 9, 2010
    Smartly written, very good soundtrack, spectacular performance by Olivia Williams, great twists and suspense. And great ending, but a bit predictable. Maybe not Polanski's best, but again one great thriller.
  7. Dec 20, 2011
    I'm with Ebert on this one. A clever script with convincing acting on the whole, The Ghost Writer offers tension of the good and entertaining sort.

    Its moody locations (much of it was shot on location in Germany) is accompanied by a well-crafted soundtrack that befits the mystery encounters and places; this is one finely crafted suspense thriller with a surprise ending to boot.
  8. Dec 26, 2010
    A great political thriller that will pull the rug out from under you in its final scenes. It's also a return to form for Polanski, an extremely talented filmmaker, regardless of how you feel about his personal actions.
  9. Oct 17, 2010
    Very entertaining - perfect.
  10. Dec 30, 2010
    I was mesmorized by this film - very similar to **** in style. Even when the film slows down a bit, the atmosphere and cinematography grips you. I was never bored. This is Ewan McGregor's best performance since the underrated comedy "Down With Love". The ending was a little perplexing for me, but I still enjoyed it.
  11. Nov 19, 2010
    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 .
  12. Feb 4, 2011
    The movie was nice and interesting. I enjoyed the filmThe movie was nice and interesting. I enjoyed the filmThe movie was nice and interesting. I enjoyed the filmThe movie was nice and interesting. I enjoyed the film
  13. Apr 9, 2011
    Roman Polanski is one of the very best when it comes to directing a thriller. "The Ghost Writer" employs a simple yet wildly engaging plot that develops wonderfully around the main character. We see the ghost writer (McGregor) slowly unraveling the mystery of the film which ultimately puts him into a sheer state of paranoia that builds quite impressively thanks to the seamless direction of Polanski. Political thrillers often fail to engage their audience, but this one was downright mesmerizing. Solid performances from McGregor and Brosnan, but the real standout is Olivia Williams. This film earned a lot of attention in early 2010, but it seems to have faded as of late. It's sad because films like this don't come along all that often. One of the best of 2010. Expand
  14. Jun 27, 2011
    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 a great director.The movie remains tense throughout and McGreggor's performance is very strong.
  15. Feb 20, 2013
    Roman Polanski delivers a film that creates a thrilling story arc, one which we are not quite sure who to believe or who to trust, hence the reason that the suspense is built to perfection in this book adaption of 'The Ghost" (which the film was titled in the UK).
    Ewan McGregor plays the unnamed ghost writer in the film, the fact he is unnamed only came to my attention after a second
    viewing, and this was a clever technique indeed, simply because it never crossed my mind, and there is so much going on that it wasn't even mind-crossing. He has been asked to ghost write the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), after his previous writer was found dead of apparent suicide.
    As the new ghost land in the secluded island that Lang and his personnel are staying on, his hesitance to take on the job are apparent, as Lang and his unfinished memoirs are in lockdown, due to a 'threat of national security'. The ghost soon delves deeper as to what might be the cause of such security, but is under intense pressure as Lang is being accused of severe war crimes and must go for questioning. The characters created here are full of mystery and suspense, we are never quite sure of their motives and we are never quite sure who is in the wrong, the secluded setting perfectly captures the grim and deadly secrets that these people hold, only adding to the tension.
    Lang is a daring replica of former PM Tony Blair, and his air of smiles and "man" when he is around the ghost raises questions of is political prowess, which is later dug deeper.
    McGregor does an excellent job of portraying the sophisticated yet possibly cowardly ghost, I often asked myself throughout the film what exactly his character would do if he found anything incriminating. But his intelligence shines through as his dialogue is snappy and often sarcastic.
    Olivia Williams portrays Lang's wife Ruth, who he seemingly turns to in most of political endeavours for advice, she is a mixed bag of emotion, she's confrontational, bitter, but seems the upmost of loyal to her husband.
    Kim Cattrall also makes an appearance as Lang's personal assistant, but also her mistress by night, I'm not sure if she was trying a British accent in the film or a civilised American one, either way she played her part well.
    The Ghost Writer has all the makings of a classic thriller, especially with Polanski at the helm, it creates the perfect picture of thrill and suspense without relying on action and cheap tricks, which overall created a very pulsating, unforgettable, well acted and well written film.
  16. Mar 10, 2012
    Sorry I'm late but I've just watched this on DVD. My wife read the book and said it was excellent, we're also fans of some of Ewan's work. BUT, an interesting story was massacred by poor production.

    Did anybody else notice the appallingly photoshopped pictures from the 70s?

    Then there was the accents!

    I could go on. Lovely house though.
  17. Aug 31, 2013
    One of the best political thrillers ever made. I really enjoyed it and I want to watch it again. Brilliant!!! Excellent!!! Perfection!!! Do not miss it!
  18. Apr 1, 2014
    Criminally ignored on its release, this is Polanski's best film since The Ninth Gate. Brosnan is pitch perfect as the Blairesque character and McGregor puts in one of his better efforts as the Ghost Writer of the title, but it is Olivia Williams that steals the show as the cold and manipulative wife to the fallen Prime Minister. Directed with clinical style by Polanski, this is a well thought out thriller and deserving of reappraisal. Expand
  19. Jun 18, 2014
    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
  20. Nov 29, 2013
    this movie makes a moment mysterious and thrilling.So,after the movie ends it gives a great thought.In my way it"s a very exited movie and curious-tic.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. This is a slicker, shallower exercise. It's hypnotic as it unfolds, but once the credit roll frees you from its grip, it doesn't bear close scrutiny.
  2. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    What the picture most needed was a complete cinematic rethink and, yes, even some action to move it along.
  3. 70
    If it is possible to watch this work as a movie rather than using it as a referendum on its maker’s guilt or innocence, the audience that craves mature, sophisticated and grown-up entertainment will find much to admire here.