The International


Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34

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Critic Reviews

  1. 75
    Clive Owen makes a semi-believable hero, not performing too many feats that are physically unlikely. As the plucky DA, Naomi Watts wisely plays up her character's legal smarts and plays down the inevitable possibility that the two of them will fall in love.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    I can promise you a fairly good thriller with mixed-bag elements: preposterous plot, smartly elegant direction, one of the worst recent performances by a major actress, and a dynamite stick of an action scene that can stand close to the greats (the car chase in "The French Connection," the single-take battle sequence in "Children of Men") and from which the movie never really recovers.
  3. Won't go down as an action thriller for the record books, but it's a pretty good one for right now. First of all, the villain is a bank. How's that for timing?
  4. 70
    The compulsively watchable Owen makes for an ideal leading man of both action and angst. The film's eye-popping set piece, a shootout at the Guggenheim Museum, is an extravagantly choreographed valentine to philistines everywhere.
  5. 70
    This is a thriller where the cutting, even in most of the action sequences, is meticulous but leisurely. The elaborate set pieces are so beautifully worked out that you could take them apart, shot by shot, and fit the pieces back together like an intricate Chinese puzzle.
  6. Punctuated with bursts of explosive energy, this is a contained, cerebral film.
  7. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Tykwer being something of an architecture freak, controlling Third World debt also requires a trip to the rooftops of Istanbul, to Zaha Hadid's BMW factory, and to Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum in Berlin. All great fun in a story that's more kinetic than compelling.
  8. There's something almost endearingly out of sync about the sleek but now dated Euro-thriller The International.
  9. For all its impressive set pieces and breathless momentum, it's neither passionate nor urgent.
  10. What it's mainly about is movie stars skittering from locale to locale while bullets whiz by and the plot thickens – or, more to the point, curdles.
  11. While its globe-trotting itinerary recalls the mad whirl of a "Bourne" picture, nothing about this film's style resembles the second or third "Bourne" outings (which I loved).
  12. Where "Run Lola Run" was like a perpetual-motion machine, The International seems to forever be stopping in its own tracks. Tykwer takes coffee breaks to explain the convoluted and dicey plot.
  13. 63
    An hour after seeing it, you may not remember what The International was about. But you'll certainly remember that shootout. That is something to behold.
  14. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Though not as action-packed as some thrillers, The International is noteworthy for its unusually scenic and architecturally dazzling locations.
  15. 63
    A decent thriller that should have been dazzling, is nothing if not topical.
  16. 63
    The International possesses the look and feel of a thriller, but not the heart or soul of one.
  17. 63
    Overall, though, the movie lacks the dash, wit, authority and character to become a first-class thinking-man's thriller.
  18. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    If you take Tykwer's film even half-seriously, it will be like one of those horror movies that you leave, suspecting that the crazy, ingenious super-killer is waiting for you outside. A warning, then, to the susceptible: After seeing The International, don't dare go to an ATM.
  19. 58
    Ultimately feel so empty and forgettable.
  20. 58
    There's a nifty shootout at the Guggenheim Museum and a lot of scenic travel, but little in it compels.
  21. I couldn't help feeling that The International was stuck in second gear, like it couldn't decide whether to be fun or meaningful and so settled for being neither.
  22. An action thriller with some decent action and a few thrills, but all embedded in a yarn so hopelessly tangled that even the loose threads have knots.
  23. Despite being structured in an intriguing way -- bits of confusing action are shown first and explained later -- The International never finds its footing.
  24. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Graced with well-chosen location eye candy, Tom Tykwer's biggest production to date is proficient but lacks the added tension and characterization to put it anywhere near the top tier of contempo action suspensers.
  25. Despite all the points it gains for furrowed brows and kick-ass gunfights, the film loses quite a few for being dry as burnt toast.
  26. 50
    It's almost worth seeing, though, for the incredible action set piece at the center.
  27. Reviewed by: Olivia Putnal
    There’s an over-abundance of dialog that can be downright boring, especially when it’s sandwiched between fast-paced car chases and all-out gun fights.
  28. It's good enough that you forget how much better Brian De Palma could do it. The rest is a slow road to nowhere, less clunky than "The Interpreter" but bogged down by its own cynicism.
  29. The International almost seems like a Monty Python spoof on spy-game thrillers in which the phrase "secret agent" is constantly replaced by "banker," resulting in lines like, "...If I die, 100 other bankers take my place."
  30. 40
    So undistinguished that the moments you remember best are those that you wish another, more original director had tackled.
  31. 40
    There’s a big hole in the middle of the movie: the director, Tom Tykwer, and the screenwriter, Eric Warren Singer, forgot to make their two crusaders human beings.
  32. 38
    Remarkably dull thriller.
  33. 30
    Both actors (Owens and Watts) seem mildly aggrieved (and not at all convincing) at having to play characters considerably less intelligent than themselves in a movie that plays even dumber.
  34. Motion is in copious supply -- a frenzied shootout at Manhattan's Guggenheim Museum grows interminable -- but the workings of the abstract plot are unfathomable, the characters are unpleasant and a couple of assassinations leave us as cold as the corpses.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 81 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 26
  2. Negative: 5 out of 26
  1. Oct 4, 2012
    Im going to be brief on this one: is you're looking for a mindless action film, then there is nothing to see here. But if you're looking for aIm going to be brief on this one: is you're looking for a mindless action film, then there is nothing to see here. But if you're looking for a movie with a good plot and mature story, then you will be pleased! Full Review »
  2. ck
    Jun 11, 2009
    Watched it in sections, still good.
  3. NerijusD.
    Mar 9, 2009
    The ultimate thriller What a movie! It has your attention caught from the very first scene of Clive Oven standing in the rain, watching. And The ultimate thriller What a movie! It has your attention caught from the very first scene of Clive Oven standing in the rain, watching. And pretty soon you get enveloped in the net of shocking mystery and conspiracy the main antagonist - an international bank - produces. First of all, the whole premise of a story is based on real life events and you might even learn from this film about the power these banks have over ordinary individuals, or even whole nations. Secondly, you get to see extremely entertaining spectacles of high-profile assassination and its investigation, followed by the Guggenheim part, which is, without doubt, one of the most memorable, enjoyable and realistic shoot-outs I've ever seen in a movie. Wonderfully orchestrated, brilliantly shot and with breathtaking special effects and stunts! And then there's agent Louis Salinger, who has his own personal vendetta against the bank. After having suffered many painful losses during his previous investigations, he tries to protect Naomi Watts' (She's more beautiful than ever) character and family from the imminent danger of death the case brings while at the same time fully submerging and devoting himself to solve it. A recurring element of tingling in his ears plays wonderfully as it portrays his helplessness. Just as he lay there, on the pavement, watching a friend die with no power to turn the time back and save him, so did at the very last scene of the movie the comprehension of his vain little role trying to stop the grand scheme of endless international affairs dawned on him. You stopped this banker? There are hundreds of others just like him, waiting to take his place. To me this was a perfect ending to an ultimate thriller. Full Review »