Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Very much a '70s-style paranoid thriller, with a mood, tone and cascade of plot twists that are highly reminiscent of his 1975 classic, "Three Days of the Condor."
  2. Thrillers don't get much smarter than The Interpreter.
  3. As beautifully designed, swift and sleek as a classic sports car, throbbing with emotion and intelligence, it's a neat suspense film that's also dramatically and sociologically potent, with two supremely talented stars, Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, delivering beyond the emotional call of duty.
  4. An elegant adventure of a different kind.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 127 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 79
  2. Negative: 15 out of 79
  1. Aug 11, 2012
    'The Interpreter' is just simply not thrilling. That's quite a shame considering the film in question is a "thriller". Regardless, one of the final movies directed by Sydney Pollack does have its moments, with Catherine Keener a standout in her supporting role. Regrettably the two lead actors aren't as exciting. Sean Penn seems to do a decent job playing a rather dull and lifeless Secret Service agent and Nicole Kidman doesn't exactly light the world on fire with her South African accent. The filming locations are real, which is something at least. Full Review »
  2. Aug 27, 2014
    A fascinating look at how different worlds collide. Nicole Kidman is daring and bold. The Interpreter is reflective of similar films of this nature; however, uses fresh concepts surrounding the United Nations and rebellion. Full Review »
  3. PhilK.
    Jul 23, 2006
    I have to say, in defense of Pollock, that I seriously doubt this is the film he inteneded to make. I saw an interview with him in which he said, in effect, that he didn't enjoy making The Interpreter. I believe there was a lot more he wanted to say about the Zumanie character (his evolution into a tyrant, the devastating "structural adjustment" packages imposed by the IMF and World Bank, death squads financed by the US, etc.), but since he was filming at the UN, I'm sure the UN Security Council (i.e., the Bush Administration, NSA, CIA) put considerable pressure on Pollock to revise any scenes or dialogue which would shed some much needed light on how the most brutal leaders of developing countries are placed in power and who their policies always benefit to the detriment of the vast majority of its citizens. Having seen the trailer, and knowing that Pollock was directing Penn and Kidman, I expected a good, solid, political thriller. Like most who are familiar with Pollock's work, I was disappointed in the extreme. However, I should have known that any film made by a major studio dealing with a subject which was politically sensitive, would be a light ball of pink, confectionary fluff wrapped around a hollow core. Full Review »