Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 45 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: John Frankenheimer's gripping political thriller about a group of American soldiers who are captured and brainwashed into becoming sleeper agents. (MGM)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 100
    Here is a movie that was made more than 25 years ago, and it feels as if it were made yesterday. Not a moment of The Manchurian Candidate lacks edge and tension and a cynical spin. [Re-release]
  2. Angela Lansbury's frighteningly in-check performance is alone worth the trip.
  3. A veritable salad of mixed genres and emotional textures, this exciting black-and-white cold war thriller runs more than two hours and never flags for an instant...A powerful experience, alternately corrosive with dark parodic humor, suspenseful, moving, and terrifying.
  4. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    100
    A dazzling spy thriller that’s still amazing.
  5. Reviewed by: David Everitt
    91
    This gonzo satiric thriller is a riveting portrait of early-60's paranoia. [15 Nov 1996, p.82]
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    90
    But it is Angela Lansbury's incestuous, power-mad mother who makes your blood run cold. This was the peak of the first part of her career, which depended upon these hardbitten kind of characters. Forget Hitchcock--here's the monster mother of all time.
  7. Reviewed by: Bosley Crowther
    60
    The film is so artfully contrived, the plot so interestingly started, the dialogue so racy and sharp, and John Frankenheimer's direction so exciting in the style of Orson Welles when he was making Citizen Kane and other pictures that the fascination of it is strong. So many fine cinematic touches and action details pop up that one keeps wishing the subject would develop into something more than it does.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. KeirS.
    Sep 24, 2005
    10
    Incredible, timely film.
  2. FrankO.
    Jan 10, 2006
    10
    One of the best all-time political thrillers. Actually own this DVD and my collection is very selective. Plot was so controversial at One of the best all-time political thrillers. Actually own this DVD and my collection is very selective. Plot was so controversial at production that release was delayed for years. Expand
  3. PatC.
    Apr 6, 2006
    10
    One of the Essentials. Both a well constructed film and an insightful articulation of the fears, suspicions and intrigue of the cold war era. One of the Essentials. Both a well constructed film and an insightful articulation of the fears, suspicions and intrigue of the cold war era. Seems a litle over the top today, but hey, we still don't really know what really happened when Kennedy was shot. And that happened after this movie was made. Expand
  4. ThomasW.
    Jan 28, 2007
    10
    Excellent! Spell binding!!
  5. Oct 13, 2010
    10
    Not many movies focus on the topic of brainwashing, and that's what makes The Manchurian Candidate such an amazing and unique film. The movieNot many movies focus on the topic of brainwashing, and that's what makes The Manchurian Candidate such an amazing and unique film. The movie follows a military veteran as he tries to figure out why he doesn't remember his friend performing an amazing act of heroism that saved two soldiers and awarded him the medal of honor. Another man in their squad talks of strange dreams, and soon after that the movie is launched into a story of politics, intrigue, and of course, brainwashing. The story leads to a great ending that wraps up everything nicely. Collapse

See all 11 User Reviews

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