The Manchurian Candidate

The Manchurian Candidate Image
Metascore
94

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

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 60 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)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: Pauline Kael
    100
    It may be the most sophisticated political satire ever made in Hollywood. (As quoted by Roger Ebert)
  2. 100
    Manchurian, with its fatalistic, dreamlike quality, comprises two of [Frankenheimer's] finest hours. [Re-release]
  3. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Sheila Benson
    100
    The Manchurian Candidate proves that its fascination is intact. [12 Jan 1998, p.C1; Re-Release]
  4. 100
    One of the wildest fabrications any author has ever tried to palm off on a gullible public. But the fascinating thing is that, from uncertain premise to shattering conclusion, one does not question plausibility of the events being rooted in their own cinematic reality.
  5. Entertainment Weekly
    Reviewed by: David Everitt
    91
    This gonzo satiric thriller is a riveting portrait of early-60's paranoia. [15 Nov 1996, p.82]
  6. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    The performances are daring and assured, especially Lansbury's holy terror of Momism and Harvey's snide, pathetic pawn, brainwashed by both KGB AND CIA. [21 March 1988, p.84]
  7. 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: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. KeirS.
    Sep 24, 2005
    10
    Incredible, timely film.
  2. 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. Expand
  3. 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
  4. 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. Collapse
  5. ThomasW.
    Jan 28, 2007
    10
    Excellent! Spell binding!!
  6. Apr 22, 2016
    9
    The Manchurian Candidate never fails to leave any of its people behind and that's not all, there's still more coming up after you see thisThe Manchurian Candidate never fails to leave any of its people behind and that's not all, there's still more coming up after you see this movie available wherever its still sold at. Expand
  7. May 27, 2015
    8
    Speaking of THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, contemporary audience may still recall the 2004 remake headlined by Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep,Speaking of THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, contemporary audience may still recall the 2004 remake headlined by Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep, directed by Jonathan Demme (a 6/10), which is a proficient political thriller and grafts the timeline from Korean War to Gulf War. Now it is time to revisit the original version directed by John Frankenheimer, the only film I have watched among his prolific filmography before this one actually is his final big screen feature, the romance-thriller mixed-bag REINDEER GAMES (2000, 5/10), Frankenheimer passed away in 2002, and this 1962 black-and-white stunner is no doubt above a few notches over its comparatively problematic remake, substantially due to the Harvey-Lansbury pair’s Oscar-worthy performances.

    keep reading my review on my blog, google: cinema omnivore, thanks!
    Expand

See all 13 User Reviews

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