Paramount Pictures | Release Date: July 30, 2004
7.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 87 Ratings
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Positive:
64
Mixed:
18
Negative:
5
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6
PatC.Apr 6, 2006
Tries to replicate the tension of the original, which expressed the paranoia of communist ideology run amuck. Imputing such ideological drive to a corporation is a push. The quest for money by people who lack the motivation created from Tries to replicate the tension of the original, which expressed the paranoia of communist ideology run amuck. Imputing such ideological drive to a corporation is a push. The quest for money by people who lack the motivation created from missing a lot of meals is neither compelling nor accurate. Some good acting, though. Expand
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5
YorkManMar 23, 2016
The Manchurian Candidate is a weak 'remake' of the classic early 60's Cold War paranoia masterpiece.

It in itself isn't a bad film, but it removes so many of the layers of the original it feels more like a TV movie, than a relatively big
The Manchurian Candidate is a weak 'remake' of the classic early 60's Cold War paranoia masterpiece.

It in itself isn't a bad film, but it removes so many of the layers of the original it feels more like a TV movie, than a relatively big budget Hollywood produced film.

Like the original the narrative is borne out of a conspiracy to place a sleeper agent in the White House, except this time it's not the Communist Chinese government at work, but a large multi-national company seeking to have someone in power who can increase their influence and profit potential.

So, the stakes are massively reduced for a start, and that hurts the movie greatly. We sit and watch events unfold, but the reality is that even if the 'bad guys' succeed, it's not going to be pushing the Government towards a pro-Communist stance etc.!

The acting in the film is good enough, the main leads are doing their best with a weak script. The action scenes are more interesting, as this movie goes more into detail about the 'brainwashing' than the original, and is quite harrowing. The score is by the numbers stuff, which is about all you can say about the direction too.... It's adequately done, but you can't sit there watching and wonder how much better it could have been, because there's nothing in the film that stands out.

Bad points just revolve around the lazy narrative. Updating such a classic to a 'modern' setting wasn't going to be easy, and this film proves that to be the case. However, it's not a lamentable attempt, it's just lazy.

It's a film to watch, if you've never seen it. Not a film to actively avoid. However, if you've never seen the original..... Then watch that, instead of this!
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