The Two Faces of January

The Two Faces of January Image
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 38 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In 1962, the charismatic Chester MacFarland (Viggo Mortensen) and his alluring younger wife Colette (Kirsten Dunst), arrive in Athens by boat via the Corinthian Canal. While sightseeing at the Acropolis they encounter Rydal (Oscar Isaac), a young, Greek-speaking American who is working as aIn 1962, the charismatic Chester MacFarland (Viggo Mortensen) and his alluring younger wife Colette (Kirsten Dunst), arrive in Athens by boat via the Corinthian Canal. While sightseeing at the Acropolis they encounter Rydal (Oscar Isaac), a young, Greek-speaking American who is working as a tour guide, scamming tourists on the side. Drawn to Colette’s beauty and impressed by Chester’s wealth and sophistication, Rydal gladly accepts their invitation to dinner. However, all is not as it seems with the MacFarlands, and Chester’s affable exterior hides darker secrets. Collapse

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Oct 10, 2014
    88
    This is Highsmith, and so things do not go as planned for her protagonists. The Two Faces of January - drop-dead gorgeous to behold - is not a merry tale, but a murderous one. Murderously good.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Feb 14, 2014
    80
    Best known as the screenwriter of such subtext-rich adaptations as “The Wings of the Dove” and “Drive,” Amini excels at conveying the subtle, unspoken tensions between characters, selecting a tightrope-risky example with which to make his directorial debut and orchestrating it with aplomb.
  3. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Sep 25, 2014
    80
    Amini has a powerful acting triumvirate in Mortensen, Dunst and Isaac to help him deal with the capricious nature of this particular tangled web.
  4. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    Feb 11, 2014
    70
    On his first trip behind the camera, the British-Iranian Amini shows his skill at working with actors and sensing the way they can fill out literary characters. His screenplay generally feels more naturalistic than Highsmith, the dialogue less spare.
  5. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Sep 25, 2014
    63
    A sun-splashed noir that loses its appeal in the last act.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Sep 8, 2014
    60
    For a first-time director, Amini demonstrates considerable skill both with actors and with the camera, giving the film a pungent balance of visual elegance and moral seediness.
  7. Reviewed by: Daniel Green
    May 21, 2014
    40
    Amini has proven his narrative acumen before and will undoubtedly do so again, but his inaugural stint behind the camera offers only fleeting glimpses of Highsmith's seductive, satirical prose that old hands such as Clément, Hitchcock and Minghella have so notably put to good use.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 13
  2. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. Sep 26, 2014
    9
    Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith this suspenseful mystery drama is of the same high calibre that distinguished 'The Talented MrBased on the novel by Patricia Highsmith this suspenseful mystery drama is of the same high calibre that distinguished 'The Talented Mr Ripley' another adaptation with the same classy pedigree. This film is elevated by three compellingly nuanced performances even it's the men who steal the show. Kirsten Dunst with less screen time is still very good, but it is the chemistry between Viggo Mortenson and Oscar Isaac that makes the material zing. Watching them play the cat and mouse games afforded them by the serpentine twists and turns of a very impressive screenplay makes for enthralling viewing. Director Hussein Amir keeps his camera in close creating an edgy claustrophobic atmosphere, whilst not allowing the gorgeous Greek and Turkish locations to distract from the main drama. This may be a low key film, but it is one of high quality. Smooth editing and luminous camera work add to the distinctive achievement. My only misgiving is with the title, the meaning of which completely eludes me. Expand
  2. Nov 8, 2015
    8
    A handsome thriller with plot twists that don't always make sense, "The Two Faces of January," moves slowly, but ultimately entertains.A handsome thriller with plot twists that don't always make sense, "The Two Faces of January," moves slowly, but ultimately entertains.

    Watch this movie here for free http://www.watchfree.to/watch-29f3e5-The-Two-Faces-of-January-movie-online-free-putlocker.html
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  3. Jan 25, 2015
    7
    Pretty interesting film with a good (although not so original) story where the actors shine the most. You have the brilliant Oscar Isaac andPretty interesting film with a good (although not so original) story where the actors shine the most. You have the brilliant Oscar Isaac and also Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst all of them doing a very good job. The biggest flaw would be that the pace is a little bit slow for the most impatient viewers. But overall the film makes you feel satisfied by the moment it ends. See it! Expand
  4. Sep 28, 2014
    6
    A suspenseful look at a not-so-traditional few days in Greece during the 1960s. The Two Faces of January has a certain aesthetic which drawsA suspenseful look at a not-so-traditional few days in Greece during the 1960s. The Two Faces of January has a certain aesthetic which draws you in. Most of the time, you are craving for more. Expand
  5. Mar 15, 2015
    6
    Almost resembling a documentary show of stranded tourists from Nat Geo channel, The Two Faces of January has a deceptively quaint atmosphereAlmost resembling a documentary show of stranded tourists from Nat Geo channel, The Two Faces of January has a deceptively quaint atmosphere for a thriller. Characters are manipulative, morally ambiguous and have pathology tendency for deceit. However, it's irritatingly slow on creating tension and the script is rather thin even for the average runtime of the movie. The flamboyant visual is just barely enough to keep interest till the end.

    Chester (Viggo Mortensen) and Collette (Kirsten Dunst) are a couple who harbor some secrets. They take a vacation at Athens, but are eventually caught in an unfortunate incident and find themselves in a dire situation. Accepting the help of local con artist, Rydal (Oscar Isaac) they attempt to flee Greece. The movie has the acting department covered, a good trait since it's almost exclusively featuring these three characters as they clash personalities.

    It soon becomes clear that the seemingly happy couple are far from honest, even with each other. Situation escalates as Chester and Rydal collide, more than a couple of times. Using subtle cues it produces a sense of insecurity as the characters are trapped in unknown places, with slightly untrustworthy company, no less.

    The pace as it starts and ends are good, but it falters about halfway. Trivial banters keep the momentum from reaching its peak, furthermore the film uses too much of jealousy and dissatisfied couple tricks. It may build the characters, but the film roams into telenovela realm at some points, not the direction mystery thriller would optimize upon.

    Cinematography fares better, with the heavy European vista it's certainly has a different outlook. The retro vibe also helps, there's a distinct feel of classic detective nuance at play here. The mysteries, and also the latter act for that matter, are not highly captivating. The film serves as a crime drama in healthy does, but is not ambitious enough for complex con.

    Though it has charming cast and foreign allure, the slow pace might deter audience from taking part in this exotic trip.
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  6. Jan 16, 2015
    5
    Drags a bit.
    It is a long leisurely stroll of a film.
    The performances are fine. It reminded me of "The Talented Mr. Ripley" but not as
    Drags a bit.
    It is a long leisurely stroll of a film.

    The performances are fine. It reminded me of "The Talented Mr. Ripley" but not as good. If you like the specific period (early 60s Mediterranean) or movies about American ex-pats you might give it a try.
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  7. Sep 26, 2014
    3
    La película tenía buenos actores y una trama en principio interesante. Lástima que pronto todo se vuelve muy plano y monótono hasta que laLa película tenía buenos actores y una trama en principio interesante. Lástima que pronto todo se vuelve muy plano y monótono hasta que la intriga prácticamente desaparece. La lucha entre los dos protagonistas se vuelve tediosa y el papel de Dunst es casi anecdótico. Una película un poco pobre. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews