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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 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 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. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Oct 10, 2014
    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
    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
    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
    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
    A sun-splashed noir that loses its appeal in the last act.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Sep 8, 2014
    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
    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: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Sep 26, 2014
    Based 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. Sep 27, 2014
    Joao gerundo : This is one of Mortensen's best performances, and "The Two Faces of January" is one gorgeously rendered old-school feature.
    The convergence of two superb writers creates a taut, character-driven thriller.
  3. Sep 28, 2014
    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 draws you in. Most of the time, you are craving for more. Expand
  4. Sep 27, 2014
    As it often happens, this film features top notch cinematography and all-in-all good acting, but lacks the plot elements to make it completely intriguing, given the genre. In fact, there were a few flaws that impeded thorough enjoyment: Isaac's character is just too creepy and too little mysterious, and Kirsten Dunst is a bit gray, almost stuck in a film school persona; the mixture between mystery and thriller leans well towards thriller, while failing to deliver a thriller's thrills. Also, the psychological profiling isn't handled very carefully, with Mortensen going from a "Oh-what-have-I-done" kind of guy to a ruthless, cold calculator in a matter of minutes.

    On the other hand, the consistent choice of colours and the sandy settings provide you with a wonderful thing to look at, and as I said the actors are good. Too bad for the suspense, which really isn't there unless you fish it.
  5. Sep 26, 2014
    La 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


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