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The Interpreter

6/10
Action . Mystery . Thriller
 

A thriller about an interpreter who has overheard plans of an assassination at United Nations headquarters. An American Secret Service agent is sent to investigate as Silvia Broome, the interpreter, is in danger of being killed by the assassins.

 
Actors: Eric Keenleyside , Clyde Kusatsu , Michael Wright , George Harris , Earl Cameron , Yvan Attal , Jesper Christensen , Catherine Keener , Sean Penn , Nicole Kidman
Directors: Sydney Pollack
Country: UK , FRANCE , GERMANY , USA
Release: 2005-04-22
More Info:
  • William Arnold

    Very much a '70s-style paranoid thriller, with a mood, tone and cascade of plot twists that are highly reminiscent of his 1975 classic, "Three Days of the Condor."

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Kirk Honeycutt

    Thrillers don't get much smarter than The Interpreter.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Michael Wilmington

    As beautifully designed, swift and sleek as a classic sports car, throbbing with emotion and intelligence, it's a neat suspense film that's also dramatically and sociologically potent, with two supremely talented stars, Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, delivering beyond the emotional call of duty.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    An elegant adventure of a different kind.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Coolly absorbing without being pulse-quickening.

    Variety Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    The Interpreter bristles with the smart, steadily engrossing tension that marked such 1970s goodies as "All the President's Men," "The Parallax View" and Pollack's own "Three Days of the Condor."

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    What I admire most about the film is the way it enters the terms of this world -- of international politics, security procedures, shifting motives -- and observes the details of all-night stakeouts, shop talk, and interlocking motives and strategies.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    A swiftly told, smartly acted yarn, and it even has an idea or two on its mind.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Watching these coolly precise, methodical actors spar with each other at the top of their game is half the show.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Jami Bernard

    An intelligent, old-fashioned nail-biter.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    A suspense thriller of rare intelligence.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    A cut above the average politically-based thriller.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    Slick, well-acted, and smarter than it has to be.

    Premiere Full Review
  • Michael Sragow

    The movie's main strengths are its use of the real United Nations as its prime location and Pollack's ability to stud this movie (as he also did "The Firm") with players who do supporting-character equivalents of star turns.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    Penn is terrific in his low-key doggedness.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    Made with an intelligence and craft that's increasingly rare in Hollywood thrillers.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • J. Hoberman

    The Kidman character is an exotic--and even unlikely--creature, usefully fueling Penn's annoyed but fascinated incredulity.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Yes, this could be a better film, but the good qualities it does have are rare enough to hold our interest on screen and off.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Desson Thomson

    As a straight-ahead thriller, the movie is enjoyable and stirring much of the time.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    The Interpreter is ultimately fluent in many things, but an out-and-out thriller it is not.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    It's a thriller, and a large one, and it's got a couple of terrific performers in the center.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    But at the risk of sounding ungrateful, Sydney Pollack's latest film should have been a lot better.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Mike Clark

    With major stars, a name director and grown-up subject matter, this middling drama is less a movie to recommend with vigor than to covet on general principles.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    An old-fashioned suspense drama with an old-fashioned belief at its core: Justice can be done in the world, and the United Nations is the global organization to do it.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Pete Vonder Haar

    In the end, nothing about The Interpreter strikes us as very original.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Ian Nathan

    Solid, mature and finely acted, but intermittently daft.

    Empire Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    There's enough narrative for three fine films. But not enough for The Interpreter. The thriller pieces feel assembled rather than organic.

    Time Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    The Interpreter is long and tangled, the score is yet another drownout from the thundering James Newton Howard, and the avowed thoughtfulness--about sub-Saharan politics, about the clashing commitments to peace and justice, about the kinship of damaged souls--is at once laudable and vaporous.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    The film feels long, the editing is choppy, and the plot strands are at once convoluted and cliched.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    A righteous but wrongheaded thriller, chokes on its well-meant outrage and leaves a moth-eaten plot and handful of nonsense characters on its way to a dopey finish.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    The ideal: It hopes to be a suspenseful political yarn carrying a lofty message of peace and understanding. The reality: It's just a flabby thriller that gets completely lost in translation.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Maitland McDonagh

    Its talky, sluggish script is so bereft of thrills -- intellectual or otherwise -- that even the film's one masterfully staged sequence... falls flat.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    The Interpreter is so intent on reminding us that it's a QUALITY piece of work that it forgets to give us the very thing we thought we came in for: a story.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    When it comes to the United Nations, though, the movie turns to Jell-O. Whether Pollack was softened up by his meetings with U.N. brass (all the way up to Kofi Annan), or by his own gentlemanly Midwestern liberalism, he is alarmingly circumspect about that august body.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Robert Wilonsky

    The Interpreter dashes the suspense by talking the audience to death.

    Dallas Observer Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    Conventionally described as a political thriller, but The Interpreter is as apolitical as it is unthrilling.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Stephen Hunter

    Gets more and more complex until it's almost laughable; it has too many beats, too many reverses, and in the end seems unbelievable.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Staff (Not credited)

    Five people worked on the script; if there was ever any inspiration behind it, there isn't now.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Too bloated with its own significance to deliver the requisite thrills.

    Slate Full Review
  • Stanley Kauffmann

    The director, Sydney Pollack, who appears briefly in the film, has done his experienced best with this Scotch-taped script. But his two stars are insuperable handicaps.

    The New Republic Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    In the absence of internal logic, external style and emotional intelligence carry the day.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
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