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The Ghost Writer

7/10
Mystery . Thriller
 

A writer stumbles upon a long-hidden secret when he agrees to help former British Prime Minister Adam Lang complete his memoirs on a remote island after the politician's assistant drowns in a mysterious accident. In director Roman Polanski's tense drama, the author realizes that his discovery threatens some very powerful people who will do anything to ensure that certain episodes from Lang's past remain buried.

 
Actors: Pierce Brosnan , Ewan McGregor , Nyasha Hatendi , Jim Belushi , Timothy Hutton , Olivia Williams , Tom Wilkinson , Kim Cattrall , Jon Bernthal , Tim Preece
Directors: Roman Polanski
Country: FRANCE , GERMANY , UK
Release: 2010-03-19
More Info:
  • Kenneth Turan

    The Ghost Writer is the kind of impeccable adult entertainment, able to alternate edge-of-your-seat episodes with bleakly comic moments, that Hitchcock used to specialize in and that Polanski himself realized so successfully in "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby."

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • John Anderson

    The Ghost Writer is so rich you may feel you paid too little for your ticket when the whole thing meets its very Polanski-ish climax. Please don't tell anyone.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    This movie is the work of a man who knows how to direct a thriller. Smooth, calm, confident, it builds suspense instead of depending on shock and action.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Here's another thought: This old man who can't leave the house has just made the first important film of 2010.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    The Ghost Writer is a triumph: elegant, accomplished, and (this is the hardest part to admit) occasionally even wise.

    Slate Full Review
  • David Denby

    An extraordinarily precise and well-made political thriller--the best thing Polanski has done since the seventies, when he brought out the incomparable “Chinatown” and the very fine “Tess.”

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    All credit to a finely tuned Brosnan for packing so much intensity and wayward wit into his scenes with McGregor. Their verbal duels make for a dazzling game of cat-and-mouse.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Polanski turns a conventional conspiracy thriller into a triumph of tone, ensemble playing and atmospheric menace.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Satisfying, melancholy political suspense story.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    The Ghost Writer may not go down as one of Polanski’s masterpieces, but if it does end up being his swan song, it’s the ideal denouement to a life and career of unsettling resonance.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    The Ghost Writer is minor Polanski but it’s one of the rare thrillers these days that plays up to you instead of down.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    Ferrific fun and rousing proof that there’s still vital life in an aging master filmmaker.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    If he made The Ghost Writer under a pseudonym, it might be roundly hailed as the classy white-knuckler it is. But it's Polanski's name above the title, with his own ghosts haunting each frame.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    Polanski has made a genre piece with a verve and vitality that’s in sadly short supply.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    Mr. Polanski’s work with his performers is consistently subtle even when the performances seem anything but, which is true of this very fine film from welcome start to finish.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    The result is a tight, taut, witty and highly theatrical entertainment, shot in shades of wintry gray, that will keep you guessing right through its final fadeout.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Polanski builds suspense slowly, exquisitely. It's not a matter of shocking the audience, although there are surprises, but of creating an ever-growing sense of dread.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    The Ghost Writer hasn’t the complexity or breadth of such stunners as "Chinatown" or "The Pianist," but it is nevertheless a solidly built little roundelay of intrigue with a veracity that seems torn from newspaper headlines.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    As with most political thrillers, The Ghost Writer emphasizes plot development and atmosphere over action. It's an "adult" thriller as opposed to one designed for viewers suffering from ADD.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Marked by clever twists and turns, the story unfolds at just the right pace. The dialogue -- adapted by Polanski and British writer Robert Harris from Harris' novel The Ghost-- is incisive and interspersed with wit.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Loaded with Hitchcockian hugger-mugger, this is a genre Polanski clearly revels in.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Offers an unusually astute glimpse of power at its most alluring and corrosive.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    As an exercise in craft, it's surprisingly successful, thanks to the strong cast and the vivid depiction of a modern leader's security apparatus. But as a political statement or personal drama, The Ghost Writer is nearly invisible.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    In Polanski’s hands, it’s an unholy pleasure: a diversion that stings.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Ray Greene

    If it is possible to watch this work as a movie rather than using it as a referendum on its maker’s guilt or innocence, the audience that craves mature, sophisticated and grown-up entertainment will find much to admire here.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Nicolas Rapold

    Saved by often delightfully bitchy British dialogue.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    We should hail a movie that recalls creepy political thrillers of the mid-'70s, back when some films were made for grownups and the comfortable catharsis of a happy ending was not required -- think of the panoramically cryptic worldview of "The Parallax View" and "Three Days of the Condor," and of course, "Chinatown."

    Time Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    This is a polished, palatable intrigue, with a knockout performance from Olivia Williams as the PM's hardened wife and a highly persuasive one from Kim Cattrall, cast against type as his buttoned-up personal assistant. But the mystery is unraveled a bit too conveniently.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Sara Vilkomerson

    Has moments of heart-pounding suspense and brief glimmers of greatness, thanks to fine performances by Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan and Olivia Williams, but overall feels uneven, sprawling and strangely incomplete.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    It’s not one of Polanski’s masterpieces, but The Ghost Writer doesn’t dilute his reputation as a master of suspense.

    Orlando Sentinel Full Review
  • Kirk Honeycutt

    This is a slicker, shallower exercise. It's hypnotic as it unfolds, but once the credit roll frees you from its grip, it doesn't bear close scrutiny.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    Despite the packed plot adapted by Polanski and Robert Harris from Harris' novel -- the pacing feels oddly slack.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Derek Elley

    What the picture most needed was a complete cinematic rethink and, yes, even some action to move it along.

    Variety Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Although the movie is reasonably suspenseful for a while and has a few witty moments (of a first draft, the ghost says, "All the words are there. They're just in the wrong order"), it rings false.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    The result is a political thriller refreshingly long on grown-up dialogue yet lamentably shy on, well, thrills. This chatty thing does go on.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
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