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A Most Wanted Man

7/10
Thriller . Drama . Crime
 

When a half-Chechen, half-Russian, tortured half-to-death immigrant turns up in Hamburg's Islamic community, laying claim to his father's ill gotten fortune, both German and US security agencies take a close interest: as the clock ticks down and the stakes rise, the race is on to establish this most wanted man's true identity - oppressed victim or destruction-bent extremist?

 
Actors: Mehdi Dehbi , Homayoun Ershadi , Rainer Bock , Kostja Ullmann , Martin Wuttke , Nina Hoss , Grigoriy Dobrygin , Willem Dafoe , Daniel Brühl , Robin Wright , Rachel McAdams , Philip Seymour Hoffman
Directors: Anton Corbijn
Country: UK , USA , GERMANY
Release: 2014-08-01
More Info:
  • Kenneth Turan

    [A] crackerjack thriller, at once brooding, claustrophobic and unbearably tense.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    A Most Wanted Man works as a crowd-pleaser and as a believable reflection of how these fictional events might well play out in the real world.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    Although the cast is uniformly fine, Hoffman shines in a role that demands not showmanship, but a kind of complexity and contradiction that can be rendered only through the kind of dull character details that he excelled in, accumulating them from the inside out.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Alan Scherstuhl

    A Most Wanted Man is simply a complex tale superbly told, with time for nuance and to soak in its mysteries.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    A Most Wanted Man's cast - a mix of Germans speaking English, Americans speaking English with German accents, Russians, and men and women from the Middle East - is uniformly stellar.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Calvin Wilson

    The rare film that will remain on your mind long after you’ve left the theater.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    The great pleasure of le Carré-land — for some, it’s the frustration — is that one’s own moral certainties are quickly stood on their head.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Every move Hoffman makes subtly rivets attention. There's the uncanny German accent, the boozing, the chain-smoking, the glances at his assistant (Nina Hoss), the secret life he keeps hidden and the betrayals even Günther can't see coming. Hoffman is simply magnificent. Face it. We won't see his like again.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Hoffman is merely the first among equals in a stellar cast.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    As usual in Le Carre's world (and the real one), a measured, rational approach faces an uphill battle against the philistines who really run the show. That predictably weary attitude is both the best — as embodied in Hoffman's performance — and worst — in its weary predictability — things about A Most Wanted Man.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Corbijn keeps the intrigue uncluttered, guided by Andrew Bovell's economical adapted screenplay.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    A Most Wanted Man allows Hoffman to go out with not only one of his best performances, but one that epitomizes his strengths.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Kate Erbland

    While the final act might not surprise or stun, it does feature some classic le Carre movements, some trademark Corbijn ease, and a terrifying Hoffman bellowing at the sky – not so bad for just another spy film.

    Film.com Full Review
  • Alonso Duralde

    Hoffman doesn't get a lot of flashy, awards-show-clip moments, but he's all the more engrossing for underplaying and revealing volumes with the slightest of reactions and inflections.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    Mr. Hoffman’s performance is so finely etched — and the story so irresistible — that the film becomes, almost inescapably, something of a last testament.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    Corbijn succeeds here in large part because his attention to nuance and detail so fully complements that of the German operatives at the story’s core.

    Variety Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    Forget divining who’s predator and who’s prey. Everybody’s chum here.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Hoffman, bloated and flushed, does not look well in this film. But he is such a consummate actor that whatever infirmities he may have been fighting become a part of his performance. His portrayal, complete with a convincing German accent, is a fully rounded portrait of courage and dissolution.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • John Semley

    Like a book we want to keep reading, despite the compression of pages telling us the end is near, it’s hard not to want A Most Wanted Man to go on forever, if only to spend time in the company of Hoffman – one of the great actors of his, or any, generation.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    While the tension is sometimes muted, this is more than a procedural round of spy games. The deliberately paced but riveting film is made all the better because of Hoffman's breathtakingly nuanced portrayal.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Like most of le Carré’s novel, A Most Wanted Man has a veracity most spy thrillers lack, and the suspense is of the intellectual, not visceral, kind.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    The events are complicated, though not complicated by cheap thrills or easy politics. It's a film of interest rather than throttling suspense. By the end, however, when Bachmann's future depends on a very simple nonviolent series of events, Corbijn's methodical approach pays off. And we care. We care about the protagonist's outcome.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    What resonates, in this smart but minor procedural, isn’t the harsh vision of a post-9/11 world, but the unglamorous depiction of governmental grunt work.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Jesse Cataldo

    Anton Corbijn constructs a stifling world of shadowy surveillance and intersecting national interests, building on John Le Carré's sense of moral and emotional exhaustion.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Jeff Labrecque

    Crackles with a jigsaw-puzzle intelligence and features a superbly subtle lead performance from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who single-handedly gooses the post-9/11 procedural through some of its slower patches.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    What’s on display here is a great actor at his absolute peak — damn it all.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Hoffman was a genius, a tremendously gifted actor who could shine in almost any role... A Most Wanted Man may not be the best example of this, but it certainly adds to the evidence.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Nathan Rabin

    A Most Wanted Man is a cold film that examines its characters from a clinical distance, but its iciness gives way to raw emotion in a powerful final sequence.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    The story is a jigsaw puzzle in which all the pieces are of an indistinguishable gray, making fitting them together a tricky matter.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Cory Everett

    The problem isn’t quite that the film is short on thrills (there is a paucity; the first adrenaline racing sequences don’t arrive until about an hour in), it’s that it’s not quite a character piece either.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    Corbijn keeps the action of A Most Wanted Man at arms length or greater, never finding the heart of the piece despite mostly solid performances and strong production values.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Trevor Johnston

    It’s all unexpectedly uninvolving.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Ian Nathan

    For all its chilled intelligence and topical ambition this is a bloodless adaptation, but worth seeing for Hoffman’s deft and ghostly presence.

    Empire Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    Whether you call Anton Corbijn’s adaptation of John le Carré’s 2008 novel “deliberately paced” or “so slow I can feel my hair growing,” there’s no denying the power behind the central performance.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Patrick Gamble

    An otherwise intelligent piece that favours deftness of touch over bombastic thrills, A Most Wanted Man is an efficient espionage drama that, whilst in no way revelatory, is attuned to its source material's non-heroic and morally ambiguous approach to a well-worn genre.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Xan Brooks

    It's a professional old-school espionage outing, intricate as clockwork and acted with relish by the ever-watchable Hoffman. But it remains an oddly anonymous enterprise from this talented and distinctive director.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Now, thanks to A Most Wanted Man, we discover that it's really boring - practically sleep-inducing - to be an international spy.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    This atmospheric, cool-looking but gimpy thriller based on a John le Carré novel makes “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” look like “22 Jump Street.”

    New York Post Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    Dreary, depressing and desultory, A Most Wanted Man is not my cup of Schokolade mit Schlagsahne.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    I wish I could say that the film gives a great actor a worthy role, but the truth is otherwise. The character is banal — Günther lavishes attention on remarkably uninteresting spycraft — and Mr. Hoffman, like everyone else, is stuck with the glum tone set by the director, Anton Corbijn ("Control," "The American").

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Trevor Johnston

    Disappointing plod of an espionage thriller.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • David Denby

    Still, it's le Carre's material; it was shot in dark, lurid, vital Hamburg; Hoffman is the star; and I was completely held. [28 July 2014, p.79]

    The New Yorker Full Review
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