Follow us
Pin It

A Most Wanted Man worth finding 

Rating: ***

DIRECTED BY Anton Corbijn
STARS Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams

Philip Seymour Hoffman in A Most Wanted Man (Photo: Roadside Attractions)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in A Most Wanted Man (Photo: Roadside Attractions)

While most cinema scribes seem to keep busy adapting YA novels or Nicholas Sparks bestsellers, it's nice to know that the brainy books by John le Carré never seem to fall out of fashion. A Most Wanted Man may not be in the same class as 1965's The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (featuring that incredible Richard Burton performance) or The Constant Gardener (the best film of 2005), but it's nevertheless an intelligent and absorbing watch, and it earns its keep by featuring yet another excellent turn by the late, lamented Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The actor here plays Gunther Bachmann, the head of a German counter-terrorist outfit whose latest target is Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin), a half-Chechen, half-Russian Muslim newly arrived in Hamburg. Bachmann isn't after Karpov to arrest him but rather with the idea that this immigrant might lead him to bigger game; to that end, he works alongside Karpov's lawyer (Rachel McAdams), a prominent banker (Willem Dafoe) and a CIA agent (Robin Wright).

Director Anton Corbijn and scripter Andrew Bovell keep their heads down as they dutifully relate this low-key thriller, but even they can't do anything with a plot twist (ported over from le Carré's novel) that's so thumpingly obvious, it forces the viewer to mark time during the climax waiting for its inevitable appearance (it involves a double-cross by a duplicitous character whose intentions are glaringly obvious from their first scene). Still, the plot intrigues and the cast excels, making this a good bet for alternate summer viewing.

  • Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Creative Loafing encourages a healthy discussion on its website from all sides of the conversation, but we reserve the right to delete any comments that detract from that. Violence, racism and personal attacks that go beyond the pale will not be tolerated.

Related Films

A Most Wanted Man
Rated R · 121 min. · 2014
Official Site:
Director: Anton Corbijn
Writer: Andrew Bovell and John le Carré
Cast: Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Willem Dafoe, Daniel Brühl, Nina Hoss and Martin Wuttke


Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for A Most Wanted Man

Latest in Reviews

Readers also liked…

More by Matt Brunson

Search Events

Recent Comments

© 2016 Womack Newspapers, Inc.
Powered by Foundation