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The Manchurian Candidate Reviews

Page 1 of 3
Brian Costello
Common Sense Media

Classic Cold War satirical thriller stands test of time.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 5/5

May 23, 2013
Cole Smithey

[VIDEO ESSAY] John Frankenheimer directs with a distinctive complexity of visual depth and a surreal tone of lurking menace.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: A

September 30, 2012
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

Set the standard for cinematic paranoid thrillers and stands as the quintessential John Frankenheimer film. [Blu-ray]

Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews | Original Score: 4/4

July 19, 2011
Emanuel Levy

This aunting film noir, easily John Frankenheimer's best film, is satisfying on any level, narrative, visual, ideological, and acting.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: A

July 13, 2011
Jay Antani
Cinema Writer

With spry editing and camerawork, [Frankenheimer] fuses together a documentary-like realism and more expressive stylizations to create a hybrid thriller-satire

Full Review Source: Cinema Writer | Original Score: 4/4

August 17, 2010
Peter Bradshaw

Don't bother with Jonathan Demme's toothless 2004 remake; the rereleased classic cold war thriller from 1962 by John Frankenheimer packs a harder punch.

Full Review Source: Guardian | Original Score: 4/5

April 16, 2010
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

a benchmark of the United States' coming of age in the 1960s

Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Original Score: 4/4

March 24, 2009


Among a strong cast, Lansbury is wonderfully wicked as Shaw's despicable mother.

Full Review Source: Film4

May 7, 2008
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

powerful experience, alternately corrosive with dark parodic humor, suspenseful, moving, and terrifying.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

May 7, 2008
Variety Staff
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Every once in a rare while a film comes along that works in all departments, with story, production and performance so well blended that the end effect is one of nearly complete satisfaction. Such is The Manchurian Candidate.

Full Review Source: Variety

May 7, 2008
Josh Larsen
Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)

...goes down the rabbit hole, though never too far to lose its satirical relevance to the insanity of real-world politics.

Full Review Source: Sun Publications (Chicago, IL) | Original Score: 4/4

February 7, 2008

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A masterpiece.

Full Review Source: Time Out

June 24, 2006
Dragan Antulov
Draxblog Movie Reviews

even when taken out of its historic context, this film is a thought-provoking piece of quality filmmaking

Full Review Source: Draxblog Movie Reviews | Original Score: 7/10

August 12, 2005
David Cornelius

People have called The Machurian Candidate the greatest political thriller ever made. People would be right.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 5/5

December 20, 2004
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A volatile work, part thriller, part quasi-science fiction, part vicious satire.

Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) | Original Score: 4.5/5

September 27, 2004
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

It's both exciting and disheartening that a 42 year-old satire like this still works as pointedly as it does.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 7, 2004
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly

Frankenheimer's TV shooting style is only adequate, but it's the McCarthyist and Freudian undertones that make Candidate a winner.

Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

July 30, 2004
John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews

Frankenheimer easily ranks as the pre-eminent director of political intrigue.

Full Review Source: Old School Reviews | Original Score: A

July 30, 2004
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

It's heady stuff in a nail-biting chiller that still has the power to make viewers perspire profusely.

Full Review Source: Creative Loafing | Original Score: 4/4

July 21, 2004
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis

Mystery drama. Cold-War political farce. Spine-tingling thriller. Read it how you will...takes us for a wild ride through the mother of all conspiracy theories.

Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Original Score: 8/10

July 20, 2004
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