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The Quiet American

The Quiet American (2003)



Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 151
Fresh: 132 | Rotten: 19

Thoughtful and wonderfully acted, The Quiet American manages to capture the spirit of Green's novel.


Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 38
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 2

Thoughtful and wonderfully acted, The Quiet American manages to capture the spirit of Green's novel.



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 10,246

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Movie Info

Graham Greene's allegorical novel about America's role in the Vietnam conflict, and how it was perceived by the rest of the world, is brought to the screen for the second time in this adaptation directed by Phillip Noyce. Thomas Fowler (Michael Caine) is a British journalist who in 1952 is covering the early stages of the war in Indo-China for the London Times, not a demanding assignment since few in England are especially interested in the conflict. When not filing occasional reports, Fowler

Jul 29, 2003


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All Critics (155) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (132) | Rotten (19) | DVD (24)

[Caine] gives one of his best performances, whether dissembling a new-found inner steel under questioning or breaking down in the privacy of a toilet.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Caine, who also starred in one other Greene adaptation, 1983's The Honorary Consul, is the essence of almost all the author's misfits -- a practiced cynic masking an aching romantic.

August 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Quiet American was filmed in Vietnam and does a wonderful job of conveying a sense of place and time.

February 13, 2003
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For Caine, it's a peak performance in a career that has had many of them.

February 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a political story -- and an uncannily timely one -- yet the politics fade into the background in the wake of Caine's complex and splendid performance.

February 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Old-fashioned storytelling in the best sense of the term.

February 7, 2003 Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A subtle and penetrating work, made to look effortless; nothing is forced or pushed, so much so that it's easy to overlook the extraordinary challenges posed by Graham Greene's novel.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Além de trazer Caine em uma de suas melhores atuações, esta belíssima adaptação do livro de Greene combina com perfeição a tensão dramática de um triângulo amoroso e a complexidade política do maior teatro de guerra das décadas de 50 a 70.

July 31, 2008
Cinema em Cena

The film may be a not especially unusual mystery/thriller, but it's still a solid and entertaining one at that.

September 17, 2007 Full Review Source:

Mr. Noyce interweaves the political and romantic plots masterfully.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

Oscar nominations it richly deserves, not least for Michael Caine, whose performance as an English reporter goaded out of his comfortable, opium-clouded, ex-pat lifestyle ranks among the very best of his career.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Director Phillip Noyce landed a beautiful one-two punch with this and Rabbit-Proof Fence, two political films with politics in the background and delicate human storytelling in the foreground.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

As a piece of acting, The Quiet American represents a fitting capper to Caine's illustrious career; his portrait of a jaded sybarite whom history nudges into conscientious action is among the year's most moving.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

By cutting Greene's novel down to its most basic action, the screenplay makes the situations look bare and silly--including the Vietnam War itself, which seems to have been merely the opium dream of an old, horny Brit.

March 3, 2005
The Nation

La confrontation, mais aussi l'amitié entre ces deux comédiens au sommet de leur forme, font de The Quiet American un film solide.

February 25, 2005

Noyce has coaxed out what may well be a career-best performance by Michael Caine.

January 15, 2005
Looking Closer

Provides enough action to keep the restive in their seats, but the real excitement here is Greene's finely-drawn characters and the two performances that keep them alive.

July 6, 2004 Full Review Source: F5 (Wichita, KS)
F5 (Wichita, KS)

The Quiet American takes the viewer inside opium dens and dance halls. It peeks behind the curtains of political intrigues and exposes their violent consequences.

June 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

This is perhaps the finest performance of [Michael Caine's] versatile, distinguished career.

February 4, 2004 Full Review
Atlantic City Weekly

The Quiet American is a powerful and provocative drama that demands to be seen.

January 1, 2004 Full Review

Unfortunately, the film is disappointing on a number of levels. This is partly the failure of Noyce and his screenwriters to bring out the strengths of Greene's novel; it is also a function of some rather unfortunate aspects of the great writer's work...

August 13, 2003 Full Review

Fraser's beefy charm holds up well against Caine's whiskey-seasoned, opium-addled nihilism, proving that innocence and idealism are always the best disguise.

July 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

This film is quiet in an eerie, slow burn, dripping with noir sort of way; disarmingly reserved, it manages to burrow under your skin and leave a lingering impression.

April 30, 2003 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

A compelling look at a situation from history that parallels contemporary times.

April 21, 2003 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Audience Reviews for The Quiet American

Graham Greene novels tend to make the transition to cinema quite well, and this political drama set in the years preceding America's involvement in Vietnam is no exception. It's an interesting period piece as the subject matter is rarely seen on the screen and Michael Caine lends his usual presence and skill to the part of a British foreign correspondent who loses his objective detachment after becoming involved with the affairs of an American aid worker. It's a well made and well intentioned film but I found it a little schizophrenic, unable to decide whether it's core was romantic drama or political intrigue. I was far more interested in the political side of things but neither aspect seemed fully developed and only Caine's performance really engaged as Brendan Fraser seemed out of his element. A decent attempt though but it in no way equals the visceral impact or emotion of the likes of The Killing Fields or Salvador.
August 12, 2008
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Michael Caine gives a very fine and remarkable performance. Brendon Fraser gives an exceptable and great performance. A unique and masterful thriller.
June 1, 2008

Super Reviewer

Good film in my opinion, Brendan Fraser does a good job. Michael Caine is excellent, time period in the years that set the scene for the Vietnam War, not focused on a lot in movies.
March 3, 2008
Lenny Muggsy

Super Reviewer

great movie, micheal cane was great and brenden fraiser suprised me
November 23, 2007
danny d

Super Reviewer

    1. Thomas Fowler: They say there is a ghost in every house and if you can make peace with him, he will stay quiet,
    – Submitted by Frances H (5 months ago)
    1. Thomas Fowler: There's a war on. People are dying every day.
    – Submitted by Frances H (5 months ago)
    1. Thomas Fowler: A woman's voice can drug you.
    – Submitted by Frances H (5 months ago)
View all quotes (3)

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