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The Constant Gardener (2005)



Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 182
Fresh: 152 | Rotten: 30

The Constant Gardener is a smart, gripping, and suspenseful thriller with rich performances from the leads.


Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 3

The Constant Gardener is a smart, gripping, and suspenseful thriller with rich performances from the leads.



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 216,216

My Rating

Movie Info

A man discovers a deadly secret when he tries to find out who killed the woman he loves in this suspense drama based on a novel by John Le Carré. Justin Quale (Ralph Fiennes) is a low-level British diplomat who has been given a new assignment in Kenya. Justin's wife, Tessa (Rachel Weisz), is an activist with a keen interest in issues of poverty and social justice; Justin urges her to avoid getting too deeply involved in the people living in Kenya, who are constantly dogged by poverty, but she


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Jeffrey Caine

Jan 10, 2006


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All Critics (185) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (152) | Rotten (30) | DVD (36)

Fernando Meirelles, codirector of City of God, stresses old-fashioned storytelling and takes full advantage of his cast, including Danny Huston.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (2)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fiennes has always been good, but in author John le Carré's 2000 postimperial African thriller, he may have found his signature role.

August 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

... Ralph Fiennes gives one of the year's subtlest, yet most exciting, screen performances ...

December 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Magazine
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rises to a pitch of terror and outrage that leaves one shaken.

September 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Meirelles clearly trusts his actors, particularly Fiennes and Weisz: The plot of The Constant Gardener is fairly intricate, but in the end, the story is told mostly in their faces.

August 31, 2005 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Constant Gardener is beautifully structured, an artful mix of forward motion and flashbacks.

August 31, 2005 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An offensively condescending tourist's eye

September 1, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion | Comment (1)

What it adds up to is a good yarn that uses real political concerns to make itself look beefier than the average Hollywood thriller.

July 30, 2007 Full Review Source:

Mr. Fiennes, drawing his lips inward and adding just a slight quaver to his voice, gives his finest performance in almost a decade.

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

a deeply intelligent and profoundly moral examination of a world where the political and the personal cannot ever be kept apart.

July 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Elaborate, cynical, ambitious, eager, visually arresting, the film wants it all and gives plenty.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

The pornography of Third World damage and suffering for the popcorn munching voyeuristic entertainment of more economically cozy moviegoers.

February 8, 2007 Full Review Source: WBAI Web Radio | Comments (2)
WBAI Web Radio

While le Carre's narrative returns an unequivocal guilty verdict on the drug companies, the jury on Meirelles's storytelling abilities remains hung.

January 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

The Constant Gardener" has strengths that aren't apparent until the final credits start rolling.

November 20, 2006 Full Review
Kansas City Star

Fiennes does a brilliant job of communicating his character's inner turmoil through subtle facial expressions and inflections of his voice.

September 11, 2006
Christianity Today

click to read full review [Greek]

September 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

Admirably composed, even if it ultimately feels a bit of a shame that it all has to come down to good guys and bad guys.

August 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Serious, topical filmmaking of a very high order.

April 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

It's the artiest conspiracy theory movie in a while, not too pulpy or too auteurish, but just right.

February 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinerina

Interesting but flawed examination of multinational corporation criminality

February 14, 2006 Full Review Source:

A timely, daring movie that skillfully weaves the corruption of big government and drugs--the pharmaceutical sort--deep into its equation.

February 3, 2006
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Fiennes and Weisz, who have worked together before in Istvan Szabo's Sunshine, make a glamorous pair. And while this may not have been the effect le Carre was after, it does no lasting damage to his theme.

January 17, 2006 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

This multi-faceted masterpiece works successfully on more levels than any ten remakes or sequels pumped out of the habitual humdrum Hollywood hit machine.

January 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Juicy Cerebellum
Juicy Cerebellum

Finding love in the world's deadliest laboratory

January 9, 2006 Full Review Source: JWR

taut, intelligent thriller that delves into the motives, good and bad, that fuel human passions or the lack thereof

January 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews
Killer Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Constant Gardener

February 10, 2014
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

"Taut political thriller" is a label that's used about a hundred times for every one film that earns it; The Constant Gardener is one worthy of the mantle. And not only is it a political story, it's a human one, too. Next to no unnecessary shots in this one, with strong acting and images that will stay with you. A good director takes on a novel by the famous thriller writer John Le Carré and the result is an excellent movie.
July 14, 2013

Super Reviewer

By the end of this film I was really pulling my hair out. I just found it so boring and monotonous despite the best efforts of Fiennes and Weisz. It's a heart breaking story of grief and loss, but the running time dispels any tension and makes me want to switch off. Beautiful cinematography, however.
November 2, 2012

Super Reviewer

Fernando Meirelles has created a great suspense thriller here with The Constant Gardener. Based on John Le Carre's book of the same name, the film is riveting from start to finish and is carried by two fantastic performances from Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz. The Constant Gardener is a gripping, suspenseful thriller that features beautiful the beautifully photographed landscapes of Kenya, and two great performances from the leads. A first-rate spy thriller.
January 15, 2012
Raymond Wieser

Super Reviewer

    1. Justin Quayle: I can't go home. Tessa was my home.
    – Submitted by Iulian H (16 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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Foreign Titles

  • Der ewige Gärtner (DE)
  • El jardinero fiel (ES)
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