Opening

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The Constant Gardener Reviews

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

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

November 27, 2007
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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Fiennes has always been good, but in author John le Carré's 2000 postimperial African thriller, he may have found his signature role.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York

August 16, 2007
Ken Tucker
New York Magazine/Vulture
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... Ralph Fiennes gives one of the year's subtlest, yet most exciting, screen performances ...

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

December 9, 2005
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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Fiennes carries Le Carré's spirit with a slow-burning performance that operates on two fronts: As a powerful indictment of third-world abuses by pharmaceutical companies, and as a widower's moving investigation into his shattered relationship.

Full Review Source: AV Club

September 26, 2005
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Rises to a pitch of terror and outrage that leaves one shaken.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: A-

September 1, 2005
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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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.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

August 31, 2005
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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The Constant Gardener is beautifully structured, an artful mix of forward motion and flashbacks.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

August 31, 2005
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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The director's fluttering hand keeps the ground constantly shifting beneath our feet, which is just what this beautifully wrenching adaptation for the screen requires.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

August 31, 2005
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Smart, well-crafted and satisfying.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 31, 2005
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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The filmmaker's assurance and vision in reimagining the novel are downright inspiring.

| Original Score: 4/4

August 31, 2005
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Viewers who like real-world issues interwoven with their fiction -- much in the style of author John Le Carré, whose novel is the basis for this movie -- should find plenty to chew on.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

August 31, 2005
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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An intriguing thriller for grown ups.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

August 31, 2005
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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A character-driven drama of actual import that delivers a message and dramatic punch, but with a visual edginess and narrative ingenuity that is in the service of the story, as opposed to the filmmaker's cleverness.

| Original Score: 4/4

August 31, 2005
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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The Constant Gardener manages to fight through its own pretensions to deliver a tale you care about, featuring characters you care for.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B

August 31, 2005
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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If it sends audiences home to log on to the Amnesty International website, terrific -- but that still doesn't make it a very good movie.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 31, 2005
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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A film that grips us dramatically, intellectually and emotionally.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

August 31, 2005
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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Fernando Meirelles's excellent adaptation of the novel by John le Carré is likely to linger in your mind and may even trouble your conscience.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

August 31, 2005
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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A slick, fast-paced production with first-rate performances and an emotional punch you won't soon forget.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 31, 2005
Tom Long
Detroit News
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This is not a movie that will shock you or thrill you or rock your world. Instead, it will move you, it will stick with you, it will give you pause and effect you in ways not easily described -- which is something the best films always do.

| Original Score: A

August 31, 2005
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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Yes, the cast is certainly seductive, and the direction often beguiling, yet ultimately we're left with a distinct sense of abandonment, of a story insufficiently told.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 31, 2005
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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The Constant Gardener is more like walking past a series of paintings than watching a movie. You can admire the skill that went into work, but it never carries you along.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3/5

August 31, 2005
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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This is one of the year's best films.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

August 31, 2005
Robert K. Elder
Chicago Tribune
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A sweaty, vital masterpiece that's always one step ahead of its audience.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

August 31, 2005
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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It harkens back to an era when movies about socially relevant causes came without irony and with the conviction that wide exposure could bring about needed changes. In other words, this isn't your usual multiplex offering.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 31, 2005
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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A masterwork of suspense, romance and political intrigue. It is a taut and gripping thriller that dazzles the eyes and engages the brain in a way that few recent films have come close to approaching.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 4/4

August 31, 2005
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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The Constant Gardener is one of the great films of the year.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 5/5

August 31, 2005
Jan Stuart
Newsday
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It is comforting to know that, in his tireless commitment to doing Chekhov and Ibsen on the London stage, Fiennes hasn't forgotten how to be a movie star.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 31, 2005
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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The Constant Gardener is the latest movie to try and take a grown-up look at government trickery and subterfuge, and it's the best since 2001's The Tailor of Panama.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger

August 31, 2005
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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Its creeping pace will bore many viewers, but it'll inspire more than a few to march in the streets.

| Original Score: 3/4

August 31, 2005
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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The Constant Gardener is a thriller with plenty on its mind. It leaves us wondering how well we know the world around us, not to mention the people we love. It's appropriately unsettling.

| Original Score: B+

August 31, 2005
David Edelstein
Slate
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It might inspire you to haul out those garden spades and get digging.

Full Review Source: Slate

August 30, 2005
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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[Fiennes] gives an Oscar-worthy portrayal, holding us with his quivering half-smile and his wounded eyes.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: A-

August 30, 2005
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
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For an English-language movie with recognizable stars, its measure of social maturity can be startling, but it's also a bristling demonstration of the formal difficulty of liberal narrative, and of ambitious third-world tourist-cinema.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

August 30, 2005
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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The Constant Gardener is a movie with something to say, and it speaks its message loudly and with eloquence.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

August 30, 2005
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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The fact that none of the above is satisfactorily answered, and that we nevertheless emerge from the movie feeling nourished and stirred, is a tribute to Meirelles and, of course, to le Carré.

August 29, 2005
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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It is a complex story and it's the kind of thing where afterward, you really want to think about this movie and talk about it.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

August 29, 2005
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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A smart, beautiful piece of storytelling.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

August 25, 2005
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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There is, I realize, always the chance that such a serious, it's-good-for-you description makes The Constant Gardener sound like a lemonade glass of medicine. It's not.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

August 24, 2005
Robert Koehler
Variety
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Topically urgent and ripe with outrage over the myriad injustices visited upon the African poor.

Full Review Source: Variety

August 16, 2005
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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Director Fernando Meirelles gives a Third World p.o.v. to John le Carre's often talky, Euro-centric tale of betrayal, venality and corporate malfeasance.

August 16, 2005
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Prepare for a thrilling ride.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

August 11, 2005
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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There's much to absorb here, all played out against a teeming canvas of human turmoil, in a blistering human drama that is positively electrifying.

August 11, 2005
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