The Interpreter (2005)



Critic Consensus: A polished and intelligent thriller, though marred by plot implausibilities.

Movie Info

Escalating events begin when African-born U.N. translator Silvia Broome alleges that she has overheard a death threat against an African head of state, spoken in a rare dialect few people other than Silvia can understand. With the words "The Teacher will never leave this room alive," in an instant, Silvia's life is turned upside down as she becomes a hunted target of the killers. Placed under the protection of federal agent Tobin Keller, Silvia's world only grows more nightmarish. As Keller digs … More

Rating: PG-13 (for violence, some sexual content and brief strong language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Charles Randolph, Steven Zaillian, Scott Frank
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 4, 2005
Box Office: $72.5M
Universal Pictures - Official Site


as Silvia Broome

as Tobin Keller

as Philippe

as Zuwanie

as Kuman-kuman

as Police Chief Lee Wu

as Simon Broome

as Rory Robb

as Ajene Xola

as Ajene Xola

as Jean Gamba

as FBI Agent King

as FBI Agent Lewis

as Phillip Ostroff

as Fred Jameson

as Charlie Russell

as American Ambassador ...

as Jonathan Williams

as African Boy

as African Boy

as African Boy

as Luan

as Matoban Ambassador

as G.A. President

as French Ambassador

as Chilean Ambassador

as Portuguese Janitor

as Forensic Officer

as Woman On Bus

as U.N. Security Office...

as U.N. Security Office...

as U.N. Security Office...

as U.N. Security Office...

as U.N. Security Office...

as U.N. Security Office...

as Polygraph Technician

as Stripper

as Spanish Speaking Int...

as Russian Interpreter

as Secretary General

as Young Silvia

as Young Simon

as Himself

as News Reporter

as News Reporter

as News Reporter

as British Airways Tick...

as Jonathan Ferris
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Critic Reviews for The Interpreter

All Critics (196) | Top Critics (46)

Penn is terrific in his low-key doggedness.

Full Review… | May 12, 2006
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

This is largely a competent, successful thriller, but observing global politics from this perspective is an uncomfortable, frustrating experience.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The film's themes are disappointingly vague and unspecific, built around a fictitious African country that stands for anywhere -- and consequently nowhere.

Full Review… | September 26, 2005
AV Club
Top Critic

As a character drama about dealing with violence and loss, The Interpreter is a quiet success. Unfortunately, it's a thriller, and all of the qualities that make it a successful character study rob it of the tension a thriller needs to succeed.

Full Review… | March 27, 2011

Much ballyhooed for its on-location filming in and around the United Nations building in Manhattan "The Interpreter" works better as a captivating drama than it does as an espionage thriller due to some sticking plot points that prevent the audience from

Full Review… | April 18, 2009

It's a dumb movie masquerading as smart but failing miserably.

Full Review… | May 27, 2008

Audience Reviews for The Interpreter

Kidman and Penn are good actors but the script is a bit limited, especially in terms of characterization, and it just leaves you thinking that this could've been so much better than what it was. Good thriller.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

Tobin Keller: I'd rather make the mistake of believing her, than the bigger one of not.†

"The truth needs no translation"

Despite liking both Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn(both of whom give good performances), I was left underwhelmed when The Interpreter was all said and done. For the most part, it was really just a dull drama with some thriller elements tossed in here and there. It never had me on the edge of my seat like it could have.

It's not technically a horrible movie, but I really found no joy in it. Other then the leads; the film doesn't really have any redeemable qualities. It's really dialogue heavy which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the dialogue leaves a lot to be desired.†

There are a few really interesting scenes, but as a whole the movie never really comes together. It doesn't flow at a good pace. It's slow, slower and then slowest and then for a three minute stretch it will pick up the pace. Then it will go back to it's snail crawl. I'm okay with slow films if they have good characters, dialogue and situations. This movie has one interesting character(Kidman's, Penn's character was lifeless, although he did play him well), bad dialogue and two or three cool situations.†I really wish this would have turned out different with the people involved. But I guess I can just go watch one of Penn's or Kidman's countless great movies.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

A disastrous film that tries to be more complex than it should be, each time coming up with more unnecessary details at the expense of simple concision. The obvious, predictable narrative suffers from terrible dialogue and gets lost amid contrivances, implausible situations and plot holes the size of Africa.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

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