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Ministry of Fear (1944)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 20
Rotten: 2

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Counted: 4
Fresh: 3
Rotten: 1

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 885

Trailer


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Movie Info

An innocent man is drawn into a web of espionage when he unwittingly comes into possession of a crucial piece of microfilm in this shadowy, ominous film noir. Fritz Lang's adaptation of Graham Greene's novel is filled with unusual touches, beginning with the fact that protagonist Stephen Neale (Ray Milland) has just been released from a mental asylum. To celebrate his return to the real world, he visits a local carnival, only to accidentally receive a "prize" meant for a Nazi agent. When he … More

Rating:
Unrated (not rated)
Genre:
Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Classics
Directed By:
Written By:
Seton I. Miller
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Apr 14, 1998
Runtime:
Paramount Pictures


Cast


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Critic Reviews for Ministry of Fear

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (2) | DVD (2)

Lang at his finest and purest.

Full Review… | October 15, 2014
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Fritz Lang, a master at getting the most out of mystery, intrigue and melodrama, in his direction apparently didn't have his way from beginning to end on Ministry of Fear.

Full Review… | July 22, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

This is a wonderfully atmospheric, almost expressionistic thriller, packed with memorable moments.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Plant yourself well in a firm seat and keep your over-coat on when you go to see this thriller, for it dumps you and douses you fast.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Fritz Lang turns this into a creepily effective work, full of bravura set pieces and subtle suggestions.

Full Review… | October 15, 2014
Radio Times

Uncertainty and fear of the unknown are the hallmarks of this classic film noir by master director Lang, which, until the last revelation, is guaranteed to puzzle and chill the viewer.

Full Review… | October 15, 2014
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Adept at using cinema for art and entertainment since his early career, Lang treats this Graham Greene "entertainment" in modest, yet effective fashion.

Full Review… | April 14, 2013
Film International

This is not Lang's best film of the era, or even his most interesting portrait of paranoia and malevolent forces, but it is a lively thriller with unexpected turns.

Full Review… | March 23, 2013
Parallax View

The film as a whole doesn't really stick with you, but isolated moments and images do

Full Review… | March 18, 2013
Q Network Film Desk

It's not top-shelf Fritz Lang, nor is it top-level Graham Greene, but as an exercise in World War II intrigue with a smidgen of film noir thrown in, Ministry of Fear gets the job done.

Full Review… | March 7, 2013
Creative Loafing

It's certainly fitting that after filling his German years with ballsy, predictive masterpieces about Nazi rule-by-fear, Fritz Lang would finally make a film that directly involves Nazis.

Full Review… | January 31, 2011
Film and Felt

Visually brilliant masterpiece.

Full Review… | July 18, 2009
Classic Film and Television

On paper Lang was the ideal Greene director, but he's let down a mite by a screenplay which fails to do justice to the writer's favourite entertainment.

Full Review… | May 24, 2003
Film4

Really good Fritz Lang noir that's never gotten its due

July 30, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Has an exciting plot and is properly atmospheric despite its cheap studio sets.

Full Review… | October 9, 2001
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Ministry of Fear

½

Ministry of Fear is easily one of Fritz Lang's high points of the 1940s. He does a great job capturing WWII London with a dreadful mood. The chase scene in the beginning as well as the seance scene is worth it alone. The cast is good, but the set design is superb and if my senses aren't failing me I'd say that Ministry of Fear is a precursor to North By Northwest. Overall, the setup is good, the middle dwindles a bit and the last few minutes are kind of weak (with a slightly embarrassing ending) but if you can get your hands on a copy of this movie it's worth the time.

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mjgildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

I don't really care that the story is ridiculous, Lang directed the film beautifully (Is there any other director who used contrasting shadow and light so well?) and I like that its a WWII propaganda film, that doesn't really feel like a propaganda film . . . probably because the "heroes" and "villains" are less clearly defined than most stuff from that era.

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Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

Ministry of Fear Quotes


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