Critic Consensus: Sleuth is so obvious and coarse, rather than suspenseful and action-packed, that it does nothing to improve on the original version
The updated story of a wealthy writer of detective stories, and an aspiring yet out-of-work actor who is having an affair with the writer's wife. The writer's exquisitely modernized Georgian manor becomes the backdrop for a cat and mouse game that pits one creative mind against another.
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Critic Reviews for Sleuth
Director Kenneth Branagh has mercifully pared the action down to 88 minutes (the first movie dragged on for 138), but the final act... still seems to go on forever.
Kenneth Branagh's direction, its self-consciously skewed angles and surveillance-cam cutaways highlighting his weakness for the misplaced flourish, is more of a hindrance than a help.
It requires a light touch; I admire Branagh a great deal, but not for his light touch.
Idly plotted then tempered by a blunt ending. All of a sudden the viewer is left pondering 'eh?' as Pinter apparently run out of room on his pad.
Pinter's pauses, and the dour air of so much of the interplay, just don't fit on a story that's this slight.
Audience Reviews for Sleuth
I personally found Sluth difficult to watch. And that is strange because it has two very fine actors playing the major rolls, never the less this film left me feeling very hollow once I had finally forced myself to the end. Perhaps it was the environment, I find "modern" house architecture total nonsense so watching an entire film set in this kind of environment very difficult.
Also I have very fond memories of the 1975 version that was set in a castle I believe and had far more atmosphere than this film. The film was also very predictable hardly straying from the original in story so there were no real surprises when it all came down to it. Who ever decided to set this in a modern "artsy" house should be boxed behind the ears, it ruined the entire film. 1 Star 12-19-13
Not as good as the original, but if you never saw that, it's got some twists worth seeing. Doubt this film will hit Branagh's resume.
A riveting and dazzling film. A masterful, intelligent and tremendously tense cat and mouse thriller. It`s a hypnotic, stylish and superbly acted masterpiece. An intense, frequently witty and shattering screenplay by Harold Pinter. Director, Kenneth Branagh creates a solid and electrifying masterwork. It keeps you on the edge of your seat no problem all the way to the end. Michael Caine and Jude Law are an outstanding tour de force. They give amazing performances, showing different and great styles of their acting and in their character development. Some truly brilliant and unforgettable acting from Law and Caine. Wonderful work from two great actors of two different generations and a great writer and director. It`s a knockout that's just as frightening as it is entertaining.
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