The Statement - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Statement Reviews

Page 1 of 5
Super Reviewer
October 22, 2011
I really liked the narrative behind this film, however I was slightly confused as to who I should be rooting for. Opening with (and following) Pierre Brossard we can see he is truly sorry for his actions. Is that just to calm his own nerves and make himself feel better? Maybe, but he still pained himself over what he has done which led me to believe we should be on his side and want him to escape. Certainly casting Michael Caine in this role does that. But at the end the filmmakers professed this film to the 7 Jews who were killed all those years ago, so why make their murderer so human and so compassionate? I also found it slightly slow at times when nothing to progress the narrative happened. This is a good film and whilst I won't be watching it for a long while it's something I'll definitely revisit. Thanks in part to Caine's brilliant performance!
Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2010
Cast: Michael Caine, Tilda Swinton, Charlotte Rampling, Alan Bates, Jeremy Northam, Ciarán Hinds, John Neville, Matt Craven, Edward Petherbridge

Director: Norman Jewison

Summary: The buried sins of the past almost always find a way to surface in the present, as Frenchman Pierre Brossard (Michael Caine) discovers in this drama directed by Norman Jewison. Pierre's quiet life in southern France is disrupted as he's haunted by his betrayals. During World War II, his Nazi sympathizing led to the deaths of 14 Jews. With a Nazi hunter (Tilda Swinton), the police and hired killers on his trail, it's his turn to be the hunted.

My Thoughts: "The movie grabbed me right from the start with it's brilliant opening, but unfortunately it doesn't keep with that brilliance the entire film. In about thirty minutes in, it gets quite boring. Not one of Caine's best performances, but a movie he did carry on his own. It's basically him going from church to church in hiding. Not very interesting, but the story is. I wish they would have elaborated on it more then just showing Caine's character on the run. Also, what happened to this film being of french characters, they all sounded pretty british to me. Just not well made."
Super Reviewer
April 24, 2009
Not one of michael caines best of films its a bit boring really just following him around with his life and it just was very exciting!
Super Reviewer
July 16, 2008
Michael Caine plays the only interesting part , but even he can't help the sinking feeling of this flat, slow, superficial, unsympathetic tv movie with big aspirations. Too bad to know also that this may be Norman Jewison's last movie.
Super Reviewer
May 23, 2007
I was initially hooked by this film, both by the great opening scene in which Michael Caine coldly disposes of a supposed jewish vigilante and it's promise of historical and political intrigue. Unfortunately it never quite lives up to expectation, the potential in the storyline never being realized. It merely scrapes the surface of the historical aspect of the story, and many of the supporting characters are wasted in superficially realized roles. The fact that the picture postcard scenery is the only thing remotely french about the whole affair did not help, most roles filled by brits with very british accents. But it's always good to see Caine playing these rare but always watchable unsympathetic characters, and I found myself wishing we saw more of him, and less of the dreary duo in pursuit. On the whole, a missed opportunity.
June 18, 2015
A terrific cast in a finely directed and beautifully photographed movie. It has a very strong story. Star Michael Caine gives a really excellent performance as a complex character. Caine manages to make the villain of the piece entirely believable and quite human without ever make him at all likable. Each time the story makes him a bit sympathetic the script and Caine's excellent performance rips away any idea that he might be a sympathetic villain. This movie is a great political thriller.
August 29, 2012
Slow-paced and deliberate, Michael Caine's performance reminds us of how he gained his legendary status.
March 10, 2011
Michael Caine is great as a Frenchman and Nazi collaborator protected by the Catholic Church, but director Norman Jewison (he of great films like In The Heat of The Night and Moonstruck) is interested in all surface, little more with the script by Ronald Harwood. It's soul-crushingly boring.
½ June 6, 2010
This movie is based on a compelling story but it is very poorly directed. First off, the convention of setting a movie in France with French characters and having them speak with British accents to make the movie seem "foreign" is outdated. It never really worked, but it did have commercial benefit in the mid to late 20th century. Today, with indie and Foreign film moving into the mainstream, it is almost laughable. This movie would have done better commercially and artistically if it had been in French with subtitles. Secondly, the director has created caricatures for the roles of the female judge, the detectives, priests and the rotund local politician. Michael Cain rises above this in spite of a vacuous mind of the director. This is a good example how dumbing down a movie for the masses doesn't always make for commercial success. Sometimes you just ruin the entire film.
½ December 12, 2008
The Statement elicits more yawns than gasps and plays like a second-rate rerun from Sunday afternoon television.
½ October 22, 2007
I love Michael Caine. He has been one of the best actors around for so many years, and is amazing in this movie as an on-the-run Nazi war criminal. Very engaging show.
June 10, 2007
A simple and straight-forward thriller about a nazi war criminal (Caine) on the run from hit men. The script is stretched out and the pacing is slow, but luckily the performances are solid, with Cain giving a riveting performance as always, and this is what keeps us watching. There is some genuine suspense as we care for Caine's character but once he is not on screen our attention dwindles. Still, not bad of a thriller.
½ January 28, 2006
[color=#000000][b][i]Thumbsucker[/i][/b] was a good film about growing up and learning about life. The cast was really good and I enjoyed the film. Lou Pucci who I had never seen before did a great job. It was very interesting to learn that the author of the book that the movie is based on really did suck his thumb at age 17. I would have rated this higher if it had held more meaning for me personally. I did love the different snippets of thoughts that the movie brought to my mind ? the biggest one that really went home here was the medication of our children. It is something that is used way too much because it is easy to do. Overall, it is an interesting movie to watch and think about. [/color]

[color=#000000]I had high hopes for [b][i]The Statement[/i][/b] (Michael Caine and Tilda Swinton!) It just did not come close to what I thought it could/should have been. My biggest problem with the film was its ending. The movie ended with a whimper. It had been building, and building suspense and momentum and then just got doused. Other then that, it was an intriguing look at why someone would chose to aid the Nazis and commit war crimes. It did a good job on those points and making one look at the other side.[/color]

[color=#000000]Both these films had [b]Tilda Swinton[/b]. She has been a favorite actress of mine for some time. Not sure why, but I always enjoy her performances and her spin on her characters (especially some of the more small and out-there characters - Gabriel in [i]Constantine[/i]). The same is true here. She was a very interesting Mother figure in [i][b]Thumbsucker[/b][/i] and I could see her completely as the part, but it was nothing compared to her part or role in [b][i]The Deep End[/i][/b]. I think about that film every time I see Ms. Swinton somewhere.[/color]
½ January 20, 2006
[color=black][font=Tahoma]Can you say superficial stereotype? Is this movie about justice or a bipolar old man? I was reluctant to rent this movie, but still decided to give it a chance... mistake. Instead of treating the topic of justice intelligently and with respect for the 7 Jewish men that were murdered by the Nazi's with the cooperation of French officials, Jewison (director) creates another smear campaign against the Catholic Church. [/font][/color][color=black][font=Tahoma]In terms of believable characters, there are two; the judge and the military officer in charge of the "newly opened case". As for Mr. Brossard (Caine), the one guilty of the crime, his bipolar personality hardly fits the story, in addition to being a blatant injustice to the actual victims this movie accomplishes to disrespect. [/font][/color][color=black][font=Tahoma]If you rent this movie, make sure to rent another one with it, so you'll have something to watch once you decide to switch it off.[/font][/color]
½ September 7, 2004
[b]The Secret Lives of Dentists (2002)[/b]
Strange film. Hope Davis and Campbell Scott are two dentists who are married and also share a practice. And they have three young and very demanding daughters. At the start of the film, the wife, Dana, has been singing in the chorus of a community opera group. But rehearsals aren't the only thing creating a distance between her and the rest of the family. Her husband Dave sees her sharing an intimate moment with another man. Dave loves his wife and is a devoted father, and the one parent who the kids can depend on to take care of them. Although he loves Dana, he won't talk to her. The one time she tries to talk to him, he pretends to be asleep. He is too afraid of what she might say. There is an episode when the family's gone to spend a weekend at their cabin in the woods. Dave spends his time running one noisy gardening tool after another because he's afraid Dana plans to confess her affair and he doesn't want to give her a chance to talk. We know what Dave is thinking and fantaszing about because he has the personification of his subconscious to talk to. This figure is present in the form of a recent patient (Dennis Leary) who turned out to be the patient from hell. As long as Dave is going through this crisis, this guy is present. It's a bizarre bit of unreality that gets old after a while. The performances from Campbell Scott, Hope Davis and Dennis Leary are pretty good, but the children are really annoying. Watching it I became frustrated with both the husband and wife, and ultimately found the movie to be rather tedious, a little depressing and overall disappointing.

[b]The Statement (2003)[/b]
I can't blame the actors for this film not being more successful. The strong cast, headed by Michael Caine, does what it can with a script that seems to lack focus. Caine is an aging former Nazi collaborator who is still being hunted nearly fifty years after the war. The most interesting aspect to his flight for his life is the way he repeatedly turns to supporters in the Catholic church to help save his life while he can't seem to find the spiritual means to ablsolve the guilt that plagues him. This internal struggle is pushed to the background while the script moves back and forth between the police investigation of those pursuing Caine's character, his movements as he flees from one monastery to another, and a murky present-day government plot that also aims to do him in, though why and who benefits is never clear.
½ June 17, 2004
I saw this movie last night with my guy and he had a hard time staying awake. I was interested throughout but was disappointed when Tilda Swinton's character didn't achieve her goal (- trying not to write a spoiler). It's full of very good performances but lacks structure in the screenplay and the story comes off thinner than it should.
½ June 10, 2004
Here is a movie with a ton of potential. A movie about Nazi collaberators on the run in France, political intrigue, set in France and staring Michael Cain. There is just one problem: the movie stinks. Its not well written (unless you like high-school level dialog) and poorly acted. One other problem... the film is set in France, filmed in France and involves French history but there is no-one in the film that is French. The movie is filled with English actors playing French characters in English accents. Maybe French actors read the script and took a pass. You should too.
Page 1 of 5