The Third Man Reviews

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MFB Critics
Monthly Film Bulletin
August 1, 2015
By the very nature of its settings and story, there are occasional reminiscences of Lang and Hitchcock, but there is nothing borrowed or imitated. Stylistically, The Third Man is Reed's most impressive film.
Rob Gonsalves
eFilmCritic.com
July 28, 2015
Welles was a still-ridiculously young 34 when he played Harry, but he was probably born sounding 56...
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Emily S. Mendel
culturevulture.net
July 4, 2015
The bombed buildings, piles of rubble and their evocative shadows form a haunting backdrop to the outdoor scenes, particularly at night. ... Greene's talent for dialogue and suspense shine. [It] has more twists and turns than a rollercoaster.
Jeff Baker
Oregonian
July 3, 2015
It's an exciting experience, dazzling and entertaining and thought-provoking.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 2, 2015
Reed and screenwriter Graham Greene let the story unfold slowly and deliberately, like the cigarette smoke that floats around the characters, and keep us guessing at every step.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
July 2, 2015
Like many, I have loved this thriller of conscience and betrayal most of my moviegoing life.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
AP Kryza
Willamette Week
July 1, 2015
What really makes the film sing, though, isn't the jaunty and iconic zither score by Anton Karas. It's the film's groundbreaking visual aesthetic, which combines noir tropes with expressionism to create a visual wonderland of living shadows.
Full Review | Original Score: A
David Jenkins
Little White Lies
June 26, 2015
This is a film which does away with such cretinous inanity as offering up goodies and baddies, instead presenting its cast of characters as doing things which they believe to be good, but are not seen as such through the eyes of observers.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
June 26, 2015
"The Third Man" is important not just because of its technique but because of its theme ...
Wendy Ide
Times [UK]
June 25, 2015
Few films more effectively capture the crumbling infrastructure and opportunistic lawlessness of postwar Europe. And none better translate the snaking treachery of Graham Greene's stories and his worlds of cynical expats and casual betrayal.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
David Parkinson
Radio Times
June 25, 2015
Set in postwar occupied Vienna, the plot is a corker, littered with memorable moments and played to perfection by an unforgettable cast that's led with distinction by Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Matt Prigge
Metro
June 25, 2015
Best read not as an homage to Hitchcock - or to special super secret guest star Orson Welles - than as a study of what Carol Reed biographer Robert F. Moss describes as 'the ineffectuality of goodness.'
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
June 24, 2015
A lot funnier than you remember it, Carol Reed's immortal 1949 film noir seems to exist in the space between two worlds: an earlier time when thrillers were mostly serious affairs, and a future one, when such supremely witty entertainments felt passť.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice
June 23, 2015
The Third Man is a movie of sobering pleasures.
Manny Farber
The Nation
August 29, 2012
The movie's verve comes from the abstract use of a jangling zither and from squirting Orson Welles into the plot piece-meal with a tricky, facetious eyedropper.
Michael Nordine
Not Coming to a Theater Near You
October 14, 2011
The truth is often what one least expects it to be, and the ability to cope with the seemingly unbelievable is a dividing line between Reed's characters.
Scott G. Mignola
Common Sense Media
January 2, 2011
As powerful and original now as it was in 1949.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5

Film4
April 20, 2009
One of British cinema's most enduring and atmospheric thrillers. A genuine and endlessly rewatchable classic.
Matt Noller
Slant Magazine
December 16, 2008
Directors like Reed and Wilder created an environment of spatial and moral confusion in which their pulpy narratives could take on the ethical weight of a Biblical proverb.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
December 14, 2008
Greene's story and screenplay, which he accurately described as "a comic thriller," is a gift that keeps on giving, with patter that's never less than brilliant. [Criterion Blu-ray]
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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