The Ghost Writer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Ghost Writer Reviews

Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
November 17, 2011
| Original Score: 4/5
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
April 15, 2010
The thread of black humour that runs throughout the film compensates for its occasional moments of madness. It's a film just silly enough to be taken deadly seriously.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
March 5, 2010
The result is a political thriller refreshingly long on grown-up dialogue yet lamentably shy on, well, thrills. This chatty thing does go on.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
March 5, 2010
The swirl of visual poetry, political intrigue and personal zeal that Polanski creates gets under your skin and brings an icy hand up your back. This is moviemaking.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
March 5, 2010
Polanski is in total command of his medium, something that hasn't been a sure thing since the 1970s, The Pianist notwithstanding.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 4, 2010
So elegant, so deliciously scary, so masterfully controlled that you feel tingles of bliss even as your skin crawls.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 4, 2010
Another director would almost certainly have bobbled this devilish mixture of paperback suspense, political chicanery, and jet-black comedy. In Polanski's hands, it's an unholy pleasure: a diversion that stings.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 4, 2010
As an exercise in craft, it's surprisingly successful, thanks to the strong cast and the vivid depiction of a modern leader's security apparatus.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 3, 2010
It's not one of Polanski's masterpieces, but The Ghost Writer doesn't dilute his reputation as a master of suspense.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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David Denby
New Yorker
March 1, 2010
The best thing Polanski has done since the seventies, when he brought out the incomparable Chinatown and the very fine Tess.
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Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
February 26, 2010
Like the Swiss clocks that must have watched over his editing suite, Polanski's flick ticks away relentlessly -- at 128 minutes, the film doesn't make us impatient for a second.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
February 26, 2010
The Ghost Writer is minor Polanski but it's one of the rare thrillers these days that plays up to you instead of down.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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David Germain
Associated Press
February 26, 2010
Brosnan and Williams are the real highlights, both such dynamos that you feel their absence and yearn for their return during the long stretches when McGregor is mucking about on his own.
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
February 26, 2010
Brosnan, long past his James Bond days, has ripened as an actor; he's outstanding.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 26, 2010
Polanski infuses the action with the quality of a waking nightmare. He has the capacity to take a simple shot of a ship coming into harbor and give it a feeling of foreboding.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
February 26, 2010
From the chic austerity of the Langs' undisclosed location to the gradually revealed nexus between academia, politics and corporate influence, The Ghost Writer offers an unusually astute glimpse of power at its most alluring and corrosive.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Sam Adams
Los Angeles Times
February 25, 2010
Considering that it's been more than a decade since The Ninth Gate, you'd think Polanski would have had more in store.
| Original Score: B-
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 25, 2010
Doesn't demand much from the viewer, but its smart dialogue, nimble syncopations, and tricky suspense are - while you're there in the theater, in the dark - thoroughly satisfying.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
February 25, 2010
The mystery is unraveled a bit too conveniently, and the fatalistic Chinatown ending feels more rehearsed than revelatory.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 25, 2010
Polanski at 76 provides a reminder of directors of the past who were raised on craft, not gimmicks, and depended on a deliberate rhythm of editing rather than mindless quick cutting.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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A.O. Scott
At the Movies
February 22, 2010
This is a nice, stripped down, spare, modest little thriller.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
February 22, 2010
This is a real triumph in tone.
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
February 19, 2010
McGregor turns in his best work in recent memory, and Polanski's an expert at building the sort of intense atmosphere that leaves his audience in a state of edgy paranoia.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Dana Stevens
Slate
February 19, 2010
The intrigues, suspense, and reversals that follow this setup are best left to unfold at their own stately clip.
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Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
February 19, 2010
From the second it begins, The Ghost Writer signals directorial authority and precision, subtly codifying the film's existential style and substance.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
February 19, 2010
Mr. Polanski's work with his performers is consistently subtle even when the performances seem anything but, which is true of this very fine film from welcome start to finish.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
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John Anderson
Wall Street Journal
February 19, 2010
Mr. Polanski is a magician, his movie a synthesis of Mr. Harris's sturdy narrative, a Mamet-like appreciation for the shadows that lurk between words, and a drollery that most directors wouldn't even think about attaching to a thriller.
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
February 19, 2010
Roman Polanski, you are the mayor of Chutzpahtown.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
February 19, 2010
It's a brilliantly made, paranoid, leftish political thriller. And it's also the first great film of the year.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Christopher Kelly
Dallas Morning News
February 19, 2010
[Polanski has a] knack for taking pulp and transforming it into tense, paranoid drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
February 18, 2010
A tight, taut, witty and highly theatrical entertainment, shot in shades of wintry gray, that will keep you guessing right through its final fadeout.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
February 18, 2010
This is the 76-year-old Polanski's first contemporary thriller in two decades and his first film in four years. It's an intelligent and deftly honed return to the genre, blending a contemporary plot and classic structure.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 18, 2010
A dark pearl of a movie whose great flair and precision make it Polanski's best work in quite a while.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
February 18, 2010
The Ghost Writer may not go down as one of Polanski's masterpieces, but if it does end up being his swan song, it's the ideal denouement to a life and career of unsettling resonance.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
February 17, 2010
A well-made, sleekly retaliatory, pleasurably paranoid tale...
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Sara Vilkomerson
New York Observer
February 17, 2010
Overall feels uneven, sprawling and strangely incomplete.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 17, 2010
Shows Polanski in brilliant command of a political thriller that ties you up in knots of tension while zinging politics and showbiz like two sides of the same toxic coin.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 17, 2010
The Ghost Writer is a reminder that, regardless of his real-life problems, Roman Polanski can still craft compelling thrillers.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Nicolas Rapold
Village Voice
February 16, 2010
What actually happens is less important than the barest glimmers of that old Polanski magic.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
February 16, 2010
McGregor hits all the right notes as a man with a conscience and sense of professional pride who is in way over his head.
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Derek Elley
Variety
February 16, 2010
Polanski simply transfers Harris' undistinguished prose direct to the screen and, though the pace picks up marginally in the second half, there's little wow factor in the revelations as they appear.