The Ghost Writer


The Ghost Writer

Critics Consensus

While it may lack the revelatory punch of Polanski's finest films, Ghost Writer benefits from stylish direction, a tense screenplay, and a strong central performance from Ewan McGregor.



Total Count: 205


Audience Score

User Ratings: 60,309
User image

The Ghost Writer Photos

Movie Info

When a successful British ghost writer, The Ghost, agrees to complete the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang, his agent assures him it's the opportunity of a lifetime. But the project seems doomed from the start-not least because his predecessor on the project, Lang's long-term aide, died in an unfortunate accident. As The Ghost works, he begins to uncover clues suggesting his predecessor may have stumbled on a dark secret linking Lang to the CIA-and that somehow this information is hidden in the manuscript he left behind. Was Lang in the service of the American intelligence agency while he was prime minister? And, was The Ghost's predecessor murdered because of the appalling truth he uncovered?

Watch it now


Ewan McGregor
as The Ghost
Pierce Brosnan
as Adam Lang
Kim Cattrall
as Amelia Bly
Olivia Williams
as Ruth Lang
Tom Wilkinson
as Paul Emmett
Jim Belushi
as James Maddox
Timothy Hutton
as Sidney Kroll
Eli Wallach
as Vineyard Old Man
Robert Pugh
as Robret Rycart
Jon Bernthal
as Rick Ricardelli
David Rintoul
as Stranger
Anna Botting
as SKY TV Newsreader
Yvonne Tomlinson
as Stewardess
Milton Welch
as Taxi Driver
Alister Mazzotti
as Protection Officer No. 1
John Keogh
as Protection Officer No. 2
Hans-Peter Sussner
as Protection Officer No. 3
Stuart Austen
as Protection Officer No. 4
Andy Güting
as Protection Officer No. 5
Morgane Polanski
as Hotel Receptionist
Robert Wallhöfer
as Protection Officer No. 6
Robert Seeliger
as CNN Newscaster
Clayton Nemrow
as Journalist
Julia Kratz
as Woman with Bullhorn
Angelique Fernandez
as War Crimes Prosecutor
Anne Whittman
as CNN Newscaster
Mo Asumang
as U.S. Secretary of State
Sylke Ferber
as Island Ferry Attendant
Desiree Erasmus
as Nancy Emmett
Errol Shaker
as Mainland Ferry Attendant
Errol Harewood
as C.I.A. Agent on Ferry
Talin Lopez
as C.I.A. Agent on Ferry
Joel Kirby
as Motel Receptionist
Regine Hentschel
as Diner Waitress
Daniel Sutton
as Hatherton Stewart
Eben Young
as FBI Agent
Jaymes Butler
as FBI Agent
View All

News & Interviews for The Ghost Writer

Critic Reviews for The Ghost Writer

All Critics (205) | Top Critics (45)

  • The dialogue and suspense created by director Polanski are first rate. You will enjoy this film.

    Jan 12, 2018 | Full Review…

    Ed Koch

    The Atlantic
    Top Critic
  • It is good to see Polanski exercising his gift for the sinister. It's a spooky world he evokes here but its architecture doesn't hang together, which is a great pity.

    Aug 9, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The film will probably be better remembered as a faithful screen adaptation of the Robert Harris political thriller.

    Apr 22, 2010 | Rating: 3/5
  • [Contains] a series of fundamentally dispiriting moments that are seemingly insulated from criticism by the Polanski brand.

    Apr 21, 2010 | Rating: 1/5
  • Whether or not Polanski fully grasps the moral of his own excellent film remains to be seen.

    Apr 16, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Apr 15, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Ghost Writer

  • Jul 25, 2013
    A solid political thriller that slowly escalates to tension at the right pace. <i>The Ghost Writer</i> is a well-done proof that Polanski has not lost his auteur signature, as brief visual trademarks that characterized his thrillers of the 60s are present here, from the cinematography to digging the most macabre layers of his characters. Rather than being a film about moral, or a political film about prioritizing international relations rather than $250,000 US dollars, like a Flixster contact called SirPant used to say, it is a film about ghosts: The original title is indeed "The Ghost", which does not only refer to the protagonist but also the ghost of the previous dead ghost writer unraveling deep secrets, the present ghost writer may be located on a ghost island, moving like a ghost among people so his investigation is not uncovered, etc. He concluded: <i>"The film is so full of ghosts!"</i>. Indeed, it is, thanks to Polanski's moody gray atmosphere. 75/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 04, 2012
    Not the best conspiracy film but under the hand of Roman Polanski, it entertains you long enough to finish it.
    paul o Super Reviewer
  • Dec 30, 2011
    slow as hell but intriguing polanski film. if you can wait for the pay off you'll be surprised. be warned you could probably read the book before the film ends
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Dec 03, 2011
    A fantastic political thriller with almost reckless resemblance to real life. A Ton Blair-ish, edgy Pierce Brosnan and the lady who played his wife were impressive, but it was Ewan McGreggor who played the nameless, symbolic ghost writer who takes the cake. Oh, and did a mention that this is co-written and directed by Roman Polanski?
    Anoop K Super Reviewer

The Ghost Writer Quotes

News & Features