Frantic - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Frantic Reviews

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April 28, 2018
nicely paced and often un-nerving little thriller making good use of Paris locales. the every day frustrations of life in general, but especially those encountered abroad, are handled with subtle wit here. The story and characters will hold your attention for the whole movie
March 31, 2018
where the hell is my wife?? this is one of the best of harrisons movies along with the fugitive and what lies beneath.
December 29, 2017
One of Ford's best performances and a top notch thriller.
½ December 24, 2017


[Roman Polanski]
½ October 21, 2017
Roman Polanski's Frantic is a very good suspense thriller. It immediately established a mood and a look that drew me in completely. Harrison Ford is excellent, in an intense and believable performance, and Emmanuelle Seigner was also convincing. There is a crazy, intense dance scene between them that at first seemed amusing and frivolous, then annoyed me the longer it went on, and then hit me as a stroke of genius; it was surreal, and it conveyed the depth of Ford's mental state as he struggles to deal with this incomprehensible situation into which he has been thrown, including the very seedy and sometimes bizarre side of Paris. The movie isn't perfect, but it is very good.
½ September 23, 2017
Surprisingly well put together for a film that doesn't take a break when it picks up.
½ June 3, 2017
Conventional and ultimately boring, Roman Polanski's artistic direction is still present as well as a reliably good performance from Harrison Ford but neither make up for the movie's flaws enough to warrant a recommendation.
March 4, 2017
Awesome. Not in your face subtleties abound. Loved Michelle the most.
March 1, 2017
The pacing of this movie wasn't always that fluid, but it did keep me somewhat interested. The movie as a whole is passable, but I can't rant and rave about it too much since it also had lengthy slow moments. It felt too long and the ending wasn't overly satisfying.
½ January 3, 2017
A tense, on-point thriller in the vein of Polanski's earlier work. Though not quite the crackerjack thriller promised by its title, Frantic is nevertheless a solid, consistently entertaining piece of work that boasts a typically stellar performance from Harrison Ford. Polanski's thriller boasts several superb set pieces, even if it doesn't quite snap shut on the mind the way Chinatown did. Polanski enjoys piling on the references to his favourite Hitchcock movies, while Ford - in the style of Cary Grant in North by Northwest - brings a good measure of humanity and understated humour to his role as the American fish out of water, having to cope with the French way of doing things. The film finally collapses in its writing. The compelling nature of Richard's ongoing efforts, combined with the periodic inclusion of suspenseful interludes, proves effective at sustaining the viewer's interest even through the movie's more demonstrably overlong stretches, and there's little doubt that the whole thing picks up substantially with the arrival of a fast-paced, thoroughly exciting third act - which ultimately cements Frantic's place as an erratically-paced yet engaging thriller. Frantic is Polanski's most satisfying film since Chinatown, and one of the best traditional thrillers to come down the pike in quite some time. One of Roman Polanski's best, and too often overlooked.

VERDICT: "High-Quality Stuff" - [Positive Reaction] This is a rating to a movie I view as very entertaining and well made, and definitely worth paying the full price at a theatre to see or own on DVD. It is not perfect, but it is definitely excellent. (Films that are rated 3.5 or 4 stars)
December 4, 2016
An exciting thriller about a doctor & his wife landing in Paris & checking in at their hotel & then the wife strangely disappears.

Filled with genuine suspense & truly keeps you guessing. Harrison Ford was terrific as the lead & truly was such a capable actor.

Filled with terrific side characters that populate this strange universe. Can't explain to much without wrecking the twists but it's a strong thriller from master filmmaker Roman Polanski who is arguably larger than his films.
November 24, 2016
Yet another "wrong man on the run" film this time has Polanski helming it. The story is a bit flat and very straight forward but Polanski and his stars elevate it to something much more than that. On Blu-ray in the US.
½ October 17, 2016
Harrison Ford himself sounded bored with the movie.
½ July 15, 2016
Doctor's wife is kidnapped in Paris ahead of a medical conference after picking up the wrong suitcase at the airport. Well paced thriller succeeds in maintaining interest even if the terrorist cell seems to bring surprisingly little muscle in the final exchange.
½ June 21, 2016
It's not as tight or focused as it should be, but Frantic is an effective thriller largely thanks to a compelling Harrison Ford performance at its core.
May 20, 2016
It's pretty TV movie-ish. Polanski is usually capable of deeper thriller work than this. While it sets up a highly interesting mystery, the second half begins to lay things out too clearly and strays more into formulaic. It's fun 80s noir, but there's nothing to cry home about in this one, especially given the amount of originality Polanski usually has in his work.
½ April 15, 2016
You know you're watching the film of a cinematic master when done-to-death material suddenly seems unfamiliar. If in the hands of another filmmaker, 1988's "Frantic" would be your average kidnapping thriller, verging on the tedious. But as it's directed and co-written by Roman Polanski, an auteur whose aesthetic peculiarities have made him one of the most intriguing cinematic artists of his generation, déjà vu proves to be the least of our worries - when faced with Polanski's black humor and jumpy visual style, "Frantic" goes from would-be blockbuster to avant garde thriller of the "Diva" (1981) brand. And the results, though tonally uneven in totality, are eccentrically spellbinding.
Harrison Ford headlines as Richard Walker, a San Francisco-based doctor in Paris to give a lecture at a medical conference. His wife Sondra (Betty Buckley) in tow, we get the sense that neither are much interested in the conference itself. As they spent their honeymoon in the City of Lights some twenty years earlier, more appealing to them is the opportunity to enjoy each other's company in the place their love became more concrete than ever.
But, as in the case of most (if all) thrillers, things go awry merely hours after they initially arrive. Sondra's suitcase is nowhere to be found; it seems there was a mix-up at the airport, and she ended up with the luggage of someone else. She laughs it off, playfully accusing her husband of attempting to give her an excuse to shop for expensive French clothes. But moments later, while Richard washes off the long journey in the shower, Sondra all but vanishes into thin air. Something tells us the mix-up and her disappearance correlate.
And so does Richard. Authorities, however, don't match in his concern. While they allow him to go through the motions of filing a missing persons report, they're under the impression that Sondra must be off somewhere in France with a lover Richard didn't know anything about. But he knows his wife - their marriage is as strong as it's ever been - and such claims are hardly fitting. To his irritation, he's forced to leave the law behind and undergo an investigation of his own, where leads, somehow, are abundant. Richard gets even closer to solving the mystery when he meets Michelle (Emmanuelle Seigner), a young drug courier who has Sondra's bag. She wants her payment just as much as Richard wants his wife back.
So one could say that "Frantic" is one long whodunit with hints of the chase film, though its cockeyed assemblage makes it seem distant from its more mainstream peers. Polanski only has to do small things to achieve his lopsided effect, from the way Grace Jones's "I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)" plays repetitively (not as non-diegetic sound, either) to Polanski's insistence that most of Richard's leads be odd figures themselves.
Inversions of normality in an otherwise predictable genre are what make "Frantic" the playfully suspenseful work that it is - if only its ending, reminiscent of the conclusion of "Chinatown" (1974), matched the overall mood of the piece. With everything so darkly humorous, fatalism isn't much suitable. Still, the film finds Polanski at his most skilled; though it's a minor work, "Frantic" reminds one of his mastery, the confidence he holds in his own idiosyncrasies.
March 12, 2016
I'm sorry, this movie does not make the grade. Wishfull thinking for the Polanski glory days.
½ March 5, 2016
More resemblant of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, and devoid of Polanski's characteristic evil surrealism, "Frantic" still boasts a twisty story, engaging performances, and a beautiful Parisian backdrop.
February 7, 2016
Suspense till the very end.
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