The Hit - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hit Reviews

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November 23, 2012
tim roth is young . didnt understand the ending
November 14, 2012
Terrence Stamp was delightfully happy-go-lucky, rising above the other characters in his wit and his apathetic view towards his death. It was a great role for him. John Hurt was equally good as the cold killer, a role I would never expect him in. There were also some really cool shots. A pretty good flick.
October 27, 2012
"We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when" slow paced road movie. Hurt excels as the ruthless boss of the kidnapp gang assigned to bring supergrass Parker back to his former associates, for some gangland justice. Roth gives good support and a serious twitch from Laura del Sol.
September 6, 2012
Directed by Stephen Frears and produced by Jeremy Thomas from an original screenplay by Peter Prince (BBC's Oppenheimer). This is a gangster film with a twist, it's like a play on film, even though most of it takes place within the confines of a car. But, it has 3 stellar performances by 3 of the best British actors working at that time. It's powerful and suspenseful, and gangster films made today could learn something. London gangster Willie Parker (Terence Stamp) turns grass, and sends some of his fellow gangsters down in return for money from the police. 10 years later, and Parker is living a comfortable retirement in the south of Spain, but he finds himself being kidnapped by 4 Spanish youths, who hand him over to hitman Braddock (John Hurt) and his apprentice Myron (Tim Roth). They've been hired by one of the crime kingpins Parker sent down to bring him to Paris so the kingpin can kill him. On the way, they stop off in Madrid, where Braddock has a safe house. But, it's occupied by Australian gangster Harry (Bill Hunter) and his Spanish wife girlfriend Maggie (Laura del Sol). Parker tells Harry who he is, Braddock kills Harry and they kidnap Maggie and she goes along with them. It's a dark film but it's also a masterclass in acting. There's some brilliant cinematography by Mike Malloy, the film has a simple plot but it's the way Frears tells the story that makes it compelling, and there's something hypnotic and sparse about the scenes in rural Spain as they make their way for the Spanish/French border.
July 7, 2012
Willie: "It's just a moment. We're here. Then we're not here. We're somewhere else...maybe. And it's as natural as breathing. Why should we be scared?"
June 12, 2012
Thought-provoking, almost existentialist gangster thriller that nicely subverts one's expectations. John Hurt and Terence Stamp are excellent.
½ April 11, 2012
Really beautifully shot and with a very good soundtrack by Eric Clapton (and Roger Waters!), The Hit gives an interesting and artistic twist to classic gangster and assassination films. The three lead men perform very well as well and make this, although it is a bit strange and has some questionable plot points, a very good movie.
½ January 29, 2012
An existential road trip gangster movie headed with fantastic performances from Terrence Stamp, John Hurt, and Tim Roth. Its as odd as it sounds, but its a very well paced film with a great script and tons of themes about life and death. A very underrated film that is a must see for crime drama lovers.
½ January 8, 2012
Incredibly slow movie featuring Tim Roth with sunglasses, Terrance Stamp spouting existentialism, and John Hurt punching women. If the ending wasn't so poor this would be a new favorite.
December 31, 2011
I can't believe that I've never seen this movie until last night. How did I miss this awesome film?
December 17, 2011
It was shocking to see how a film with this much talent and praise fails at nearly every turn. Stephen Frears is a master of tone and he tries to balance three different films in one and it doesn't work to say the least. The gangster film with existential layers is a genre of film that will never get old for me. But having John Hurt and Tim Roth as the Keystone Hitmen ruins any progress this film starts to make. They're such a bunch of bumbling morons that i couldn't get past it. The guitar score is dreadful and Frears places it in terrible spots. Frears, Roth, Stamp, Hurt, Broadbent, gangster flick and its released through Criterion, i'm still lost on how this went wrong.
December 13, 2011
A quiet thriller that is low on plot while heavy on long glances. The ending isn't really explained, leaving us to infer why the characters made their decisions, but so little is revealed about them over the course of the movie that I just stopped trying to guess altogether.
½ November 27, 2011
This is an excellent but strangely forgotten-about movie. Although it has some very famous actors and was directed by Stephen Frears (who also made movies such as My Beautiful Laundrette, High Fidelity, and The Queen), I've never heard anyone talk about it. That's too bad, because it's a really wonderful and unique film.

The premise is initially simple and relies on well-established genre elements, but the movie quickly becomes its own creature. Terence Stamp plays an English mobster who, ten years prior to the main events of the film, ratted out his associated in exchange for legal immunity. We find him living peacefully in Spain, until two hitmen show up to kidnap him and take him to Paris to meet with one of the men he betrayed before executing him. There are some complications in this plan, and I liked the way the movie logically and realistically followed through on things that happen.

Stamp is extremely good as the kidnapped mobster, who seems to accept his impending death with equanimity. He's very calm and philosophical about it, so much so that it begins to irritate the two hitmen, who want him to be more worried. John Hurt is fantastic in a role very different from the sort of raspy old rapscallion I usually think of him as. Here he plays an ice-cold killer who says very little and hides his thoughts behind a pair of sunglasses, but gradually turns out to have more layers to him than you might think. I've always liked John Hurt, but this film shows a seriously great side of him I didn't know he had. A very young Tim Roth makes a nice contrast with Hurt as the younger hitman, who's impulsive and goofy but a bit more kind-hearted than the older man. Roth was only about 23 when he made this movie, but he was already a very talented and appealing actor. Laura del Sol is also good as a somewhat mysterious young woman who gets mixed up in the whole business.

Although the plot might make it sound like a thriller, the movie is actually quite matter-of-fact in its approach. It's not at all sensationalistic, and Peter Prince's script takes time to develop the characters and their situation realistically. It's interesting how early sequences in the movie get a lot done with almost no dialogue. There's a lot of philosophizing about death, and while none of it is especially profound, it is interesting to hear movie characters talking about it. The movie is kind of like Waiting for Godot, except with three main characters, two of whom are supposed to kill the other. There is a kind of grim, unforced humor to a lot of what happens here. Stephen Frears's direction is very good and manages to be visually creative without being flashy or unrealistic. In all, this is a well-paced, extremely well-acted, mildly philosophical little film that I wish more people knew about.
November 8, 2011
when i grow up i want to be as cool as terance stamp
October 28, 2011
Stylish British Crime yarn with an offbeat plot and excellent acting.
October 22, 2011
It's a slow and brooding one but it's not bad.
September 7, 2011
A Slow burn and loved it. There are questions at the end that had me puzzled. But worth the rental.
August 14, 2011
Just an all around great film.
July 30, 2011
Really really great movie, most of the performances are top notch and the pacing is really nice. But I think one of the strongest bits of this film are the landscapes and such, Spain is a beautiful place and you really see it shine here. Terence Stamp, John Hurt, and Tim Roth were all great and multi-layed characters. Laura De Sol is annoying and really sub par compared to the others. Also I'm mixed about the ending, it's fitting, but exactly how it went down was really really unrealistic and bothered me. Enjoyed the movie as a whole though.
July 28, 2011
quote (poignant) just a stage in the journey.
it's just a moment, we're here and we're not here....
quote (humorous): (singing) we'll meet again, don't know
where, don't know when.....
reminiscent of, and not equal to, antonioni's the passenger.....landscapes,
dust, long distance shots...but more talky, with a bit of humour thrown in.
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