The Hit

1984

The Hit

Critics Consensus

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85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 13

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,189
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Movie Info

In this offbeat crime film, Willie Parker (Terence Stamp) an English mobster turned informant, has been given a new identity and has been living in a small, isolated village in Spain for 10 years. Unfortunately for Parker, the men he has betrayed have ascertained his whereabouts and send Braddock (John Hurt), a professional hitman, and his apprentice Myron (Tim Roth) to bring Parker to Paris where his ex-associates await. After kidnapping Parker, nothing goes as planned. Now they are followed by a Spanish policeman (Fernando Rey) who seems to anticipate each of their moves, and they are burdened by Maggie (Laura del Sol), the mistress of a fellow mobster they were forced to kill. What should have been a routine hit becomes a psychological battle between all the participants as Parker, in a fight for time and for his life, plays one against the other. Set against the bleak Spanish landscape and featuring evocative and memorable theme music, the film builds to a surprising conclusion where the true nature of all the characters is revealed. Terence Stamp develops the character of Parker in a subtle but surprisingly comic performance and Laura del Sol shines as a woman who will do what is necessary to survive. Tim Roth, in his film debut, plays a brutal, but oddly endearing thug. But it is John Hurt, in a sensitive and nuanced performance, who brings a perceptive intelligence and depth to his role which adds a philosophical and psychological dimension to the film. Hurt plays his difficult role without a misstep and with a rare economy of action. Thoughtful and frequently amusing, The Hit, superbly written by Peter Prince, is both a compelling and suspenseful crime drama and also a deep and profound meditation on life, death and courage.

Cast

Terence Stamp
as Willie Parker
John Hurt
as Braddock
Tim Roth
as Myron
Fernando Rey
as Chief Inspector
Joaquin Alonzo
as Kidnapper
Carlos Lucena
as Uniformed Officer
Emeko Olazagasti
as Young Basque
Freddie Stuart
as Government Agent
Ralph Brown
as Government Agent
A.J. Clarke
as Government Agent
Lennie Peters
as Mr. Corrigan
Bernie Searl
as Hopwood
Brian Royal
as Fellows
Jim Broadbent
as Barrister
Manuel de Benito
as Juan, Willie's Bodyguard
Juan Calot
as Priest
Camilo Vilanova
as Kidnapper
Miguel Garmendia
as Tavern Keeper
Carlos Zabala
as Young Basque
Patxi Barko
as Young Basque
Xavier Aguirre
as Young Basque
Carlos Tristancho
as Garage Attendant
View All

News & Interviews for The Hit

Critic Reviews for The Hit

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (2)

  • It is a dexterously balanced killer thriller by the idiosyncratic Frears, whose every scene becomes a matter of life and death. A lighter clicks, a gun clicks; life or death, it all sounds the same.

    Sep 15, 2015 | Full Review…
  • "The Hit" is something special: thoughtful, perfectly performed and carrying the clear stamp of an extremely interesting director.

    Sep 15, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Frears and writer Peter Prince have taken a potentially familiar tale of a gangland betrayal and revenge and made something richly inventive and most entertaining.

    Jul 6, 2010 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • All in all, a very palpable hit.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • These guys don't have to use guns. All they have to do is open their mouths and bore each other to death.

    Aug 30, 2004
  • Besides having a superb screenplay, Frears is blessed, here, with an unparalleled cast. Both Hurt and Stamp are as good as they've ever been, while the very young Tim Roth makes a very promising debut.

    Sep 15, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Hit

  • Apr 22, 2013
    Antagonizing conceptions of life and death among criminals. An stylish and multi-layered examination of that moment of truth, of coming to terms with the vague but terrifying notion of parting this world. Fantastic performances by the leading triad. Probably Frears' best and most underrated cinematic venture.
    Pierluigi P Super Reviewer
  • Jul 19, 2011
    Mobster Willie Parker (Terence Stamp-Superman II, The Limey) turns state's evidence. Some very interesting & revealing dialogue at the beginning of the movie...which is filmed in the U.K. Parker had been incarcerated previously with Defendant Reardon (Albee Woodington) and appearing as a witness for the prosecution of the Defendant (his fellow past inmate Reardon)'s trial. Parker is asked a series of questions, some related to the attack on a Prison Guard. Prosecuting Barrister: "Who fired at the guard?" Parker: "Uh, that was Reardon." Barrister: :"Finally Mr.Parker, I will ask you this.in agreeing to give your evidence.have you been influenced by any offers of immunity or special treatment at the hands of the Police or the Court?" Parker: "No Sir. I'm here and I'm saying this because I think I should. I think it's right." Of course, that was a big stinky lie! Parker goes into the witness protection program and is resituate in Spain... <div style="width:331px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/the-hit-4983969"><img src="http://content7.flixster.com/photo/49/83/96/4983969_gal.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com">Flixster</a> - Share Movies</div></div>
    Teresa S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 27, 2011
    Pretty good little film. A sparse script and an amazing Terence Stamp performance kept my eyes peeled to this slow-moving snail of a film. I can't say that I didn't enjoy every bit of it though. The way Stamp works everyone in a little chess game is reason enough to see it, but Fernando Rey was completely invisible in this film!
    matt s Super Reviewer
  • Dec 16, 2010
    It's a hit ! A little gem of a picure this one. Great casting, great performances and strong and complex characters give this fairly low budget movie a punch that hits (groan) above its weight and keeps the viewer thoroughly involved from start to finish.
    The S Super Reviewer

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