Sabotage - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sabotage Reviews

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January 15, 2018
Homolka is great in this terrorist film based in London. 1001 movies to see before you die.
December 26, 2017


[Alfred Hitchcock]
½ July 16, 2017
Though it isn't all that deep narratively, in terms of characters or have the best script it does however have plenty of style, a fantastic amount of tension during one infamous scene, a solid plot, a good score and decent acting.
½ February 27, 2017
The opening situation - dealing with the ethics of whether or not one should get their money back at a theater that lost power not from their own doing, but from a much larger societal problem - feels like a Larry David sketch.

How does someone as creepy as Oscar Homolka marry someone as adorable as Sylvia Sidney - it's an awkward looking marriage.

I love the behaviors so far, the way people complain, the keenness of Mrs. Verloc noticing her husband's disinterest in a near family business failure, the son breaking a plate and chewing food that's too hot.

There's no motion to mislead us - Verloc is introduced as the saboteur with heightened music and all, a bit ridiculous. He's immediately suspected. This is either a) how will they catch him? or b) are they fucking with us? kind of story. One thing we're definitely asking: why? We soon learn there's a conspiracy, another man putting him up to this, possibly part of a larger organization. He's paying him, but not until he sees better results. The dialogue is done in one shot with their backs turned to the camera, closing us off from the larger answers - I like what it represents, but it is dull to look at. Followed by this is a superimposition of Verloc's movie screen melting over the aquarium - looks super trippy for this era.

Brilliant cut when she's on her way to police station and thinks she sees Stevie running at her - she grabs him, cut to reverse angle, it's another boy. Before that she sees a mirror image of herself, a woman being taken in by police.
½ February 22, 2017
Totally unremarkable film by Hitchcock. The impact of a couple of suspenseful scenes is almost completely drowned out by the mediocre acting, the uninteresting characters, the lack of realism in their reactions and a fairly simplistic story. I personally found myself unable to sympathize with any of the heroes, and that's not a good thing at all. At a mere 75 minutes, "Sabotage" nevertheless feels like it outstayed its welcome.
January 20, 2017
Hitchcock's expertise as a director shows even this early, but that can't make up for the horrendousness of his editor, of his actors, of his writers and the fact that there's no music this late into the 1930s (it doesn't help the atmosphere, unlike Dracula or Les Miserables).
January 1, 2017
Shocking climactic tension when a young boy unknowingly transports a bomb through a crowded city. Shocking and suspenseful as ever.
December 25, 2016
quite a shocker actually. And the premise is creepily relevant today.
Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
November 29, 2016
In this 1936 film from Alfred Hitchcock, a foreign terrorist group is operating in London, and their agent (Oskar Homolka) operates a movie theater as a cover, along with his unsuspecting wife (Sylvia Sidney) and her teenage brother. Homolka is suitably creepy, glowering behind bushy eyebrows, and the kitten-faced Sidney may remind you of Myrna Loy. Scotland Yard is on to Homolka, and their man (John Loder) spies on him and cozies up to the family in an attempt to learn more. Unfortunately, with the exception of a couple of scenes, the film is rather slow and sedate, and is only of interest because it's one of Hitchcock's early pre-Hollywood efforts.

Spoiler alert from here on.

Hitchcock does provide tension in the pivotal sequence where, because of police surveillance, Homolka is forced to send the young boy out to deliver a package containing a bomb. He emphasizes the importance of getting to his destination by 1:30, knowing the bomb is set to go off at 1:45, but of course the boy doesn't know that and ends up being delayed on his way (comically being dragged into a demonstration by a peddler of toothpaste and shampoo at one point). While we feel the suspense, Hitchcock as a younger director exercises no restraint at all, melodramatically increasing the volume of the music and showing us the time on clocks repeatedly as it gets closer and closer to 1:45.

To Hitchcock's credit (or Joseph Conrad's, the author of the story) the bomb does go off, and it is a little shocking even today. Imagine what the reaction was like in 1936 to have an innocent boy, one moment playing with a puppy on a bus, the next minute gone, along with all of the other passengers. The shock presages other Hitchcock moments, such as the shower scene in Psycho. Unfortunately, in the wake of this, the emotional reaction of the characters doesn't ring true, though it does lead to what I think was the best scene in the movie - the mother thinking her son is running towards her on the street, which for a split second has us somehow believing, as she does, that he's survived.

Watch it for the bomb scene and for Sylvia Sidney, but it's certainly not a classic.
October 4, 2016
Sabotage est un film d'espionnage typique des débuts d'Alfred Hitchcock. En effet, le film regorge d'idées intéressantes et n'hésite pas à braver les codes de l'époque en incorporant quelques scènes inattendues, mais n'est pas encore le monstre narratif dont les gens parlent aujourd'hui. Sabotage possède un superbe premier acte, traîne des pieds dans la deuxième partie et finit assez fort avec des enjeux dramatiques inattendus au vu de la légèreté des deux premiers actes. Les acteurs sont plutôt bons et c'est alors dommage de subir un tel trou noir au milieu. A noter que Walt Disney collabora avec Hitchcock sur le film,ce qui en fait une curiosité pour les fans.
August 11, 2016
Sabotage is well made and it has some quite interesting scenes in it, but it is mostly lacking in terms of suspense, the plot is neither memorable nor authentic, the characters are forgettable and it is so uneventful and never particularly riveting. It is very weak and oddly not suspenseful for the master of suspense.
August 10, 2016
Average for early Hitchcock.
June 30, 2016
It's quite incredible the number of great films Hitchcock made in the 1930's in London & how frequently he produced them.

This is a sensational thriller about a couple that run a cinema in London & although she is unaware her husband is plotting to Sabotage London & create terror in the streets with a criminal mastermind.

The film unravels so well & you as viewer journey with the wife to identify her husbands evil motives. The visuals & tension are second to none. It's engaging & perfectly directed, a must see early Hitch .
½ June 25, 2016
I thought I mightn't have enjoyed this as much as usual Hitchcock films as he was young & inexperienced, but then I realised it was 10 years into his career! Still, that's only the first quarter... Sabotage just didn't click for me - the protagonists weren't that interesting and the reason for their wanting to bomb London not greatly explored. For a 90min film, some slow, drawn-out moments, but a few surprises and jokes, including the final line. OK, but not great.
Super Reviewer
½ March 26, 2016
Hitchcock knows how to combine an espionage plot with humor, and this film can also be very tense (especially in a key scene of a boy carrying a package throughout the city and on a bus), even if it is not always so effective and suffers a bit from some weak narrative choices.
March 18, 2016
A fairly formulaic plotline but it's lifted above the norm by Hitchcock's flourishes. The setting in the old cinema, the tension of the boy unwittingly delivering the bomb. Well worth seeking out.
September 21, 2015
It's a little slow at the start, and the acting is not always convincing, but this thriller does have a genuine element of mystery and one memorable moment of suspense involving the boy on the bus. 1001
May 17, 2015
well crafted but but considered by many to b one of Hitch's lessor efforts.
May 14, 2015
The plot has many twists. This movie is non stop action.
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