Sleuth (1972)

Sleuth (1972)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Presented as an exaggerated mind-game, this mystery drama pits two men, one a thriller writer who revels in his own cleverness, the other, the man engaged in an affair with his wife, whom it is claimed has been murdered. The resulting duel of intellects reveals many unexpected twists and turns.
Art House & International , Classics , Cult Movies , Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
20th Century Fox Film Corporation


Laurence Olivier
as Andrew Wyke
Michael Caine
as Milo Tindle
Margo Channing
as Marguerite
Alec Cawthorne
as Inspector Doppler
John Matthews
as Detective Sgt. Tarrant
John Mathews
as Detective Sgt. Tarrant
Teddy Martin
as Police Constable Higgs
Eve Channing
as Marguerite Wyke
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Critic Reviews for Sleuth

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (5)

This is a fastidious, acrobatically cunning and invigoratingly well-acted thriller.

Full Review… | April 20, 2010
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Provides Laurence Olivier and especially Michael Caine with two of their best roles.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

Thoroughly entertaining.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

What really makes the movie come alive--what makes it work better than the play, really--are the lead performances by Lord Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, and Alec Cawthorne.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

With the exception of a brief showing by British thespian Alec Cawthorne, the only actors on screen are Olivier and Caine. Both are so good that there's not a moment when we wish for someone else to interrupt their duel.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Top Critic

A hugely enjoyable thriller, adapted by Anthony Shaffer from his own phenomenally successful stage play, about two men involved in an intellectual but deadly game of cat and mouse.

Full Review… | April 20, 2010

Audience Reviews for Sleuth


A great movie adapted from a great play, Caine and Olivier are excellent together, and it's just perfect. I highly recommend this movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

After a friend told me to see "Sleuth" [1972]. i had to see it! Its a good thing i did because this may be one of the greatest films i've ever seen! In England, the Italian English hairdresser Milo Tindle is invited by the successful writer of detective stories Andrew Wyke to visit his isolated house. The lower class Milo is the lover of Andrew's wife, who is used to have a comfortable life, and he intends to marry her. Andrew proposes Milo to steal his jewelry simulating a burglary. Milo would make a fortune selling the jewels to an intermediary; and Andrew would be reimbursed by the insurance company and would not pay alimony. However, the whole situation was part of an evil game. When Milo vanishes, a detective visits Andrew to investigate what really happened that night, when deadly games are disclosed. Now if you think that thats a dumb plot then you have no movie taste at all. The acting was simply amazing and the movie is filled with twists and turns. I loved watching the cat and mouse game between the two characters which is why i really enjoyed this film. This is an atomatic 5 stars and it hit my top 10 definatly!

Corey Wood
Corey Wood

Super Reviewer

Sleuth is brilliantly written, brilliantly acted and brilliantly crafted. It is a stage adaptation of the highest form. The material gets a little samey, which even the movie itself seems to acknowledge toward the end. It's compulsively watchable entertainment, though - dialogue and expression that hasn't aged a drop since 1972. Perhaps it also suffers a little from being overly theatrical, but Olivier and Caine could act the hell out of a character. They are two totally unforgettable presences. And hell, it WAS a play...the adaptation is more generous than some, such as the insufferable House of Yes, but adheres enough to its source that it doesn't lose any of its original essence. If the movie has its faults, it is because of its nature, but you can't really begrudge it much.

Drew Smith
Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

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