Sleuth - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sleuth Reviews

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½ December 2, 2017
Andrew Wyke is a famous and successful author of detective novels. Milo Tindle comes to him with a strange request - that Mr Wyke divorce his wife so that Tindle can marry her. Mr Wyke is not particularly perturbed by this - he and his wife have drifted apart and he is having an affair with another woman anyway - but uses the meeting and Mr Tindle's request as a chance to play a game, a game with potentially deadly consequences.

Clever, intriguing thriller. Directed by Joseph L Mankiewicz, written by Anthony Shaffer and based on his play, this is a great exhibition of well-written dialogue, excellent, keep-you-guessing, twists-and-turns plot, solid direction and two brilliant actors - Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine - at the top of their game. Very clever, original and powerful.

Not perfect - the first half felt a bit clumsy at times and not entirely watertight, plot-wise in spells. The clown outfit was a tad silly and unrealistic. The seeming lack-of-watertightness makes sense in the end, so is not ultimately a problem, but at the time it was a bit jarring.

Remade in 2007 with Michael Caine taking Laurence Olivier's role, Jude Law taking Michael Caine's role, written by Harold Pinter and directed by Kenneth Brannagh. On paper the remake had the potential to be as good as the original but ultimately falls very far short. Feels like a play, and just seems pretentious, lacking in suspense and empty. Shows just how good the 1972 version is, as it was based on the same play.
November 21, 2017
How not to enjoy the one of the most entertaining interpretive duels in history?
November 4, 2017
Awful people being awful to each other.
½ September 10, 2017
Brilliant mystery with two outstanding performers. Elaborate and unobtrusive camerawork adds significantly to the pleasure of watching this wonderful story. The atmosphere is very suspenseful and quiet spooky with all these toys staring at them and the audience alike contributing to the uncomfortable feeling of being trapped.
August 19, 2017
'Sleuth' is a film where everything is a trick, a trick played on the audience, and its entirety is an exciting curiosity brilliantly served by only two characters and actors, Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. 'Sleuth' is sensational with irony, metatheatre, theatrical plot twists, and it has the entertaining virtues of a circus that it actually refers to in one of the numerous costumes that the two actors wear, who, masquerade upon masquerade finally fall and transform 'Sleuth' in a hilarious tragedy. Therefore, it's a beautiful tour de force from Mankiewicz who fastidiously keeps the mystery and who constructs a thriller which, after a thought, is revealed to be a game of skill, intelligence and style.
½ July 20, 2017
It takes a while to get things rolling, but when they do, "Sleuth" is a feast. This two man show is powered by towering performances from Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. Plus the dialogue is to die for,
May 26, 2017
This is one of the best movies ever made. Yet, while in some points it might strike you as stagy, it never lets go - even after the movie is over.
May 21, 2017
Great film...what a joy to watch Olivier, and Caine keeps up with his talent punch by punch.
May 15, 2017
Loved this film. Very clever. Good acting too.
May 1, 2017
One of my favourite films. Every whiplash of the tongue, every set piece, every twist and turn is delightful.
February 24, 2017
Sleuth is a brilliant stage piece that works beautifully with Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine in the lead roles.
February 22, 2017
The execution might wane at times, yet Shaffer's truly ingenious script and Olivier's amazing performance (Caine is good as well, especially during the final part) make "Sleuth" a very unique and gripping tale of two men fatally trying to outsmart each other. Brilliant.
Super Reviewer
January 24, 2017
Last year I read Anthony Shaffer's play about these two men in a battle of wits to see which one can get the most twisted revenge on the other. I then saw the 2007 remake and, finally, watched this better 1972 adaptation. Michael Caine is much better as young actor Milo than old author Andrew. Both Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine are in top form. The camera work by Oswald Morris and production design by Ken Adam show that they were masters of their craft. Anthony Shaffer is given screenplay credit. The strength of the stage play shines through without trying to change it up for the screen. Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who has a long filmmography as a writer, trusts the material for its game aspect and dramatics. The twists and turns are incredibly cunning and kept my attention for the over two hour run time. It just keeps pushing the suspense further and further.
September 29, 2016
"It's sex, sex is the game marriage is the penalty" well written brilliant acting
June 12, 2016
Good theatre on screen. Social conflict dialogue.
½ February 13, 2016
Incredible acting, and fabulous dialogue and story. Actors of this caliber do not exist today.
½ February 2, 2016
A phenomenal film! Two actors, one mansion, it sounds boring on paper, but it's really fun, I highly recommend this movie.
January 2, 2016
Brilliantly scripted, tense, disturbing, and extremely well acted, with one of the most memorable ending sequences ever.
November 28, 2015
Always fun, even if you know it like the back of your hand! An acting tour de force.
November 14, 2015
Don't want to mention too much about its plot. The multiple twists are mesmerizing and maybe the greatest in film history! Thanks to the wonderful script. Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine are both Oscar-deserving, unfortunately they were facing Marlon Brando's Vito Corleone that year. Olivier's multiple accents are incredible!
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