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Smart, subtle, and steadily absorbing, A Most Wanted Man proves once again that John le Carre books make for sharp, thoughtful thrillers. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

An escaped militant's (Grigoriy Dobrygin) attempt to claim an inheritance gives a German agent (Philip Seymour Hoffman) the chance to lay a trap for a well-regarded Muslim scholar who is suspected of financing terrorists.

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Critic Reviews for A Most Wanted Man

All Critics (195) | Top Critics (64) | Fresh (167) | Rotten (28)

  • Hoffman's an actor who could do just about anything, but being authentically German is not one of them.

    January 5, 2015 | Full Review…
  • One of the countless sad things about losing Hoffman is the realization that we'll never get to watch him single-handedly elevate an otherwise OK movie again.

    January 5, 2015 | Full Review…
  • "A Most Wanted Man" allows Hoffman to go out with not only one of his best performances, but one that epitomizes his strengths.

    January 5, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • This is the sharpest, most reasonable tale of espionage and intrigue since John Boorman's Tailor of Panama.

    January 5, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Corbijn... has found richer genre material for his gray, gusty aesthetic than 2010's supremely well-styled but emotionally vacant thriller "The American."

    January 5, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • The film's confident tonal control is a compliment to Corbijn's skill, but it's also recognition of Philip Seymour Hoffman's wonderfully controlled central performance. You don't realize how stunning the whole experience really was until it's over.

    January 5, 2015 | Rating: 8.9/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Most Wanted Man

  • Aug 15, 2017
    A Most Wanted Man is yet another mature spy thriller based on a John Le Carré novel. I struggled with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy but really enjoyed Our Kind Of Traitor. I'm on the fence with this one. There is no denying that this is a well executed spy thriller that oozes maturity. But I found myself disengaged, particularly during the first half. The story is SO heavy and full of dialogue and minor characters that I struggled to keep up with what was happening. It's only in the second half that the plot becomes more focussed. Philip Seymour Hoffman gives an understated performance and is easily the stand out of the film, without a doubt. If he wasn't talking, then he was smoking (seriously his character smoked about 30 cigarettes). Supporting cast were good, I felt Rachel McAdams was unusual casting at first but slowly warmed to her. The direction was solid and every shot was clean and precise. The story itself was relevant and felt very realistic in terms of spy espionage. Hard to call this a thriller though, when really there were no thrills...I wasn't gripped! There are two tense scenes and they each last about ten seconds: the train chase and the taxi escort towards the end...that was it. I wasn't gripped, I wasn't compelled and I certainly wasn't transfixed with what was happening. Sure it's watchable and the technical aspects are there but it was too hard to follow. Everyone was dead pan serious, literally! No one liners or any fun to be had here, it's stern cold stares and monotonous facial expressions. It all seemed too...what's the word...clinical? Like it would've benefited better if it was a TV drama? Look I don't hate the film, I found it to be watchable...just not compelling enough for me to get excited about it. "A gripping spy thriller"? No, I'm afraid not.
    Luke A Super Reviewer
  • Aug 19, 2015
    How are the ratings for this so high? This is hands-down one of the most boring films I have ever seen. It's confusing as all hell and almost nothing happens the entire time. So bad.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 31, 2014
    Although slow and understated, A Most Wanted Man creates suspense with a new threat in a worn out world of bureaucracy and burn out. Hoffman and McAdams are marvelous.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 15, 2014
    While "A Most Wanted Man" may seem rough around the edges and lack any true twists to properly place this amongst some of the best spy thrillers, it still delivers on intensity and realism. To start, the acting is top notch from Hoffman, McAdams, Dafoe, and the rest even with their attempts at German accents. I suppose in Hollywood you cast the actor for the role, but I've never understood their steadfastness to put Americans in foreign roles to fake an accent. As a side note, the worst that comes to mind is Tom Cruise in Valkyrie. Aside from that, Hoffman wins the best actor award for all the participants in this film with a stoic performance as the lead director in the German spy organization attempting to figure out the identity of an illegal immigrant. It seemed a bit slow on the take to start to establish where things were going, but the meat of the film from about 45 minutes in through to the end carried nicely. Again, while there weren't any twists or turns to speak of in your standard spy thriller, there are a handful of small will-he/she or won't-he/she moments. Overall, Hoffman has himself a nice flick to hang his hat on before he passed. His intensity alone is enough to watch this through and through.
    Lane Z Super Reviewer

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