Best Seller - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Best Seller Reviews

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March 21, 2017
Worth it to watch Woods and Dennehy. Woods is great in the role, and his relationship with Dennehy makes the film.
½ March 20, 2016
A nice 80s flick and one of the best buddy thing duet you've ever seen..
½ April 9, 2015
Woods plays creepy sadist better than anyone and Dennehy has that fatherly calming influence down pat.Good not great thriller.
March 30, 2015
Released late in the summer movie season of 1987, the thriller Best Seller had to compete with The Big Easy and No Way Out. Though a lot of critics liked the film, it disappeared from the cineplexes rather quickly but found an audience on home video. Recently I picked up the film on Blu Ray from Olive Films. The film starts in 1972 with a raid on a police evidence locker by a group of masked gunmen wearing Richard Nixon masks. Three uniformed LAPD officers are killed, including an inside man but one officer survives to report what he knows and ultimately write a book about it. Dennis Meachum (Brian Dennehy) goes on to become a best-selling author of police procedurals (like Joseph Wambaugh) while continuing his career as a decorated police officer. But after his wife's death from cancer, Meachum is broke, burnt-out in his police career, suffering writer's block and owes his publisher an overdue book. Enter a mysterious, amoral killer named Cleve (Dennis Woods) who claims to have been a hit man for a respected businessman, David Matlock (Paul Shenar) and he wants Meachum to expose his former boss in his next book. The script was written by Larry Cohen, who wrote and directed a number of very entertaining horror films in the 1970s and 80s and has written the scripts for many very entertaining thrillers. Denehy, as usual, delivers a solid performance as Meachum but this is Woods' film. Cleve is vicious and brutal, but wants to come across as likeable in the book. Meachum grows to like Cleve, as does the audience despite the fact that the guy is a stone-cold killer. Credit Woods performance with that. This is a film I enjoyed renting and watching on VHS back in the day but I had forgotten about it. A forgotten gem from the late 1980s.
March 22, 2015
Really bad (and just plain weird) acting. Complete waste of time even for James Woods and Brian Dennehy fans.
½ March 13, 2015
not your typical movie involving police and a bad guy.keeps your interest,just hard to fully get a grip on.ending could've played out more-dull.
½ March 2, 2015
Campy '80s thriller cheesiness at it's near best. Turn your brain off and have fun!
July 15, 2014
Wonderful twisted story where you can't quit tell who the bad guy is
January 20, 2014
A cop who also writes books is approached by a cast-aside corporate hit man to expose his former boss on the murders he committed for him to make him rich. Another interesting piece of work from Larry Cohen. Solid film that held my attention throughout.
½ December 15, 2013
When I was a video store clerk, this was one of those film I'd recommend to people when they'd ask for a good thriller they probably haven't seen. The film is made by a couple underrated filmmakers, director John Flynn, who made one of the greatest revenge films of all time, "Rolling Thunder" and some other great crime films like "The Outfit," and it's written by Larry Cohen who does have a deserved cult following writing and directing genre classics ranging from "Black Caesar" to "Q the Winged Serpent" to "Phone Booth." This film's scrappy story involves Brian Dennehy as a detective who moonlights as a crime author with writers block. Dennehy is approached by James Woods who claims to be a hitman working for a major corporation and wants Dennehy to tell his story. This film was made during Woods' heyday playing creepy psychotic types and he's terrific as the sociopath who wants to tell his story. Dennehy is equally good in the lead role (which he only occasionally got and deserved more of) playing his part well, balancing his performance by being intrigued and also skeptical of Woods' story. The most interesting aspect of the film is not the political/corporate intrigue, but more the relationship between Woods and Dennehy, and their terrific characterizations. This film is certainly a pulpy genre film, but like the best genre films, it does have some ideas behind it and tells it's story with gusto.
½ August 19, 2013
I've always thought James Woods was a very underrated actor & his performance in this movie is amongst his very best.
He plays a hitman who teams up with cop-turned-author to blow the whistle on his politician former-boss and his company formed with stolen funds.
It's not your typical buddy-buddy picture, in fact, it's the very opposite. Woods is not a pleasant person, whilst his "partner" Brian Dennehy is whiter than white.
A surprisingly good thriller from the pen of Larry Cohen, best known for writing schlock horror movies of the early 80's.
½ May 24, 2013
Former corporate hitman enlists a struggling cop and author to write a best seller in attempt to settle a grievance with his former employer. Interesting premise from writer Larry Cohen and Woods and Dennehy are game. Woods character, though, is ice cold and left me conflicted on what outcome to support. It's a dirty business either way.
May 12, 2013
Creepy story of intrigue, death Nd destruction.
Super Reviewer
½ February 27, 2013
Best Seller is a stunning well crafted dramatic thriller that boasts a strong cast and great directing from director John Flynn. James Woods gives a blistering performance as Cleve a contract killer who tells his story to Dennis Meechum, a cop and true crime author. Meechum is also very well acted by Brian Dennehy. This is a well constructed film that is highly engaging from start to finish. The plot is very engaging and in the end it delivers a cat and mouse angle to the plot which is riveting. James Woods' performance alone makes this film worth seeing and he is simply psychotic with a certain charm that adds a lot to the film. Of course the film could have been better and it does fall flat in a few areas. For the most part however, Best Seller is a very good picture that showcases two standout actors at their best. I really liked the conflict that Dennehy brought to the role as he tries to balance the author and the cop part of himself. Best Seller has its flaws, but due to a very good script, it manages to overcome its shortcomings and deliver something quite memorable. This is a film that didn't deserve the flack it has received and it is one of the better dramatic thrillers of the latter half of the 1980's. Best Seller is a film worth checking out and is definitely a film that the critics were wrong about. The performances are great and with that being said, it's what makes this one standout above other movies in this caliber. Don't believe the critics, if you love James Woods, you'll surely enjoy this. Far from perfect, but it is nonetheless a well constructed picture that will grab your attention from the first frame onwards.
½ September 6, 2012
Unknown, let's keep it that way!
August 22, 2012
Woods and Dennehy star in a different type of 80's buddy movie. The two leads have great chemistry and both equally define the balls.
January 6, 2012
The script is a bit weak and is even a bit silly at times, but Woods and Dennehy raise the movie on their broad and might shoulders. Nice soundtrack filled with 80s synth.
½ December 22, 2011
The actors are good, but the story is very thin
½ February 4, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011

(1987) Best Seller

A little well made thriller which went straight to rental about professional killer building rappport with inspired novelist! Despite it's low budget, the chemisty and the acting chops of James Woods and Brian Dennehy makes this film work despite it's restraints about it's storyline, locations etc... and a lack of action!

Somwhat of a low
3 out of 4
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