The Day of the Jackal - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Day of the Jackal Reviews

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September 16, 2016
a great suspense classic, must watch
July 10, 2016
A little too long, but tense and gripping with a chilling performance by Edward Fox. I also liked the attention to detail.
½ May 28, 2016
"The Day Of The Jackal" is a pulse-pounding, intrigue-teasing "hard" spy thriller that keeps you guessing at every turn. A film that would go on to inspire dozens of imitators and remakes, "Jackal" isn't afraid to treat its audience like the seasoned Le Carre reader, carefully planting little kernels of information that eventually lead up to a truly breathtaking climax. It's a bit of a slow burn, but at the of "The Day," if you're patient you should be ultimately satisfied.
September 9, 2015
Impeccably crafted, underrated thriller with a mysterious and fascinating protagonist you root for as you're on the edge of your seat.
½ August 29, 2015
Could have been easily overlooked as an assassination story if you are not familiar with the historical context.
August 12, 2015
Great edited and shot film with some unique and unexpected storytelling.
February 4, 2015
A master class in filmmaking. Maintains tension and suspense throughout it 140+ minute running time. Fox is fantastic as the titular character and Lonsdale is fantastic as his hunter. The cast is filled out with numerous character actors and some wonderful locations.
½ January 26, 2015
I've heard that this is supposed to be a great movie, and for its time, it's pretty good. While it is an entertaining thriller throughout, there are plenty of problems with the film. I say that, but the biggest issue is the films length. While two hours and twenty-five minutes is certainly not too bad on its own, it certainly feels like length padding. What doesn't help is the fact that the ending is left to be rather inconclusive. That aside, the performances were good enough that they lift the movie from the level of total tedium. The production values are also very good for the time, even though the majority of the film's colour palette seems to be composed principally of muted colours. Fortunately for me, the film wasn't just two-and-a-half hours of silence, though to be honest, the film could have used a little more action. Other than the aforementioned flaws, it's a good thriller movie that has aged quite well. If you have a lot of patience for suspense thrillers, then I'd recommend seeing this one, and in the thriller department, it's certainly better than a lot of the James Bond films.
January 11, 2015
Icy but otherwise perfect. Fox seems meant for this role.
½ November 18, 2014
Director Fred Zinnemann's "The Day of the Jackal" faithfully follows the Frederick Forsyth best-selling novel (The Dogs of War), which presents an unpretentious and precise reconstruction of the story. Zinnemann's low-key approach is a textbook example of how to make an exciting and sophisticated suspense film without relying on overblown action sequences or flashy visual effects. Zinnemann establishes a pace that is deliberate, but never boring.

An underground terrorist group in France, the OAS, decide to hire a professional killer to assassinate French President Charles De Gaulle (Adrien Cayla-Legrand) after their previous attempts have failed. Their next move is to hire a professional assassin, an English hit man responsible for several high-profile assassinations. Charles Calthrop (Edward Fox) accepts the contract to assassinate the President, and takes on the alias of 'Jackal'. The Jackal methodically prepares to put his plan into action: gathering a new identity, collecting forged documents and a French passport, and finally a custom-built rifle. Top French police investigator Lebel (Michel Lonsdale) learns the name 'Jackal' from an informer in the plotter's ranks and cleverly pieces together the identity of the killer-for-hire.

As with all good thrillers, it's the chase leading up to the climactic finale that is the best part of watching the plot unfold. In relating its tense tale of political wrangling, the intricate and meticulous story develops with a parallel structure that details the Jackal's preparations for the assassination, and Lebel's ongoing efforts to stop him. Fox is superb as the coldly impassioned assassin, and Lonsdale is magnificently analytical as the obsessive detective tracking him down. Despite its measured pace, the tension slowly mounts as the Jackal closes in on his high value target, and the authorities pull out all the stops to find him first. A taut, fascinating, and timeless political thriller.
November 5, 2014
Well done for a movie of such Vintage(1973)!
September 6, 2014
This is how you make a suspenseful thriller! The film details the preparation an assassin goes through before he tries to take out his target: Charles De Gaulle.

The assassin, codenamed the Jackal, was played by a then unknown Edward Fox. Fox is perfect in the role. He is perfect as this enigmatic man who we know nothing about, and yet, not for one second do you doubt that this man is a professional.

For a film this long, the suspense builds beautifully because director Fred Zinnemann knows just what he's doing. The only downside is that observant students of history will know the outcome already (The film takes place in 1963. De Gaulle was president of France until 1969) Still, the movie keeps you on the edge of your seat, and constantly guessing as to who will outsmart who.

This is a darn good thriller and everyone who wants an edge of your seat ride should check it out.
½ August 11, 2014
There have been quite a lot of similar movies produced since but I guess this was one of the originals. Good film with an interesting story. Quite Bondish in it's Englishness, which is weird as it's mainly set in France but nevermind.
½ July 30, 2014
A classic thriller, has aged sort of decently. Definitely would be edited to be paced much faster if done today. For that reason, it could use a 30 minute or so trim.
July 17, 2014
WOW! Brilliant film!
June 17, 2014
One of the few movies that was as good as the original book. Once again not a conventional action thriller, director Zimmerman, takes time to build up the tension, the pace to the climax. The planning the Jackal does in his mission to eliminate De Gaulle is well depicted, as is the man hunt by the French police to capture him. If you love a taut, well paced, intelligent thriller, this is the one for you.
½ May 8, 2014
A well crafted thriller that does not need schizophrenic set piece moments every 5 minutes to grab your attention. This is all about the tricks of the perfect assassins trade and the detective work needed to catch him in time.
March 28, 2014
Intelligent, taut and well paced, "Day of the Jackal" is a political thriller that captivates from beginning to end. The execution is pitch perfect and Edward Fox's performance in particular could not have been better. It's the kind of thriller that Hollywood rarely makes any-more and its a shame that more modern thrillers can't be directed with the bravado and tension that this film offer in it's runtime.
March 7, 2014
it's something like a british-french version about the assassination of JFK in 1963. political and philosophical, i like it!
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