The Day of the Jackal - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Day of the Jackal Reviews

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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!
½ March 1, 2014
Watched it based on a recommendation and it was very good.
October 26, 2013
A great thriller that has a great plot and is very suspenseful. It's nail-biting and puts you on the edge of your seat - even though you know what the ending is. That is the mark of a great movie.
½ September 23, 2013
"The Day of The Jackal" is a slowly paced, but exceptionally suspenseful political thriller about a conspiracy to assassinate the French President Charles De Gaulle. The story is based on the novel with the same name, which has integrated a lot of real French history into the fictional story, for example the OAS and their true intent to murder De Gaulle, this adds a lot of credibility to the plot. Edward Fox does an outstanding job playing the ice-cold professional killer known as The Jackal and so does Michel Lonsdale who plays investigator Lebel, my only complaint is that that to little screen-time is spent familiarising the viewer with this character. The film is essentially a cat and mouse chase between the two in which The Jackal always seems to be one step ahead. A classic film that I would strongly recommend for all fans of thrillers.
September 17, 2013
A police procedural in the guise of a political thriller, "Day of the Jackal" is impressively-detailed but more restrained than many of its peers. Star power and the promise of intense action took its genre cousins "The French Connection" and "Three Days of the Condor," for example, to $40-50 million finishes in 1971 and 1975, respectively, but the slower-boiling "Jackal" barely broke $16 million. In quality of production, "Jackal" excels but seems to hearken back. It has the feel of an early 1960s film (and since it is set in 1963 that is appropriate), with the clothes and the cinematography and even the posh European setting all feeling right for a slick actioner of that era. The plot follows detectives and assassins, the first always half a step behind the second, but there is none of that stuff called "grit" that defines so many crime and espionage movies from the 1970s onward. Everything is in broad daylight, beautifully-shot with the smooth, washed-out look of director Zinnemann's other color productions like "Julia" (1977) and "A Man for All Seasons" (1966), and the necessary violence is handled perfunctorily and virtually bloodlessly. Nobody shouts, the one car crash is an accidental fender-bender, and when a French minister is implicated in an embarrassing security breach in the middle of a briefing he quietly apologizes and excuses himself. Nobody makes a scene. The decision to go with a low-key script is interesting, especially since the audience presumably knows that President Charles de Gaulle was not the victim of assassination and therefore knows from the beginning how the main plot will end. But the strength of a procedural, as opposed to a thriller, is not always in tension but in detail and the depiction of characters, and in these respects Zinnemann is master.
½ August 29, 2013
An assassination cinematic classic.
½ July 27, 2013
TOHO CINEMAS Nagoya Baycity, 2013/7/27
July 26, 2013
Another gem that has slipped me by time and time again but finally got round to watching it. A pleasing and suspenseful thriller that just keeps building and building with tension.
June 23, 2013
Zinneman is a three time Oscar winner - twice for best director, once for best documentary short subject. But nowhere - not in High Noon, not A Man for All Seasons - is his considerable talent more evident than here, in The Day of the Jackal (a film which did not even secure him a nomination). While perhaps not his greatest film - in that the story is told for the story's own sake, possessing few (if any) of the deeply fascinating philosophical, ethical or theological implications many of his other works hold - it is certainly his most perfect, with every scene cut and shot exquisitely and Edward Fox delivering a truly chilling performance as a ruthless assassin, who disguises his cold blooded nature behind a veneer of English charm and sophistication. There are complaints that it is long and boring, but honestly, I could not disagree more. The suspense is taught, the story brilliantly engaging - from one of the greatest literary thrillers of all time comes one of the greatest cinematic thrillers of all time. Five stars and a place among my all time favourites - this is one for the ages.
May 17, 2013
An example of an uncomplicated thriller movie
April 20, 2013
Just re-watched and this movie is as fresh today as when it was made with many of the same conventions movies use now, very modern. Edward Fox was gorgeous; if he was never in contention for Bond, he should have been. The movie holds together, is not pretentious but in its exact telling of the story more than holds the attention. In short, a classic.
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