The Day of the Jackal - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Day of the Jackal Reviews

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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.
April 6, 2013
This well made and fully engaging 70s thriller has fantastic performances, a twisting and interesting plot, decent action and a taut ending.
½ April 6, 2013
How I missed out on the excellence of this film for so long is a political mystery in itself!
The film was released in 1973 and focuses on the attempted assassination of French President De Gaulle by an English aristocratic professional hitman played by the then unknown Edward Fox.
The brilliance of a French detective played by Michel Lonsdale makes an entertaining sub plot.
Lonsdale only really gained cinema notoriety as Bond villain Hugo Drax in 1979s Moonraker.
A modern French similarity to this film would be the first Mesrine film starring Vincent Cassell. However this is the original and best.
I need to compare this with unseen 1990s remake The Jackal.
½ March 21, 2013
Pretty good thriller about an assassin trying to...assassinate Charles de Gaule. The problem I have with this kinds of films is how realistic they actually are. It's obvious that a political assassination film would not stand on any grounds of reality but you can't help but question its validity as a close representation of a modern attempt at assassination. The assassin goes through great lengths in order to fulfill his contract; he orders a bespoke rifle, changes his identity twice, murders an innocent woman that he wooed in the first place, kills another man he met at a turkish bath (wtf?), masquerades as an old military veteran in order to pass through security. Seriously, does he really have to go through all these uncessarily complicated steps in order to kill a static target surrounded by so many tall buildings in the center of Paris? If he already knew the location of the target, he should probably have holed himself up a week prior his target surfaces at the location and just shoot the fucking guy. Why makes this so hard goddamnit. oh well. it's still an entertaining film.
½ February 17, 2013
A drama based on historical events in french history without all the hollywood romanticism or character studies. Just the cold hard facts.
February 10, 2013
A relaxing suspense film. It was interesting to see the planning of the assassination and the police investigation to find the assassin's identity up to a point which resulted a Deus Ex Machina : the scene at park how one investigator found the identity with the code name Jackal. At the end of the film, where the killer is in position for the assassination, it offered another Deus Ex Machina: the investigator meeting a policeman (of all policemen)the conversation was inaudible because of noise of crowd and fanfare. By facial gestures, the investigator got the location of the assassin.
This kind of writing results in a cheap suspense film.
½ December 28, 2012
Suspenseful and very detailed. My only complaint was that after all the buildup, the ending was very quick and simple.
½ December 23, 2012
A cool, clever political thriller on an epic scale, suspenseful and historically fascinating all the way through.
December 7, 2012
Could be worth a viewing, would like to see it sometime in the future.
November 25, 2012
Really suspenseful thriller. I'd like to see this again one day.
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