Eye of the Needle - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Eye of the Needle Reviews

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½ May 31, 2017
This underrated, downbeat and quite violent spy thriller set during WWII features an incredible and effective performance by Donald Sutherland as the lead character (a Nazi spy). He is supported by a solid supporting cast (Kate Nelligan being especially notable) and great production values. It is also well directed, looks great, has a good score and as the plot gains momentum you can feel the tenseness and stress levels building that Sutherland's character is coming under as he becomes more and more desperate to achieve his mission.
March 30, 2017
Very cool, smart, suspenseful and gory spy flick. More sexy than I would have expected from an early 80's movie. As smooth as Donald Sutherland is, I think Kate Nelligan outshines him. Her emotional swings really make the film.

My one slight beef is the scoring which on occasion strays toward the over-dramatic; I'm thinking specifically of a love scene with swelling string accompaniment. Gag me. Oh well.

Nelligan's poor husband, Christopher Cazenove...his character got the worst of all possible worlds.
Super Reviewer
½ September 9, 2015
Claustrophic and taut espionage tale with an impressive second half and overall enormously benefited by a good measure of romanticism, both in its coastal setting and in its musical score, courtesy of the great Miklos Rozsa, who would sadly go into retirement soon after.
April 19, 2015
There's some incredible performances in this film. Even people who don't like movies about war may like this for the acting. In my opinion, Donald Sutherland is one of the creepiest actors and he's never been darker than in this film.
½ April 10, 2015
Well done slow burn of a spy movie.
½ March 7, 2015
Cool spy movie. Classic suspense.
½ December 2, 2014
In the vein of WWII thrillers that supposedly happened (The Eagle Has Landed), Eye of the Needle has a fantastic performance from Donald Sutherland as a dangerous Nazi spy who gets vital info about D-Day, but must get out of Britain before getting captured. He gets caught in a storm and gets integrated into a broken family, the father an ungrateful soldier who lost his legs in combat. Donald Sutherland and Kate Nelligan have lots of chemistry, a lot being said with just a glance. The nuance is off the charts in this thriller, even if the ending is a bit on the soft side.
½ September 6, 2014
The war has come down to the two of us... Sutherland proves that making love is easier than riding a bike--Nelligan steals the show with her beauty...Tight, Kinetic, Well-sustained Tension and Suspense!!
May 28, 2013
Since it is an old movie it was pretty good - very sad and very violent
January 2, 2013
How about this film with a John Cusack in it. Have read this book when i was 19 years old and i love it. And now i imagine Cusack as The Needle... Sure thing.
Super Reviewer
½ December 12, 2012
Eye of the Needle is a well constructed, entertaining dramatic thriller with a great cast. Donald Sutherland plays a German spy who has vital information on D Day, and he is trying to get out of Britain. The film keeps you engaged from start to finish and the cast do a fine job in their performances. Director Richard Marquand crafts a terrific film that has a wonderful story, and should appeal to any movie fan. This is enjoyable entertainment for what it is and it manages to be an effective thriller, one that is very memorable. At times the film has weak points, but there's enough good material presented on-screen to make this one worth seeing. I really enjoyed the film, and this is among the best thrillers of the early 1980's. With a great plot, good cast and constant thrills, director Marquand overcomes the film's weaknesses to convey a film that no viewer will soon forget. Richard Marquand would go on to conclude the Star Wars trilogy with Return of the Jedi, but we see hints of a great director who knows how to keep his viewers satisfied and interested. Eye of the Needle is a well crafted film, one that will appeal to genre fans and to other viewers looking for a well constructed, well acted picture. I've seen many films with Donald Sutherland, and The Eye of the Needle is one of his best films that I have seen due to his on-screen presence and his well written character. The film could have been reworked slightly, but most of the time, it succeeds at being a terrific film that in my opinion is a must see due to its plot, acting and effective directing. I found this film to be quite underrated and it's far better than what most critics have said about it.
½ October 29, 2012
Pretty good for the most part, there are a few surprisingly unbelievable acting bits.
½ September 11, 2012
Sutherland is outstanding, as usual, in this super thriller. Must see after The Eagle Has Landed, of course.
June 8, 2012
Taught and frustrating
½ March 8, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012

(1981) Eye Of The Needle

Based on a fictional book written by Ken Follet, has Donald Sutherland starring as Faber, a Nazi spy pretending to be an Englishman in an attempt to leak a critical information that can destroy Churchill's war plans against Germany during WWII! While evading from British agents since they're on to him, he then ends up on an almost an secluded island with only a wife (Kate Nelligan) and child living in a resort with a husband who became impotent as a result of a car accident! Made in similar fashion as "The Day OF The Jackyl"!

3 out of 4
½ December 10, 2011
very good WWII spy thriller. highly recommended.
½ September 19, 2011
En glimrende fortolkning af Ken Folletts fremragende roman. Donald Sutherland spiller super, og i alt i alt er filmen meget tro mod bogen. Sp├Žndende underholdning!
July 30, 2011
Classic! love these old war movies.
½ July 24, 2011
Don't expect marriage to be uninterrupted pleasure

A German spy has infiltrated the English militia and is in the process of returning secrets to Adolf Hitler when his boat is caught in a storm and crashes on a small island. A small family resides in the light house on the island and initially helps the spy. The wife falls in love with the spy, but when she discovers his background, their relationship is strained.

"The word surrender is not to be found in the German vocabulary."

Richard Marquand, director of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Until September, and The Legacy, delivers Eye of the Needle. The storyline for this picture is a nice blend of World War II drama and horror thriller. The acting and action sequences were outstanding and the film contains a perfect conclusion. The cast includes Donald Sutherland, Kate Nelligan, Stephen MacKenna, and Philip Martin Brown.

"These planes are made of plywood."

I have been DVR'ing Donald Sutherland movies religiously since reading a reference to his characters in a recent novel. I will say some of my favorite Donald Sutherland pictures are placed during the World War II era (Kelly's Heroes, The Eagles has Landed, and Eye of the Needle). This movie starts a little slowly but has an ending that reminded me of The Shinning. This movie is definitely worth your time and a classic thriller set in an interesting time period.

"I am going to the house of death, said the swallow."

Grade: A-
½ May 23, 2011
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