Eye of the Needle - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Eye of the Needle Reviews

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½ November 27, 2010
Unconventional thriller set during the days before the d-day invasion. A few too many similar killings by Sutherland makes them a bit comical by the end, but to shoe horn a love story in the middle of this was something I didn't expect. Plus the same director as Return of the Jedi.
½ September 23, 2010
WWII spy film from the novel by Ken Follet. Well worth watching as super cool Nazi spy Donald Sutherland kills anyone in his path. Highly suspenseful, this one will keep you on the edge of your seat. Wear a raincoat, because once our German spy reaches a UK island, there is nothing but rain, rain, rain.

The crux of the plot is that Sutherland is a German spy who uncovered the Anglo-American scheme to keep General Patton up north in a fake generalship, something the Germans never thought possible since he was a respected opponent of theirs since his success against them in the Africa campaign and into Italy.

But now here comes the spy with proof that can blow the lid off the hoax that the Allies have hatched for the D-Day invasion.

Unfortunately, our spy stumbles on an island with a lighthouse and radio (very important to the plot) plus a husband and wife. The husband is a crippled RAF flier who uncovers the spy's true intents and almost succeeds in killing him... but that doesn't work and its up to the woman who has a child and wants sex worse than anything.... until she too discovers everyone, including her husband, is ending up dead.

The light goes on in the mind our little lady of adultery. Seeing everyone around her dead, she figures her newfound "lover" is nothing but a snake in the grass.

A thriller to the very end, watch this on a rainy night if possible, as rain is everywhere in the plot. I had to dry out my clothes more than once just watching this one.

Diabolical David Sutherland is at his best in this war flick, very well shot, acted and directed. The bed scenes are a bit tame for our times, but no doubt were risque for the eighties. By the way, I could predict the woman would get into bed with Sutherland since her hubby had no use of his legs. I use mine all the time to great effect.
½ September 2, 2010
I seen this years and years ago cannot remember it though.
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2010
(1981 Director: Richard Marquand) What strikes me about Donald Sutherland starring in this movie as Faber, an undercover top-tier German informant during WW II is that it is so different from Donald SUtherland's role in "The Dirty Dozen," certainly an amazing film.

Ian Bannen co-stars as Percy Godliman as a leading military role trying to stop the talented and illusive Faber. Not unlike Scotland Yard their efforts more the most part almost lend a feel of "Keystone Cops" to the Brits.
[more review to follow)
July 29, 2010
Very solid WWII espionage thriller.
July 22, 2010
En højst usædvanlig person, D. Sutherland, der samtidig er tysk spion, går helt ubemærket rundt i tophemmelige områder i Sydengland i 1944, og tager fotos til Hitler, der afsløre kommende planer om D-dag. Men i stedet for straks at sende sine altafgørende oplysninger til tyskerne, ved hjælp af sin radiosender, som han ellers bruger flittigt i starten af filmen, skal Sutherland ud på en lang og vanskelig flugt op gennem England, til en lille ø ved Scotland, hvor en tysk ubåd venter ham. Utroligt nok, ser man flere scener i filmen, med amerikanske helikoptere, der først kom i anvendelse 6-7 år senere i Korea. - Dårligt plot, totalt urealistisk forløb.
½ June 2, 2010
Sutherland was brilliant suspenseful as well
March 28, 2010
Haven't saw this movie in years! Taped it off "Encore". Donald Sutherland fantastic!
March 17, 2010
Here's a pretty underrated film that needs some attention. A good WWII spy thriller with Donald Sutherland excelling as a Nazi spy.
March 3, 2010
A bit over the top spy thriller. But Sutherland is great as the nefarious and delightfully creepy spy. And my first time seeing, Kate Nelligan, what a great actress and great to look at too .
February 21, 2010
Read the book and saw the moving when it was released. Great movie......watching on WGBX PBS 44 tonight. Donald Sutherland plays a great role as german spy!
½ February 3, 2010
Flawless spy thriller adapted from the novel by Ken Follet. Donald Sutherland as the spy is chilling and the end game plays out in the middle a powerful love triangle. A very satisfying and entertaining film.
Super Reviewer
January 23, 2010
Classic spy movie of ww2 based in a classic book by Ken Folett.
Super Reviewer
½ January 20, 2010
Donald Sutherland is a ruthless German spy operating in war-torn England during WWII. He's relentless. He's cold-blooded. He must be stopped. What more do you need to know?
January 11, 2010
Donald Sutherland is wonderful, and it's a tightly told thriller.
½ October 6, 2009
Sutherland as the spy sleuth was okay, but the movie was a bit on the dull side and fairly predictable. The story was imaginative though.
½ October 4, 2009
Good old spy classic. There is a German spy in England and he have vital information about the invasion of France. He has to be stopped. One of my favourite movies with Donald Sutherland.
September 11, 2009
Melko onnistunut sotatrilleri, mutta karsii muutamasta alyttomasta tarinan kulkuun vaikuttavista epauskottavuudesta (ainakin elokuvan loppupuolella). Ainakin yhta niista voi puolustella sanomalla, etta rakkaus on sokea.
July 28, 2009
From a distance, an everyday moviegoer might doubt the production value of this movie. A 1982 Ken Follett adaptation that's hardly available on DVD? Well, it's made by the same director as Return of the Jedi. Yet when it begins and unfolds, it's reminiscent of nothing so much as one of those unsentimental, persevering, discreetly disturbing, and, on a few occasions, blackly hilarious war movies that used to be made by the former British film industry. Donald Sutherland plays the kind of reserved sociopath who should ideally thrive in black-and-white movies, yet the color here is sometimes funereal enough to avail. This unaffected thriller is made with humble potency.

It is about a German spy, Die Naadel, who dropped out of sight in Germany in 1938 and now inhabits a series of drab bed-sitting-rooms in England while he spies on the British war effort. He is known as the Needle because of his signature means of dispatch. He kills with an exceptional absence of feeling. As played by Sutherland with a rather stand-offish, cool, and even critical manner, the Needle is a man no one knows. We are given inklings to account for his rationale: He was raised by parents who did not love him, he was shipped off to boarding schools, he spent parts of his childhood in America, where he learned English. None of the account altogether clears up his viciousness, but then I suppose it is no more than a secret agent's business to be vicious. Perhaps it's no one's fault someone is ruthless.

Ken Follett's deftly communicated thread is by inches both undercover operations and mystery. The Needle unravels a hoax to evade the Germans. His task is to be the very one to confront Die Fuhrer with the information of the actual Allied invasion plans. This he means to do with every tissue of his being, and yet we never get the sense that this man is a nationalist. He is more of an existentially decisive, unbending envoy. In his endeavors to convene with a Nazi submarine, he's shipwrecked on a remote island populated merely by a lighthouse keeper and a goat-farming family comprised of a woman played by the emotionally receptive Kate Nelligan, her legless husband and their son.

The last third of the movie turns into a blood-spattered drama in which the action is more pertinent than the characterization. But before that, he poses as just a shipwrecked seafarer. And Nelligan, her appearance fittingly preceded by her co-star being adrift at sea, is disheartened by her husband's drunkenness and unwillingness to love, and becomes endeared to the stranger. Does he become enamored of her? We can never be certain, though he tells her things he has told to no one else.

It is compelling to build a plot like this at a studious tread, rather than rushing head on through it. It gives us time to weigh the character of the Needle, and to contemplate his exceptionally scant, mysterious allusions to what he feels versus what he thinks. Instead of an unambiguously good and evil clash, despite the melodrama of the last act, we have by then learned things about him that he may not even know about himself, and that is why the film's final scene is so much more intricate than it appears.
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