The Interpreter 2005

The Interpreter

Critics Consensus

A polished and intelligent thriller, though marred by plot implausibilities.

57%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 195

54%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 79,264

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Movie Info

Interpreter Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) is at the United Nations when she overhears what she believes is a plan to assassinate the president of Matobo, Edmond Zuwanie (Earl Cameron). When she alerts the authorities, Secret Service agents Tobin Keller (Sean Penn) and Dot Woods (Catherine Keener) are assigned to the case. It's not long before they decide that Silvia herself is a suspect, having formerly been involved with both a guerrilla group in Matobo and the president's chief opponent.

Cast & Crew

Nicole Kidman
Silvia Broome
Sean Penn
Tobin Keller
George Harris
Kuman-Kuman
Clyde Kusatsu
Police Chief Lee Wu
Tim Bevan
Producer
Liza Chasin
Executive Producer
Eric Fellner
Executive Producer
Craig Haagensen
Cinematographer
Darius Khondji
Cinematographer
William Steinkamp
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for The Interpreter

Critic Reviews for The Interpreter

All Critics (195) | Top Critics (55) | Fresh (111) | Rotten (84)

Audience Reviews for The Interpreter

  • Aug 03, 2011
    Tobin Keller: I'd rather make the mistake of believing her, than the bigger one of not.  "The truth needs no translation" Despite liking both Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn(both of whom give good performances), I was left underwhelmed when The Interpreter was all said and done. For the most part, it was really just a dull drama with some thriller elements tossed in here and there. It never had me on the edge of my seat like it could have. It's not technically a horrible movie, but I really found no joy in it. Other then the leads; the film doesn't really have any redeemable qualities. It's really dialogue heavy which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the dialogue leaves a lot to be desired.  There are a few really interesting scenes, but as a whole the movie never really comes together. It doesn't flow at a good pace. It's slow, slower and then slowest and then for a three minute stretch it will pick up the pace. Then it will go back to it's snail crawl. I'm okay with slow films if they have good characters, dialogue and situations. This movie has one interesting character(Kidman's, Penn's character was lifeless, although he did play him well), bad dialogue and two or three cool situations. I really wish this would have turned out different with the people involved. But I guess I can just go watch one of Penn's or Kidman's countless great movies.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 21, 2011
    Taut, gripping and intelligent, The Interpreter works very well as intended - a political thriller. Looking at the premise and plot, the film could have been handled much clumsier than it actually was. Sean Penn puts his down-on-his-luck everyman charm to good use, but a great character seems a little wasted on Nicole Kidman. Her accent falters and she's all but very stiff, but it's nothing that cripples the film. The movie balances some far-out political conspiracies with a convincing look at the inner workings behind the security at the United Nations General Assembly, and it does help immensely that it was actually shot on-location at the UN. The film is very effective at both a macro and micro level; the international politics and personal emotional drama both carry to same amount of narrative weight. The late director Pollack is smart with his scenes and shots, and the film works best at pulling the audience along for the ride, and spinning a yarn so involving that the loopholes seem negligible.
    Jedd Y Super Reviewer
  • Dec 28, 2010
    A disastrous film that wants to be more complex than it should be, coming up with more and more unnecessary details at the expense of simple concision, and so the obvious, predictable narrative gets lost amid contrivances, implausible scenes and plot holes the size of Africa.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 04, 2010
    "The Interpreter" is an emotional final film from Sydney Pollack. This is a classy picture that harkens back to the political thrillers of the 60s, but it's done in such a way that it actually hinders much of the plot. The plot, while fitfully absorbing, can dip into the convoluted, but thankfully, the strength of the characterizations and the accompanying performances make up for it. Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn deliver fine work, in roles that give them much more to do rather than fall in love or other such cliches of the genre. "The Interpreter", overall, works fine as a film but works better when viewed as the capstone for a talented director's career.
    Steven C Super Reviewer

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