Last Embrace - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Last Embrace Reviews

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½ September 2, 2015
An ambitious whodunit that loses steam half way through- due to both a heavy-handed plot and an almost abandonment of care for camerawork. It feels like Demme's wannabe-Hitchcock, but with hammy pulp-style acting. It's not bad though, it has some amusing moments and some really dynamic camera maneuvers in the beginning.
½ October 19, 2014
One of the few Jonathan Demme films I had not seen and it's a really good one. Distancing himself from his exploitation roots, Demme made this obvious Hitchcock homage that really delivers. Roy Scheider plays a mentally unstable CIA agent who receives a mysterious threatening letter,w which then serves as the McGuffin to move the story forward. There's also a superb supporting cast that includes Janet Margolin, John Glover, Charles Napier, Christopher Walken, Mandy Patinkin and ALF's dad, Max Wright, who no matter what film or TV show he's in, I always like to imagine that when he's offscreen that he's going home to that crazy ALF. Old Hollywood composer Miklós Rózsa provided the score and longtime Demme collaborator Tak Fujimoto did the photography. Casting was by Scott Rudin long before he became an Oscar award winning film produced of films like "No Country for Old Men" or "The Social Network." Outside of DePalma, this is probably one of the best Hitchcock homages, moving at a fast pace, with strong cast and some really good set pieces, particularly the climactic one taking place at Niagra Falls. Well worth watching.
Super Reviewer
½ April 4, 2013
"Last Embrace" is an incompetently executed, wildly incoherent and overly melodramatic neo-noir thriller that's one of the dullest, most tepidly inspired pieces of cinema I've ever watched. Aside from Roy Scheider, whose performance is so over-the-top that it's almost admirable, the acting is laughably poor from the entire cast, and everything from the pacing to the direction to the lighting is painfully inept. How Jonathan Demme, Tak Fujimoto, Barry Malkin and Miklós Rózsa could get together and make sure a godawful hunk of soap opera-ish garbage is beyond me. It's an experience I hope never to endure again.
½ March 4, 2013

Drink of choice: Johnny Walker
½ July 13, 2012
it pains me to see J.Margolin in this... this waste of film. the stupidest spy thriller I ever saw
½ October 11, 2011
yet another case of the music taking over the film.
½ July 18, 2011
yet another case of the music taking over the film.
November 17, 2010
Very early Jonathan Demme. Not a bad movie, but the last 1/3 doesn't hold the suspense and paranoia of the first 2/3. Really kind of peters out by the end, but does manage to regain some of the emotion at the very end. The score is excellent and really adds to the mood in a lot of places. Scheider and Margolin are great, and there are a lot of interesting cameos and bit parts in this one from actors who went on to have great careers...
November 6, 2010
Impressive diabolical thriller. Roy Scheider is as incredible an actor as there has ever been in our brief existance. Finding a girl in his apartment after he has been gone a while, they wrestle for the apartment.

This is all Scheider. He IS this movie. From one shocking scene to another, this man who is under constant threat of being killed (or he thinks so), seeks just the comfort he needs from his young girl roomate. He lost his wife, now he is losing his mind.

Just incredible acting. An incredible film. Christopher Walken is so good too. A real plus in his short appearance.

Roy Scheider stars as a government agent losing his grip on sanity when his wife is killed and he becomes the assassins' next target in this frightening story that co-stars Mandy Patinkin and Christopher Walken.

But is he really losing his sanity?

Roy Scheider
Mandy Patinkin
Christopher Walken
John Glover
Janet Margolin
Sam Levene
Charles Napier

Director: Jonathan Demme
Costume Designer: Jane Greenwood
Cinematographer: Tak Fujimoto
Editor: Barry Malkin
Screenplay: David Shaber
Associate Producer: John Nicolella
Production Designer: Charles Rosen
Composer: Miklos Rozsa
Producer: Michael Taylor
Producer: Dan Wigutow
June 22, 2010
Roy Scheider is great, as always, but this turns into a melodramatic 70's stinker in the last third.
½ November 30, 2009
Jonathan Demme's tribute to Hitchcock, very much imitating his films, right down to the score. Roy Scheider does a fine job. Janet Margolin however is not strong enough for the role, it would have been much better with another actress. Demme should have cast a typical Hitchcock "cool blonde". Tense and exciting, a well crafted film.
August 28, 2009
Demme on tehnyt niin paljon hyvia leffoja ennen Uhrilampaitakin etta hui. Roy Scheider on yksi lempi näyttelijoita ja tassa elokuvassa kerrassaan mahtava. Aikuisena psykologisena jannarina ansaitsee useampia katsomiskertoja ja tulkintoja. Jo juliste kuuluu osaksi juonta ja elokuva alkaa katsojan paassa ennen ensimmaista kuvaa hitaasti nostattaa kysymyksia. Muukin nayttelija kaarti on oivallista ja ohjaus manipuloi taitavasti kuten Hitchkock tyyliin kuuluu.
Super Reviewer
March 15, 2009
This is a splendid little Hitchcockian thriller from Jonathan Demme. Roy Scheider plays Harry Hannan, a government agent recovering from a nervous breakdown after losing his wife in a botched attempt on his life. Fearful of further assassination attempts after being labelled a dangerous liability by his boss, Harry's nerves are shredded even further when he receives a mysterious death threat in Biblical Hebrew. Although certain characters (guilt-ridden, delicate hero - Vertigo), situations (shower scene - Psycho) and settings (bell tower - Vertigo again) are unmistakably Hitchcockian - and the movie even finds time to reference first generation Hitchcock clones like Henry Hathaway's Niagara - Demme's film is always a cut above mere pastiche because he makes little or no attempt to imitate the master's style. In place of Hitch's elegant backdrops and rigidly storyboarded perfectionism, Demme substitutes gritty locations, handheld camerawork and spontaneity. Scheider is superb as the haunted hero and Miklos Rozsa's score is simply beautiful.
½ January 3, 2008
Jonathan Demme's slick and stylish homage to Alfred Hitchcock.

The entire narrative itself is only a MacGuffin (to use a term Hitchcock used) to allow Demme to create set pieces that mimic those of the Master of Suspense - we get a shower sequence (ala Psycho), a pair of scissors (ala Dial M for Murder), a bell tower (ala Vertigo), a near fall in front of a train (ala Shadow of Doubt), the slow tearing of clothes (ala Saboteur), and even a climatic finish at a famous locale (here Niagara Falls).

This film was made with the Hitchock fan in mind and not as a standalone thriller, thus those expecting a cleverly original thriller will be disappointed. However, those that embrace the film's self-referential sensibilities will have a lot of fun noticing all the references, homages, puns, and inside jokes that the film offers. But you don't need to know Hitchcock to still enjoy the values of this film - it is still an entertaining, stylish, and suspenseful thriller that will surely please most viewers.
August 20, 2007
This is brilliant. Demme's no dummy - the direction is great, very Hitchcockian (it actually plays like a tribute movie). Solid performance from Scheider, as always.
Super Reviewer
½ March 6, 2007
A tackily directed 70s forerunner to the likes of Basic Instinct, this overly melodramatic tale of a burnt out secret agent who recieves a calling card from a serial killer is often unconvincing, and often just plain silly.
½ September 25, 2006
Jonathan Demme's tribute to Hitchcock, very much imitating his films, right down to the score. Roy Scheider does a fine job. Janet Margolin however is not strong enough for the role, it would have been much better with another actress. Demme should have cast a typical Hitchcock "cool blonde". Tense and exciting, a well crafted film.
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