The Manchurian Candidate

Critics Consensus

While not the classic its predecessor is, this update is well-acted and conjures a chilling resonance.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 209

63%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 68,401

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Movie Info

Years after his squad was ambushed during the Gulf War, Major Ben Marco (Denzel Washington) finds himself having terrible nightmares. He begins to doubt that his fellow squad-mate Sergeant Raymond Shaw (Liev Schreiber), now a vice-presidential candidate, is the hero he remembers him being. As Marco's doubts deepen, Shaw's political power grows, and, when Marco finds a mysterious implant embedded in his back, the memory of what really happened begins to return.

Cast & Crew

Denzel Washington
Army Major Ben Marco
Meryl Streep
Eleanor Prentiss Shaw
Liev Schreiber
Raymond Shaw
Jon Voight
Thomas Jordan
Ted Levine
Colonel Howard
Bruno Ganz
Richard Delp
Miguel Ferrer
Colonel Garret
Dean Stockwell
Mark Whiting
Dean Georgaris
Screenwriter
Ilona Herzberg
Executive Producer
Leslie E. Rollins
Set Decoration
Kristi Zea
Production Designer
Tak Fujimoto
Cinematographer
Richard Condon
Writer (Novel)
George Axelrod
Screenwriter
Daniel Pyne
Screenwriter
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News & Interviews for The Manchurian Candidate

Critic Reviews for The Manchurian Candidate

All Critics (209) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (167) | Rotten (42)

  • Good as the players are, they can't make this hokum remotely believable.

    December 21, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Jonathan Demme's new Manchurian Candidate is a gourmet-popcorn movie--a hugely entertaining thriller shot through with dark shards of agony and paranoia. It takes nothing away from the original while delivering pleasures all its own.

    July 6, 2010 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • Happily, this extremely timely entertainment matches, even perhaps surpasses its predecessor.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A polished remake of a 60s classic.

    November 16, 2004 | Rating: 3/5

    Nev Pierce

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • Demme serves the picture completely.

    August 28, 2004
  • Strikes me as a very artful cover -- about the cleverest imaginable transliteration of the story from its historical moment to ours.

    August 13, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Manchurian Candidate

  • Jul 11, 2018
    The opening gambit is one farfetched sci-fi idea: that you can be programmed to kill your loved ones against your will. But, past that, due to the professionalism of the participants, here is one decent fantasy thrill ride about a secret government coup by a multinational corporation. Jonathon Demme keeps the story fluid while Washionton, Streep and Schreiber, amongst others, make it all seem believable. Decent.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 29, 2016
    It's an enjoyable, thrilling-enough watch, but it's not entirely memorable and suffers from an intriguing but convoluted premise.
    Matthew Samuel M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 23, 2014
    I know that the original is a beloved suspense film, but this is a solid remake. Excellent casting choices. The ending is great too.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 22, 2012
    An above-average psychological thriller with some great performances, The Manchurian Candidate delivers its fair share of creepy moments before ending a little unremarkably. It is, of course, a remake of the 1960s thriller of the same name starring Frank Sinatra. I haven't seen the original, but I was impressed by just how exciting and entertaining this remake is. It's sort of a political thriller sprinkled with just enough creepiness and mystery to make it consistently interesting. Meryl Streep gives a fantastic performance as Liev Schreiber's sinister, conspiring mother and the primary antagonist of the movie. Schreiber is also great as a young senator and Gulf War veteran who is mind-controlled as part of a far-reaching political conspiracy. The story becomes a little muddled in the ending, but everything leading up to it is thrilling and very enjoyable. It's imperfect, but Jonathan Demme's The Manchurian Candidate has a lot to offer in terms of excitement and entertainment, and that's more than enough to make it a worthwhile movie to watch.
    Joey S Super Reviewer

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