Marathon Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Marathon Man Reviews

Page 1 of 56
January 4, 2017
This seems to have acquired the reputation of being a very complicated thriller. I don't really see what's complicated about it. Olivier's Nazi war criminal in hiding is forced to come to New York and retrieve his stashed wealth when the only other person with access to it, his brother, is killed in a car crash. He's afraid that any of a number of couriers who have been transporting these diamonds to him in South America might take the opportunity to rob him, so he starts having them bumped off. One of them is Hoffman's older brother Roy Scheider. When Scheider makes his way all the way back to Hoffman's apartment before dying, Olivier is convinced Scheider must have told him something important and grabs him to find out what he was told. That's the entire plot in a nutshell. I think it seems more complicated than it is because Schlesinger populates the movie with characters with complex psychologies that muddy the plot. Does it make sense for Olivier to fear being robbed? Not really. They could have robbed his brother at any time if they wanted to. He as much as admits the irrationality of this fear to Hoffman. William Devane's character wavers a lot because he's torn between having a job to do and hating Olivier. What makes this thriller really transcend it's genre is these character complexities.
December 23, 2016
I'm sure this film was a lot better in its time, and it is pretty good for about 3/4 of the way. But the third act in particular is pretty bad. And the romance aspect of the movie has that typical "stalking-leads-to-love" thing that a lot of older movies have. What just bugged me the most was that the entire thing was for naught. I hate movies where we're drawn in, a character is drawn in, and the story is revealed to be about absolutely nothing. Huge conspiracy thriller about a dude who's....afraid someone might steal his stash; nothing more. Wow. Reminds me of Mystic River, which was similarly a movie built around absolutely nothing. Oh, and the sheer amount of diamonds? That was borderline comical.
October 22, 2016
I liked this movie though I didn't find it as thrilling as I think it was intended. great cast and good story.
October 2, 2016
The movie where you can feel your own teeth being drilled. Great movie don't know who the bad guys are.
½ July 31, 2016
Marathon Man is an intense, at times, scary thriller that features some excellent performances and is chalk-full of unpredictable twists.
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2016
A good movie, although a little confusing and hard to follow. Also, very disappointed by the "famous" dentistry scene. Apparently most of it was cut for being too graphic. What is left is pretty ordinary.
½ July 10, 2016
70's style, nice storyline with one of Hoffman's finest performance...
April 22, 2016
Marathon Man never quite could elevate itself than your average pot boiler type thriller despite the excellent performances and able direction. Though it tries to be secretive, compartmentalizing and strategically letting in on information to the viewers, I could not find it intriguing enough to sit on the edge. The cloak and dagger stuff is predictable and poorly executed and the scenes inserted to just get the screenplay and plot moving are laughable.

Doc (Roy Scheider) is a Government operative in pursuit of some diamonds stashed by a Nazi War criminal Szell (Laurence Olivier) dubbed the White Angel. Babe (Dustin Hoffman) is a history student and a younger brother to Doc, he is also practicing to participate in a full marathon and meets a beautiful girl of foreign origin Elsa (Marthe Keller). One day Doc falls into Babe's doorstep with a stab wound and succumbs before he tells anything. Babe is then abducted, tortured and pursued to spit out what Doc has revealed in his final moments.

A scene in the first 15 minutes where two old men has a road rage is one of the worst scenes I have come across. The entire story runs on the paranoia of Szell regarding the safety of his diamonds and the way they came up for portraying it is by Szell saying he is paranoid about the safety of his diamonds. Occasionally it gets loud and irrational (large help from Hoffman's character) and I never made me bothered to feel what is going to come next. The character Elsa does not do enough justification considering the screen time. Scheider gives a calculated and reliable performance while Hoffman is inconsistent. The scene of Szell walking by the Jewish market was effective but could have raised the pulse had it been longer or if could have been the climax. The climax was very badly done depicting a cheap B-movie.

Bloated runtime, missing intrigue blows the cover
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2015
Olivier's Nazi/dentist is a terrifying villain and the narrative constantly delivers on it's cynicism. A very good low key thriller.
November 25, 2015
Possibly another hidden gem of Hoffman's.
Super Reviewer
½ November 14, 2015
What begins as a taut, intriguing thriller soon becomes too complicated and desperate to defy our suspension of disbelief (as with a ridiculous shootout at a country house), and it is only worth it for Olivier's wicked villain and a fantastic scene in the New York diamond district.
½ November 7, 2015
John Schlesinger's thriller takes some time to get going but when it finally does, its pretty damn good.
½ October 21, 2015
While not exactly a classic, Marathon Man provides two very strong performances from its leads as well as a very memorable scene I dare not ruin.
½ October 18, 2015
A good thriller, worth seeing, but not a must see in the history of film. Its fun to see Olivier do a more mainstream film in a still dignified role. Hoffman is also good as the average man in an extraordinary situation. I do like the red herring title is also a very clever idea.
September 9, 2015
Why isn't this movie more popular? Excellent thriller.
September 7, 2015
Marathon Man fails to understand its own premise in what's a tedious race that never seems to end
August 22, 2015
An engaging, well-directed New York flick with an Oscar-worthy old Laurence Olivier and a young Dustin Hoffman: they just don't make em like that anymore.
½ August 18, 2015
You Can Easily Do Something Else & Still Take This In.. Trust Me, There Are Parts Worth Skimming Over As It Is Basically A Cobfusing, Boring Story, Mixed With Parts Of Extreme Terror..An Unfortunate Viewing Experience With Little Satisfaction.
August 12, 2015
A good film that manages to milk some effective suspense out of its needlessly convoluted plot. Kudos for not making the old Nazi villains any more cliched and exaggerated than they needed to be.
July 27, 2015
Good movie. While the plot gets muddled toward the middle of the film, and alliances get crossed and double-crossed and triple-crossed, it still has a thrilling plot line with great action, solid direction, and great performances from its cast, especially Olivier and Hoffman. It does get slow at moments, taking away from the escapism, but is still a good movie.
Page 1 of 56