The Parallax View

1974

The Parallax View (1974)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: The Parallax View blends deft direction from Alan J. Pakula and a charismatic Warren Beatty performance to create a paranoid political thriller that stands with the genre's best.

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Movie Info

In this film, based on a novel by Loren Singer, Warren Beatty plays a Seattle TV reporter who is approached by a terrified woman. She had been an eyewitness to a political assassination several years earlier; since that time, all the other witnesses have died mysteriously. Beatty insists on investigating.

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Critic Reviews for The Parallax View

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (6)

The movie's director, Alan J. Pakula, works on location to get a nice feel of outdoor menace a lot of the time.

Apr 29, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

For my taste the suspenseful set pieces go on much too long, and the message -- that right-wing conspiracy is built into the American political and corporate structure -- is overstated.

Jun 7, 2007 | Full Review…

It's an astringently cynical take on official history, with Warren Beatty as a muckraker investigating the strange aftershocks of a senator's killing.

Jun 7, 2007 | Full Review…
Village Voice
Top Critic

Pakula's production and direction are lavish in physical details.

Jun 7, 2007 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

Excellent performances; fascinating film.

Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The thrills don't mount as the film goes on. They don't even accumulate. Once they are experienced, they dissolve so thoroughly that by the end you're likely to feel as cheated as I did.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Parallax View

½

A smart, engrossing paranoid political thriller concerning a journalist (Warren Beatty) who stumbles upon a conspiracy in which a senator who was murdered three years ago might actually have been offed by the government. While it does not possess the same character depth such as say, "The Conversation", another paranoid political thriller, had, it still is exciting and watchable due to the twists it implements. The last fifteen minutes or so are particularly arresting, with sharp camera work which captures memorable shots, including its smart, cleverly pieced together grand finale, which doesn't disappoint.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Maybe I need to see this movie again, but I thought it was really slow and boring. The story was pretty good, though. Overall, it's okay.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

½

Very slow paced and manipulative, but it's such a unique and powerful experience. Government conspiracies are either topics for very bad movies or very good movies, this is definitely one of the better. Warren Beatty plays such a great character and way of attaining the plot's information. This is more a cautionary tale about digging too deep and how there are forces at work that we aren't even aware of. For a 70s premise, this must've been shocking at its release and still sort've is. To have a sense of powerlessness is truly scary.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

I presumed that The Parallax View was going to be another horribly dated and hokey dirty government thriller (and that car chase towards the beginning definitely leaned that way) where one little guy blows the doors off of a government conspiracy. If nothing else, The Parallax View showed me how nice it is to be wrong sometimes. Warren Beatty's performance definitely has me understanding the whole Warren Beatty Thing (at least late 60s/early 70s era Beatty.) But for as subdued and enjoyable as Beatty's performance was, Alan J. Pakula's direction is the real standout here. Every shot from the lat 20 minutes of this movie is a work of art. And speaking of the last 20 minutes, they were so dark and menacing to the point where enjoying the movie almost became a chore. I know this movie's a year older than me, but where's it been all my life!?!

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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