The Parallax View - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Parallax View Reviews

Page 1 of 19
Super Reviewer
½ June 6, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
½ August 24, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
November 23, 2006
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!?!
Super Reviewer
March 11, 2008
Terrifying conspiracy thriller that opens a new set of hypothesis in the most infamous and debated political crimes of the twentieth century in the united states. An obscure corporation and its dirty plots to prevent the rise of a different political force, fearing it would destabilize everything the big shots in power have worked for.
Both Pakula and cinematographer Gordon Willis know how to heighten the sense of paranoia and anxiety. Michael Small's score is also effectively atmospheric.
Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2008
This is one of the dulliest political assassination movies I ever watched because the tale didn't make sense to me.
Super Reviewer
May 7, 2007
Beatty's charm and Gordon Willis' cinematography elevate this highly influential film to great heights. Pakula's direction, and in particular his attention to humor. are sublime.

A great watch, well worth your time.
Super Reviewer
September 21, 2007
A really great conspiracy thriller. Warren Beatty is an investigative journalist who thinks he's getting a scoop on a politcal asassination, unaware that he's being manipulated as the fall-guy.
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2014
Always technically brilliant and oftentimes thrilling, ace paranoid thriller The Parallex View isn't the best '70s conspiracy tale but its slick presentation ranks it near the top of the genre nonetheless. In a day and age when the U.S. outsources some of it's intelligence operations, a story about a corporation that recruits, trains, and "uses" political assassins doesn't sound too off base. In fact, this View seems almost prescient. If only more of Parallex dated as well. In a post-9/11 world, it's hard to buy the main character, over-his-head reporter Joseph Frady, boarding a plane from the Tarmac at the last minute and - like the 20th Century Limited - paying once they've taken flight. Also, the then landmark hypnotic film-within-a-film orientation sequence lasts too long for modern Still, the concept and thrills hold up even when some of the twist and fisticuffs come across ham fisted. Thanks to a screen icon at the top of his game and a director just hitting his stride, however, the View is always magnificent.

In this R-rated conspiracy thriller, an ambitious reporter (Warren Beatty) uncovers a vast conspiracy involving a multinational corporation behind every event in the worlds headlines while investigating a senator's assassination.

Stuck between Klute and All the President's Men in director Alan J. Pakula's 'Paranoia Trilogy,' The Parallex View didn't fare as well come awards time (Jane Fonda bagged an Oscar for her performance in the former and he himself won Best Director for the latter) but the film is every bit as stylish. Framing modern marvels (Seattle's Space Needle! Pong!) and backwater dives with the same eye, Pakula presents a sprawling puzzler that never feels too far reaching for its hyper realistic, cynical post-Watergate grasp. Long takes allow the ambitious script some room to breathe. In hiring cinematographer Gordon Willis, however, he spun a golden straw man story into cinematic gold...almost, at least. The lived-in newspaper offices, wood paneled taverns, and spare motel rooms all get bathed in low light by a shadowy canopy that brilliantly heightens the worrisome tension. And then, there's Warren Beatty. At this point in his career, he has already proven himself time (Splendor in the Grass) and time (Bonnie and Clyde) and time again (McCabe and Mrs. Miller), he had already proven himself a top shelf actor with a gift for making anti-heroes sympathetic, but here, he hit a new low. Playing a recovering alcoholic reporter who wings his investigative application, this superstar daringly makes for an awesome political pawn.

3 Yays of the Condor
Super Reviewer
June 1, 2012
Old fashioned and not very convincing today, this conspiracy political thriller in the vein of All the President's Men and The Three Days of Condor still has some gripping moments. The airplane bomb sequence is full of suspence and the watrefall scene is a wonderful set-piece. The cinematography has some nice subtle camera movements and some good -but too obvious- shots that try to capture the paranoia feeling (such as shots of glistering glass-made buildings of Parallax corporation) but it shows its age; especially its color and the television-reportage sensibility can be seen today for the rhetoric devise that it is. The paranoid psychology of America of the times shines through this short-lived genre of conspiracy thrillers that were a reaction to the uneasiness that individuals were feeling in the midst of a political system that seemed greater than them; the political scandals seemed to be the tip of the iceberg of a whole mechanism that normal citizens had no access. The messages are always pessimistic and give a sense of disillusionment with politics. But these films never amount to a serious political statement; at their best however they give an echo of Kafka without the existential connotations. There is a certain charm in them but not any real depth despite their pretentions for the contrary.
Super Reviewer
½ August 29, 2010
One of the definitive 70s paranoid thrillers, extremely well-crafted and acted. About the assassination of a leading U.S. senator, a journalist Joseph Frady played by Warren Beatty in a wonderful subtle and understated performance notices that the reporters who witnessed the murder are inexplicably dying. Frady investigates and finds that the assassination was part of a conspiracy involving a shadowy therapy institute called the Parallax Corporation. Driven by curiosity, he infiltrates Parallax in an effort to uncover the truth, and discovers that Parallax deliberately recruits social misfits to train them as assassins, them they are dispatched by clients to kill prominent officials who threaten to get too close to the corporation's nefarious plans. Outstanding supporting performances from a stellar cast that includes, Hume Cronyn, William Daniels, Paula Prentiss, Anthony Zerbe, and Earl Hindman. The direction by the late Alan J. Pakula is flawless, and the distinctive cinematography by the great Gordon Willis is a triumph. A tense and effective film. Highly Recommended.
Super Reviewer
½ November 29, 2011
"The Parallax View" is a tight, suspenseful, enthralling, concisely-plotted and overwhelmingly eerie and downbeat political thriller, and it's the best of its kind. It's a solid effort from Alan J. Pakula, who practically made a career out of these kinds of films. His taut, sustained direction coupled with Gordon Willis' remarkable shot composition and impeccable framing and a script that captures the paranoia of the Watergate era makes it an engrossing, realistic experience chock full of unforgettable and infinitely-imitated scenes. Few films succeed at evoking an atmosphere as tense as "The Parallax View" does.
Super Reviewer
April 15, 2011
For once, I agree with Franklin! Just kidding, Cody, but he hit the nail on the head. I, too, felt something was missing, but Beatty and the shots kept me reeled in. Maybe it was just a little too slow-paced? But there are some scenes that provide intense thrills and the ending is a jawdropper.
Super Reviewer
March 31, 2009
Good but not great political conspiracy thriller. The acting is good, but something is missing from the script and I just didn't get sucked in. With that said this is one of the most interesting looking films I've ever seen. Pakula with Gordon Willis framed very odd, complex, and original shots. The look is strange at times, but very fascinating. The style and the ending makes this a film worth watching.
Super Reviewer
½ February 12, 2008
Dead on target conspiracy movie. Credible, frightening, well acted, and directed.
Super Reviewer
February 15, 2007
I first saw this film on videotape and thought it was an amazing conspiracy film about the JFK assassination. After seeing the DVD I was even more impressed with Alan Pakula's direction (shots through office windows, drapes, and many wide shots of people talking in the distance) which gives you the impression that a lot more is going on then what you are seeing. My favourite paranoid film, it shows you don't need to put in action scenes to have a film with a Conspiracy Theory.
½ May 28, 2012
Quintessential 70's paranoia cinema that doesn't deliver the punch of All the President's Men, but it will still have you thinking 'they' might be out to get you.
June 8, 2011
This is a really cleaver movie about a muckraking journalist who decides to investigate a company which recruits patsies for political assassinations.
½ March 21, 2010
This is one of my favorite movies. A great paranoid and subversive political thriller that just has these odd little touches that work well. I saw it a long time ago, then watched it about 5 years ago just because, and I watched it again now just because. From the static shot of the mini chase on top of the Space Needle to the pictorial placards that are supposed to show pictures and how they play to the ending to the really bizarre psych-study film that plays to the audience as much as it does to Beatty. Plus, you gotta love the beautiful and bizarre damn scene and the snap to it ending. This is a classic overall and right up with the best in terms of mind twisting murder thrillers with an odd political bent.
Page 1 of 19