Pascali's Island (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Pascali's Island (1988)

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Movie Info

The year is 1908; after centuries of unchecked power, the Ottoman empire is rapidly crumbling. As a result, Turkey's secret agents--those that haven't already been eliminated by downsizing or death--operate in a vacuum, their superiors knowing little and caring less about their activities. One such spy is Ben Kingsley, a minor bureaucrat of no ambition. When ordered to help disreputable English citizens Charles Dance and Helen Mirren in the theft of a precious Greek artifact, Kingsley goes along without question. He is even prepared to follow orders and double-cross Dance the moment the robbery is pulled off. But as the film progresses, Kingsley becomes less and less of a by-the-book government functionary and more and more of an enigma--to Dance, to Mirren, to his country, to himself. More than your usual "caper" film, Pascali's Island has more layers than an artichoke.
Rating:
PG-13 (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre:
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
Runtime:
Studio:
Live Home Video

Cast

Ben Kingsley
as Basil Pascali
Charles Dance
as Anthony Bowles
Helen Mirren
as Lydia Neuman
George Murcell
as Herr Gesing
Sheila Allen
as Mrs. Marchant
Stefan Gryff
as Izzet Effendi
Vernon Dobtcheff
as Pariente
T.P. McKenna
as Dr. Hogan
Nick Burnell
as Chaudan
Danielle Allan
as Mrs. Hogan
Josh Losey
as Turkish Soldier
Kevork Malikyan
as Mardosian
George Ekonomou
as Greek Rebel
Brook Williams
as Turkish Officer
Ali Abatsis
as Boy in Bath
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Critic Reviews for Pascali's Island

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (6)

Despite an eye-catching but mannered central performance from Ben Kingsley, looms as too languid and remote to make much impact.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

The milieu may seem remote but the performances illuminate, and the story has an originality that compensates for the modest budget.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Slow and stately, Pascali's Island never gets beneath its own superficial gentility.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

It is a mood piece, meditative, in which even the melodrama of the plot grows out of the flawed souls of the characters. Everything in a film like this depends on performance, and it is hard to imagine how it could have been better cast.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Helen Mirren has always been good at playing sexy eccentrics. But it is Kingsley's performance, as the despairing victim of his own actions, that makes this island worth a visit.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

A literary adaptation that takes itself so seriously one longs for Gilligan and the Skipper.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

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