The Two Faces of January - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Two Faces of January Reviews

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½ December 2, 2016
It was good, bout an all to familiar story line
½ December 1, 2016
There are elements in The Two Faces of January that make it close to being great, but the flaws in execution hold it back from attaining that greatness. The best part of this movie is the plot, and how it twists and turns and keeps you on your toes. That is what hooked me and had me anxious to see what was next. To set it up for you, an American husband and wife are visiting Athens and run into a young American tour guide. We quickly learn that the husband and wife aren't exactly there on vacation, but to hide out. Soon the tour guide gets caught in the husband's ever-expanding web of misdeeds, and the three must work together to escape. While the plot isn't the most original, I still was intrigued by it and wasn't 100% sure which way they would go. The other big positive in this film was the trio of lead actors. Oscar Isaac might be the best of the bunch. He is so charming that you can see why unsuspecting tourists might not clue into some of his subtle deception. Viggo Mortensen gets to play a slimy character that is basically the villain of the film. He's nasty and easy to hate, yet you can sense that he has a morality in him. Kirsten Dunst doesn't get as much to do in the film, but when she is on screen I like how she elevates her role.

The flaw in this film is in some of the decisions made behind the camera. I thought the story had enough intrigue to keep me interested, but they didn't create a good mystery, when they easily could have. In other words, I didn't know what was going to happen next, but because of the presentation I knew everything that happened before. There were scenes that should have been removed which would have left the story intact but given the audience more to think about. For instance (and this isn't a spoiler because it happens pretty early in the film) the husband kills a private detective who was looking for him, and then the tour guide happens upon him trying to take care of the body. If we were not shown the scene of the murder we would be left in the dark and allowed to puzzle through what happened up until we saw that scene. There are other subtle things that I thought could have been cleaned up in the way the story was presented, but it would sound like nitpicking. All it amounted to was enough minor flaws to keep The Two Faces of January from being something special. It is a decent film, and I am glad I saw it. I think others will get some enjoyment out of it if they watch it, but I don't know how highly I would recommend it.
November 25, 2016
Two Faces of January is a beautiful film with complex characters and gripping dialogue. Definitely a must see.
Grade: B+
Super Reviewer
½ October 23, 2016
Average. I mainly watched for Kirsten Dunst. *****mild spoiler***** I wasn't too impressed when she exits the film one hour in. Chester and Rydel were not interesting enough to carry the movie on their own.
It's certainly not badly made, but it felt like there should have been a twist or something at the end, and there just wasn't. I didn't even really get why Chester helped at the end. What was in it for him at that point?
½ October 5, 2016
Viggo y Oscar Isaac juntos... algo así como todo lo que está bien en la actuación.
September 24, 2016
Disappointing, but there's a nice touch at the end.
½ September 16, 2016
I really enjoyed this thriller. It keeps you hooked all the way along. Well worth seeing.
September 14, 2016
One of the classic "what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object" stories. The cast and writing are great but the pacing is a little slow.
June 23, 2016
Pretty good and entertaining, fresh feeling too.
April 17, 2016
This is a film that should've been great, it's based on a book by Patricia Highsmith("Talented Mr. Ripley", "Strangers on a Train"), has an exotic location, and two great stars in Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac, yet it didn't reach its full potential. There are parts that dragged and I think there was room for improvements, but good effort for first-time director. Luckily, it's not terribly long, so was worth a watch.
½ April 3, 2016
Quite a good tense thriller.
Super Reviewer
½ March 27, 2016
Handsomely made and old-fashioned in pace and texture - a lot of the success hangs on the three leads' wonderful performances and chemistry rather than the story (based on a Patricia Highsmith novel) which is only occasionally interesting.
March 21, 2016
Beautiful people doing bad things abroad...
March 21, 2016
I'd been wanting to watch another Viggo Mortensen movie for quite some time now and one appeared on Netflix the other night that sounded quite interesting. The Two Faces of January also stars KIrsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac (who coincidentally keeps showing up in movies I didn't know he was in) in a story set in Greece in 1962. Viggo and Kirsten are a couple on vacation who develop a strange relationship with their tour guide. They quickly become best friends and the couple ends up staying just a little bit longer. A major incident happens that cements the three as potential accomplices.. for a time.

The Two Faces of January was a smartly written and very real sort of thriller. The performances of all three stars were excellent and succeeded in capturing my complete attention to the point I forgot I was watching actors. The pacing of the plot made sure the film was never dull and the chemistry between all three was perfect. Viggo and Kirsten were an actual believable couple and you began to empathize with them up to a point.

I know a lot of people have not been big fans of Kirsten Dunst's movie career but trust me when I say that this film may be her best. If you want to see her in a truly excellent performance, you need to watch this film. The same goes for Viggo Mortensen who I'm glad to see is still turning out classics. I guess I need to stop saying Oscar Isaac surprised me with how good he was since he makes every single film better just by being in it. I need to stop writing anymore and just drive home the fact to all of you that you need to watch this film. The soundtrack, setting, and story are all excellent and there are surprises around every corner. This is such an underrated little gem.
½ March 9, 2016
Good movie in a hot place ...fine acting by the lead-actors ! Mission completed !
February 25, 2016
The story lacks a little fizz, but there's still a decent amount of tension created as the three troubled souls go on the run across Greece, with the country superbly shot by the production, especially as this is a period drama.
February 21, 2016
Shallow thriller that lacks a layer of deep deceit... but nonetheless well acted and watchable
February 17, 2016
Superlative thriller, wonderfully acted and directed. It's 1962 and a wealthy American couple (Viggo Mortensen, terrific, and Kirsten Dunst) are befriended in Athens by a young tourist guide (Oscar Isaac, excellent). To say more would spoil the very real pleasures of this Patricia Highsmith adaptation from first-time director Hossein Amini. Only a slightly pedestrian ending spoils things.
February 6, 2016
Intriguing story carried by the three leads, particularly Oscar Isaac. Never quite hits the high notes it promises early on. Builds tension but doesn't deliver on a few moments, either rushing through some heavy plot points or dragging out an ending with a few strung together scenes that don't feel consistent with the rest of the movie. That said, some great moments and engrossing performances make it worth seeing.

Boy Viggo looks like a skeleton head with ill-fitting skin stretched over it. What happened to him!?
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