Three Days of the Condor - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Three Days of the Condor Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ February 19, 2018
Redford competently portrays a CIA researcher on the run --- from the CIA, even if he's a touch too jock to play a nerd. Dunaway is unusually restrained and thereby good as a casual interested bystander. And Von Sydow is (always good) a workman assassin. The plot doesn't bear close observation but it is hardly the point either. Paranoia is, and that aspect director Pollock maintains. So-so.
February 6, 2018
Exceptional 70's suspense thriller about a bookish CIA operative working at a secluded office desk job whose life gets turned upside down while out picking up lunch for his colleagues. Robert Redford is magnificent as the intellectual analyst thrust into the field, out of his comfort zone, where his expertise and skill set are firmly put to the test. Faye Dunaway shines as his captive / accomplice. Was there ever a more attractive on - screen couple in so much danger? Max von Sydow delivers one of my all - time favourite supporting roles as an Austrian specialist with conflicting ethics, hired to do dirty work for spy agencies.

Arguably, one of the finest examples of the government paranoia films that emerged in the late 1970's post Watergate. A stellar script with more than capable directing from Sydney Pollack will have you on the edge of your seat right up till the end.
Super Reviewer
February 3, 2018
Classic 1970s espionage thriller that starts out surprisingly light-hearted until the shit hits the fan. From there on out it's still interesting enough to see things unfold, but there aren't a lot of particularly exciting encounters or scenes. Certainly a decent effort for its time, but to be honest, we've had much better since.
January 28, 2018
Robert Redford: Action Hero. There's a small piece of information about Redford's Joe Turner; he reads comic strips. He's a geek CIA book reader. Who. Reads. Every. Thing. This is the original Bourne / Bruce Willis / Arnold Schwarzenegger / Jean Claude Van Damme / Vin Deisel / The Rock thriller. So '70's. The soundtrack. The clothes. Still pretty cool.
December 28, 2017
Slow moving spy movie with Redford trying to figure out why all of his co-workers were murdered. I've always liked it. But the technology is extremely dated by today's standards. So be prepared for that if you've never seen it.
December 6, 2017
70's spy thriller starring the great Robert Redford. Not gonna lie, I did snooze a bit here and there. The action is minimal, mostly talk in this so that's my reason for that. It's decent from the parts I was awake to see, but I wanted more action and perhaps a car chase. Ah well.
October 23, 2017
I have a fondness for stories like Three Days of the Condor, where it focuses on a man on the run. Robert Redford is a great lead for the story, because I believe him as a simple analyst, but also as someone who could outsmart people when backed into a corner. The fact that they made part of his job reading a lot of books, so he picks up a lot of stuff from spy novels, was a nice little touch. There were a number of great intense scenes where my heart was racing, and I thought the intrigue behind the scenes at the CIA was also exciting. Max von Sydow is always great, and he adds an extra intimidation factor when he shows up as an assassin. I?m not sure the romance stuff with Faye Dunaway fit all that well in the story, but it added some stakes to a couple scenes so I was willing to accept it. The end of the film is perhaps one of the more unique ways I?ve seen one of these movies conclude. At first I thought it was a tad underwhelming and anticlimactic, but they put a spin on it that I didn?t see coming. Somehow this simple action thriller managed to get me thinking at the end, because of how it resolved things for the protagonist. Three Days of the Condor was a big hit for me, and it is the style of movie that I can see myself revisiting multiple times. I would definitely recommend this one to others.
½ July 7, 2017
A dude in the CIA is actually not the typical CIA-guy. He reads books and does not do that other stuff. He gets all of his co-workers killed while he is out his office for a little while and it seems like the guys that did it is not letting him live much longer than his friends. He is in it all by himself, trying to find out who did it so he can get out of the heat before it's too late. Who are friends, and who are foes? Which friends has turned their backs on him?

A great mysterious thriller with great acting and some supercool music. It got that great 70's vibe and it's both exciting and smart. It also stands the test of time quite well even if the phonetapping-stuff is very old-school. It's actually pretty charming to see all the work that's put into it. A tense spy-thriller, better than most of the newer films with similiar themes. This was believeable and entertaining, and that's all I can ask for.

7 out of 10 delivery guys.
½ February 18, 2017
A thriller, I love it...
December 22, 2016
The energy of this mostly excellent espionage flick ebbs and flows in a way that keeps it from being a masterpiece but you gotta love a film that is 40 years old seemingly predicting world events of the past 10 years or so. Spooky stuff.

'Three Days of the Condor' is shot beautifully with plenty of delicious little twists but poor Faye Dunaway is absolutely wasted in a thankless role that was clearly just beefed up (if you can call it that) for the sake of having a female lead.
December 17, 2016
Not your typical Christmas movie.
August 1, 2016
A true American political thriller. The suspense keeps us gripping out seats, even though it tended to lose me every now and then, and the performances are absolutely spot on.
Super Reviewer
½ June 16, 2016
Movies this genuinely fun haven't been made since the 70s (except maybe the Coens' movies). Every action thriller from the 80s onwards got too polished and grand, loses touch with the characters. Holds up. Faye Dunaway is stunning and alarmingly hypnotizing.
June 13, 2016
CIA agent goes to lunch only to return and find his coworkers murdered. He then flees police and uses his skills to solve the conspiracy. Excellent thriller that is Pollacks best mainstream movie until 1993s The Firm.
May 30, 2016
One of those movies that becomes less interesting the more you understand about the plot, but it gets around that by having that cool, beguiling encounter between Von Sydow and Redford at the end. It's a pretty fun movie overall, especially in the ridiculously entertaining first act, even if the romantic relationship should have been removed entirely (that sex scene is just awful) and the music sometimes makes it seem like a parody.
May 1, 2016
Best film I've seen in years.
Super Reviewer
½ April 27, 2016
"Three Days of The Condor" in 3 words: action-packed, thrilling and exciting! Admittedly, it doesn't strike much of a blow for 1970s feminism (cuz what woman wouldn't immediately jump into bed with a handsome man after a home invasion at gun-point and being chained to a toilet all day?! That's hot!), but if you get past the very dated sexism, politics and technology, it's quite an entertaining film.
½ March 3, 2016
Joe Turner (Robert Redford) is a CIA analyst, code name "Condor". He works in a clandestine office in New York City, which fronts as the "American Literary Historical Society". Turner's task is to read books, newspapers, and magazines from around the world, looking for hidden meanings and new ideas. As part of his duties, Turner files a report to CIA headquarters on a low-quality thriller novel his office has been reading, pointing out strange plot elements therein, and the unusual assortment of languages into which the book has been translated. On the day that Turner is expecting a response to his report, he is shopping for staff lunches when armed men efficiently murder the six people still in the office. Returning to find his coworkers' bodies a frightened Turner calls the CIA's New York headquarters, and is given instructions to meet his Head of Department, who will bring him into safety. The rendezvous is however a trap. Wicks shoots an accompanying CIA staffer and attempts to kill Turner, who wounds his assailant before escaping himself. Needing a place to hide, Turner forces a woman, Kathy Hale (Faye Dunaway), whom he encounters by chance in a ski shop, to take him to her apartment in Brooklyn Heights. He holds her prisoner while he attempts to figure out what is going on. Deciding that he cannot trust anyone within the CIA, Turner begins to play a cat-and-mouse game with Higgins (Cliff Robertson), deputy director of the CIA's New York division, to find out who wants him dead...

Rotten Tomatoes consensus is: "This post-Watergate thriller captures the paranoid tenor of the times, thanks to Sydney Pollack's taut direction and excellent performances from Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway." Roger Ebert wrote, "Three Days of the Condor is a well-made thriller, tense and involving, and the scary thing, in these months after Watergate, is that it's all too believable." Some critics also described the film as a piece of political propaganda, as it was released soon after the "Family Jewels" scandal came to light in December 1974 which exposed a variety of CIA misconduct. However, in an interview with Jump Cut, Pollack explained that the film was written solely to be a spy thriller and that production on the film was nearly over by the time the Family Jewels revelations were made, so even if they had wanted to take advantage of them, it was far too late in the filmmaking process to do so. Despite both Pollack and Redford being well-known political liberals, they were only interested in making the film because an espionage thriller was a genre neither of them had previously explored. As a classic conspiracy thriller with a bit of a twist, I remember this being quite good and a well crafted piece of film. When re-seeing it now, I might be a bit less positive as I think Sydney Pollack is quite uneven as a director. We get great scenes mixed with really less great scenes. Such as the lovemaking sequence between Redford and Dunaway. And he doesnīt really manage to portray that overwhelming paranoid feel you would like to see in this sort of conspiracy thriller. "Three Days For Condor" is still stylish, convincing and intriguing. The plot is strong and the characters are all solid and believable. Redford acts with such a relaxed and easy manner, at the same time I think Turnerīs reactions to what he is put through is not fully satisfying. I reckon someone in his shoes would be a lot more frighten and upset then Redford communicate in his role. Even if he really manages to act out his characters thoughts and concerns through his actions and facial expressions. Max Von Sydow is great as the sophisticated and calculating assassin Joubert. While Dunaway ends up on the sidelines unfortunately. We also get an up close look of the newly built World Trade Center in 1974 when the movie was shot. Trivia: According to Lucia Bozzola at Allmovie, the picture was "one of a cycle of conspiracy films from the 1970s to appear in the wake of the Watergate scandal that also included "The Parallax View" (1974) and "All the President's Men" (1976)".
½ January 14, 2016
Being a critically acclaimed example of the espionage thriller genre and headlined by Robert Redford, Three Days of the Condor sounded like a nostalgic experience.

The espionage thriller genre is one which hit a heyday during its most culturally relevant era, the time of the cold war. This was an era where the world was swept with paranoia and films capitalized on that. Since the cold war has been over for decades, the feeling of Three Days of the Condor is bound to have diminished slightly. Since the subject matter of the film is extremely timely, the result is that it doesn't hold up over the succeeding years and so it is perhaps not as intense as it once was. Three Days of the Condor is certainly a good film, but it is one which relies on a story which is somewhat dated in the current age. And as well as that, the genre itself is one very much reliant on a lot of talking while everything else around it moves along at a slow pace. Three Days of the Condor remains intelligently scripted either way, but it certainly stretches on for a long time and relies on atmosphere to carry it when nothing much is happening. The feeling may not always hold up in the contemporary age.
However, you can't blame anybody for the fact that history has changed. For what it's worth, Three Days of the Condor remains a sophisticated and intelligent thriller even outside of its context. The tale chronicles an interesting character by the name of Joseph Turner, a man who is very well-read and intelligent yet also an everyman caught up in a complicated situation. When he gets dragged into the violence of government politics and manages to barely make it out, he is left in a situation with nobody to trust. This gives Three Days of the Condor its feeling of intensity, fuelling it with unpredictability. From there on, the story develops naturally and goes on a course of all kinds of twists and turns with no telling what will come next. The story is one which has very intricate scripting, full of rich dialogue and clever plotting which keeps the audience guessing.
The handling of the material by Sydney Pollack is brilliant. Though the story itself is a complicated one, viewers are given an appropriate amount of time and a sensible story pace to comprehend everything that is going on. This allows them to gain an understanding of the relevance of each character and learn the true scope of the story with all its subtext and meaning. And the film is a stylish venture as well. The cinematography is a notorious asset to the film because it always captures things from a fair distance which gives viewers the feeling that they are spying on the character, further reinforcing the themes of paranoia in the narrative. The cinematography is able to capture the scope of the Joseph Turner's journey and the world around him while managing to maintain the atmosphere for a long time with extended shots, requiring editing minimally but still managing to use it effectively during the more fast-paced moments of the narrative. Essentially, Three Days of the Condor is shot and edited very well as a means of matching the pace with the latter element being effective enough to earn the film an Academy Award nomination.
And of course the brilliance of the cast in Three Days of the Condor is what keeps it consistently engaging even at the slowest of times.
Robert Redford's leading performance is a very strong asset to Three Days of the Condor. Although there is a lot of complications going on in the conspiracy at the heart of the narrative which requires the story to focus on many characters, Robert Redford's intense leading performance keeps things centred on him the whole time. Never letting his guard down for a second, Robert Redford manages keep a firm a grip on the complicated array of situations he has to face through a strong understanding of the material, cleverly conveying the intelligent nature of the character. And during some of the more intense moments in the film, Robert Redford proves himself capable of putting up a fight with strong physical energy. Robert Redford carries Three Days of the Condor very nicely.
Faye Dunaway also brings in a strong effort. Caught up in the intense mood of the story, Faye Dunaway manages to keep herself on edge throughout the entire story. Her chemistry with Robert Redford is impressive since Kathy Hale starts out as a victim of hostage antagonism but gradually manages to develop a genuine sense of trust with him. From there, the dramatic sparks develop into a romantic attachment where the two share a genuine sense of passion. Faye Dunaway works very well with Robert Redford to establish a rich engagement between characters, and it helps to add more a more human touch to the story.
Max Von Sydow is also a nice touch. Without having to say all that much in Three Days of the Condor, Max Von Sydow naturally has a sense of sophisticated mystery about him which plays to the benefit of his villainous nature. He is so professional about the role that he shows no feeling whatsoever when responsible for an assassination, yet there is nothing hollow about how he does it. The man is so strong in the part that he never comes off as being the enemy of the story, simply a hired gun with a strong attitude towards what he does. And when he interacts with Robert Redford more closely towards the end of the story, there is much intrigue. Max Von Sydow captures his part with such ease that it almost seems routine for the actor.

So Three Days of the Condor may rely on dated subject matter and a slow pace, but it provides audiences perspective into a different time with intense direction from Sydney Pollack and strong performances from its cast.
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