Title: A Most Wanted Man
Running Time: 122 min
Director: Anton Corbijn
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman (†), Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Grigory Dobrygin, Homayoun Ershadi, Daniel Brühl, Herbert Grönemeyer
After his surprising death early this year, Philip Seymour Hoffman comes, at least for a little while, back to life on the big screen. Eventhough his final postum released film will be the great conclusion of the "Hunger Games" franchise, in this one he takes on the leading role for the last time: As Günther Bachmann, he heads a team of espionage agents seeking to develop intelligence from Hamburg's local Muslim community. A post 9/11 spy story written by none other than author and former MI-6 member John le Carré.
"A Most Wanted Man" is a very interesting movie, and this is said with absolutely no sarcasm implied. It depicts espionage in a truthful light, stripped off the flashiness and explosions of the likes of Mission Impossible and James Bond. You see agents talking to contacts, listening in on conversations and having to put up with other agencies and departments that interfere with their investigations. This realism comes of course at the cost of pace, but this is ultimately also the point and kind of the charm of the film. Gathering intelligence takes its time, and you need to start at the bottom to get to the top, or as Bachmann states it: 'It takes a minnow to catch a barracuda and a barracuda to catch a shark.'
This is not a popcorn flick, and requires a bit of patience and focus, but it pays off, as the movie rewards you with great atmosphere and excellent performances. Especially the late Hoffman shows us why he will be missed. There is a lot of brilliance within the subtlety with which he portrays his characters and the impact of the final scene would not have been the same without him.
Lastly, the movie seems very up-to-date covering topics like the fear of terrorism, suspiciousness towards Muslims, and the different approaches of intelligence agencies as well as the bureaucracy they have to work with. "A Most Wanted Man" might not be a film you will rewatch very often, but one whose themes and message you will definiteley remember. So if you are in for something sophisticated, this is a film for you.
For Fans Of:
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)
The American (2010)
The Wire (2002-2008, TV Series)
Click Here To Watch Trailer!
And check out my friend's review over at B.A.'s Screentest for a second opinion!