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A Most Wanted Man Review: Subtle Intensity

A Most Wanted Man


A Most Wanted Man is a very effective thriller because it’s difficult to know who the good guys are, and which ideology should prevail. The cast of characters includes a group of German espionage agents, an America Diplomat, Russian and German intelligence agents, Muslim refugee immigrants, an immigration lawyer, a Muslim philanthropist, and a German baker trying to atone for criminal activities of his father. Throughout the film, trust is an issue. The fact that no one can truly trust anyone else, even when people have good intentions, is where the suspense lies. People trying to stop terrorism turn several characters into pawns.
The editing in the film is very effective in conveying suspense. There is a point where the main protagonist (played by the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman) is chasing a refugee who is a suspected terrorist (Grigoriy Dobrygin) and the immigration lawyer trying to help him (Rachel McAdams) through Hamburg. The chase itself is very well shot in the lighting and the use of camera movement and movement within the frame. The timing in the editing is superb.
It’s really difficult to write about how good the film is without giving things away, but this writer loves that it keeps the audience thinking and guessing. It’s an onion film. The characters have layers that the film does not completely peel away by the time the credits roll. That can be said about all of the principal characters. The final scene in the film certainly leaves the audience wanting more. It is also a film that seems like it will improve on repeated viewings as there is so much embedded in each scene. It’s a film that gives people the desire to dissect and analyze it.
It is entirely possible that this film will receive a wider release as Oscar season approaches. While it did get a somewhat wide release, it only played in mainstream theaters that have at least twenty screens. That is the case in the greater Dayton area at least. This writer will recommend this film to others, unless people want to “check their brains at the door.” It’s not a popcorn flick (Captain Obvious to the Rescue). It’s a film for people who like to have in depth discussions about international politics and the ethics of certain actions the intelligence community takes to make the world a safer place.