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Movie Review of "A Most Wanted Man"

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A Most Wanted Man


Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last role in “A Most Wanted Man” is a very good performance and while watching, I could not help but think that Hollywood had lost an immense talent when he died earlier this year.
Gunther Bachman (Hoffman) is a German spymaster in Hamburg, who is on the trail of what appears to be a vagrant who climbs out of a sewer. Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) is wanted as a supposed terrorist, but Hoffman is after a bigger fish by the name of Abdullah (Homayoun Ershadi); and Issa is the man who will lead him to pay dirt. Issa, is informed by a go between (Willem Dafoe) that he has inherited a pot of gold in the sum of ten million dollars from his father, but tells his lawyer Annabelle Richter (Rachel McAdams) that he wants nothing to do with it. What kind of terrorist turns down ten million bucks?
Issa not only has the attention of Hoffman and his post 9-11 colleagues, but also has the attention of Martha Sullivan (Robin Wright), an American CIA operative who wants to know exactly what Hoffman knows. An intriguing cat and mouse game ensues between the Germans, the Americans, and of course, the lawyers, as the spy thriller unfolds.
Hoffman was one of my favorite actors: a performer who could do anything. A graduate of the New York State Summer School of Arts, he began his career with a bit part on a “Law and Order” episode in 1991. From there he acted in supporting work in film, playing a student in “Scent of a Woman,” a storm chaser in “Twister,” a pornographer in “Boogie Nights,” and one of my favorite parts, an amphetamine riddled Rolling Stone-like rock star writer in “Almost Famous.” At this point in his career he was just showing the tip of the iceberg of his genius. In 2005 he won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in “Capote,” and then followed that up by being nominated by the Academy for three Best Supporting roles for, “Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), Doubt (2008), and The Master (2012).”
Hoffman was also a stage performer for the LAByrinth Theater Company, which he joined in 1995. He performed in three Broadway plays and received Tony Award nominations for his acting ─ two of them for Best Leading Actor in “True West (2000.)” His unfortunate death caused by an accidental drug overdose on February 2, 2014 at the age of 46, cut short the life of a wonderful actor.
I rate “A Most Wanted Man” 4 out of 5 Spymasters.