My review of Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s swan song + Stills, Trailer
It might be mid-summer, the traditional time for lazy, hazy, crazy days on the beach and by the barbecue, but there’s no shortage of quality fare hitting cinemas. Alongside the big budget Hollywood blockbusters are independent films guaranteed to make you think — movies just a cut above the check-your-brain-at-the-door popcorn flicks at the multiplex.
One of those cerebral options hitting theaters today is A Most Wanted Man, a two-hour slow burn of a spy thriller from award-winning director Anton Corbijn, based on the 2008 John le Carré novel of the same name (he also Executive Produced). This was Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last starring role (and the film is dedicated to him at the end), playing a terrorist tracker for a post-911 German spy agency.
The picture co-stars Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, Willem Dafoe, Daniel Brühl, and Grigoriy Dobrygin as a Chechen Muslim in Hoffman’s sights — all are riveting. Set and shot in the port city of Hamburg and bustling Berlin, Germany, A Most Wanted Man was financed primarily by German and UK production companies so it is a “foreign film,” technically, but is in English with an occasional subtitled bit of Arabic or German. For the most part, though, there’s only one American character and everyone else speaks broken English (including Hoffman).
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