A Most Wanted Man (2014)

This is not a film for adrenalin junkies. The feel of this film is dark, deadly and intelligent. This is a chess game where almost everyone is a pawn. Seymour Hoffman plays a drained, chain-smoking, hard-drinking, almost despairing spymaster (Günther Bachmann) tasked with combating Muslim extremists in Hamburg.

It’s a slow-burning, intelligent film: cynical and disquieting. The plot revolves around an illegal Chechen immigrant and suspected terrorist called Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin). The underlying question is what does Bachmann want? Does he really believe that the ‘war on terror’ can be won or does he believe that the best that can be achieved is to manage a bad situation for fear of something worse? It’s a great final performance from Hoffman and one that made me sad that we wouldn’t see him in other roles.

Director: Anton Corbijn
Writers: Andrew Bovell (screenplay), John le Carré (novel)
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Daniel Brühl Certificate: 15
Release date: 12 September 2014 (UK)
Runtime: 122 min

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