A Most Wanted Man isn’t as great of a movie that I’m sure the filmmakers felt it was but, however, it does excel mostly on the shoulders of the late (and great) Phillip Seymour Hoffman along with an commendable supporting cast including Rachel McAdams and Robin Wright, the latter who was underutilized.
A Most Wanted Man
Genre(s): Drama, Suspense
Lionsgate | R – 122 min. – $29.99 | November 4, 2014
THE MOVIE – 3.5/5
Plot Summary: German intelligence agent Gunther Bachmann (PHILLIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN) must race against time to solve a perilous mystery: Is the half-Chechen, half-Russian Muslim who’s surfaced in Hamburg a victim seeking refuge… or a terrorist seeking revenge? Geo-Politics interfere with the Americans, represented by a diplomatic attaché (ROBIN WRIGHT) and Gunther must rely on a banker (WILLEM DAFOE), to pull off an elaborate mission involving the entrapment of a supposedly moderate Muslim suspected of illegally funneling money for weapons through charitable organizations.
Quick Hit Review: Often described as a slow-burn political-thriller, this is certainly a slowly paced film that, in spite of a relatively short screen time (<2 hours sans credits), does feel quite long and not entirely engrossing until the final scene which was pleasantly enough, really suspenseful. However, what at least kept me with the film was yet another masterful performance from Phillip Seymour Hoffman, in his final starring role, deserving of a Best Actor nomination as he’s just absolutely engaging and rises above a meandering script. The supporting cast is also well cast between Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe and, in a small but pivotal role, Robin Wright.
Helmed by Anton Corbijn (The American), and based on a novel by John le Carré, A Most Wanted Man never quite hit its stride but excels thanks to its impressive cast as well as rich cinematography (by Benoit Delhomme, The Theory of Everything) and if you can handle the slow pacing, it might be worth at least one viewing as there is much to admired.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital Copy.
The Making of The Most Wanted Man (16:09; HD) is a basic featurette with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew.
Spymaster: John le Carré in Hamburg (9:32; HD) is an interview with the novelist on the adaptation.
Previews – America: Imagine the World Without Her, Life of Crime, Blood Ties, Joe, Reclaim
VIDEO – 4.5/5
A Most Wanted Man arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Lionsgate and given a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec) and presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio. This is a great looking movie with sharp detail levels throughout, stark blacks with no signs of artifacts or pixilation and is keeping with the darker motif in keeping with the story and genre.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track offered up is good but nothing fantastic. It shows off crisp and clear dialogue throughout and the music, which is minimal, makes up the other channels but otherwise, it’s a relatively light lossless track until the end, but even then it doesn’t have great impact. Even so, this is a fine track, just nothing noteworthy.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, A Most Wanted Man isn’t as great of a movie that I’m sure the filmmakers felt it was but, however, it does excel mostly on the shoulders of the late (and great) Phillip Seymour Hoffman along with an commendable supporting cast including Rachel McAdams and Robin Wright, the latter who was underutilized. The Blu-ray does have solid video/audio transfers but the bonus material is disappointing.