Tag Archives: Most Wanted Man

Hoffman shines in dull spy feature

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in ‘A Most Wanted Man’ as a brilliant but troubled spy. This was Hoffman’s final role before his unexpected death in February.

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in ‘A Most Wanted Man’ as a brilliant but troubled spy. This was Hoffman’s final role before his unexpected death in February.

By Catherina Gioino
Queens, N.Y.

In a society where fears of terrorism are often racially and religiously-charged, there comes a point at which people must rethink their prejudices. Such is the message of “A Most Wanted Man,” a film set in a post-September 11th era when governments are on the lookout for terrorists.

A darkening title card sets the tone for the film, by detailing the German government’s failure to detect Mohammad Atta, one of the masterminds of the 9/11 attacks. Some time later, Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) — a man sought after by counterterrorism officials — mysteriously appears in Hamburg. Karpov, a suspected Chechen terrorist, is the initial subject of investigation by Günther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a troubled and brilliant spy. Continue reading

‘Most Wanted Man’ offers sophisticated plot

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in ‘A Most Wanted Man’ as a brilliant but troubled spy. This was Hoffman’s final role before his unexpected death in February.

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in ‘A Most Wanted Man’ as a brilliant but troubled spy. This was Hoffman’s final role before his unexpected death in February.

By Nicholas Santiago
Newark, N.J.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, in his final role, plays Günther Bachmann, a hardened undercover German spy hunting for terrorist threats while attempting to maintain his tight circle of informants. Annabel Richter (Rachel McAdams) joins Hoffman onscreen as a humanitarian lawyer defending Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin), a Chechen-Russian fugitive haunted by his past as he enters Hamburg in search of a new future. This is Dobrygin’s English-language debut, and may well prove to be his breakout role.

Tommy Brue (Willem Dafoe), a wealthy banker, and Martha Sullivan (Robin Wright), a case officer at the U.S. embassy, are solid supporting characters whose roles become increasingly intertwined with Günther and Issa as the plot thickens.

And thicken it does. With no signs of relief, the characters’ paths continually intersect, and no individual’s true intent becomes elucidated until the final scene. Continue reading

‘Most Wanted Man’ a slow-burning drama that pays off

By Justin Park
Queens, N.Y.

Günther is standing in the dark, maintaining his ice-cold demeanor as Tommy yells at him. In a reserved tone, he says, “We have a job to do Tommy; you are going to help me do it.”

The leader of a German intelligence and counter-terrorism unit, Günther always seems to be calmly in control of every situation. Throughout this intense, suspenseful, slow — but highly engaging — film, he proves to be a master of manipulating multiple contacts to achieve his objectives.

“A Most Wanted Man” is a spy thriller, based on the John le Carré novel. It’s the fifth of le Carré’s books to be adapted for the big screen, following most recently the critically acclaimed “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” “A Most Wanted Man” may be best known at this point because it’s one of the last films to star the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. And in Günther, Hoffman has created an extremely believable, complicated and grim character. Continue reading