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  • Benjamin Maio Mackay

A Most Wanted Man - 5 Stars

The film adaptation of John Le Carré’s A Most Wanted Man is the final film to star Philip Seymour Hoffman in a leading role and it is the best film so far of 2014!


From the opening scenes of this film an air of tension breaks out across the cinema. It is inevitable that the story cannot end well and the audience feels for the characters from the outset.


It is brilliantly scripted by Andrew Bovell and follows the novel very closely. The cinematography is basic, but supports the intricate storyline. The score, by Claire Simpson is also cleverly utilised and there are often moments of music build up then total silence. These moments never fail to build suspension.

The whole cast is superb, but Philip Seymour Hoffman is the standout in the leading role. For the duration of the film he looks quite ill and it is hard to distinguish if that’s how he was supposed to look or how he actually looked during the shoot. This is one of his best works and I encourage all his fans to go and have a look.


The supporting cast is also strong with Willem Dafoe and Rachel McAdams playing roles outside their comfort zones and portraying their characters exceptionally well. My one criticism is that the accents sometimes changed throughout the film. This does not, however, detract from this captivating albeit often depressing picture portraying the internal warfare between secret services. 


Overall an outstanding adaptation of a great novel and a sublime performance from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, and in my opinion the best film so far of 2014!


5 Stars

Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay

Movie screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas

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