Anton Corbjin’s unconventional post-9/11 spy thriller (based on John le Carré dated 2008 novel) remains an engaging experience in spite of myriad aspects that weigh it down. Notably, one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last performances — here as a German spook — arrives with the bittersweet realization that the late actor was no longer in full command of his acting skills when the film was made. Hoffman plays Günther Bachmann, the acting head of an elite government-controlled anti-terror spy unit based in Hamburg. Hoffman’s waning German accent and distracted performance is at times painful to witness. Still, the innately gifted actor keeps it together enough to support the slow-simmering storyline around him.
"Film critics exist to inform and entertain the public; to separate the wheat from the chaff. Cole Smithey does so with expert brevity and style, imparting to his reader not only a vast knowledge of film, but his infinite passion for the movies."
—Jen Yamato - Deadline Hollywood Editor/Reporter
"When it comes to cogent, engaging and provocative film criticism, Cole Smithey is without peers. Truly, Cole Smithey is my source for intelligent and entertaining film reviews."
—Phil Hall - author of "The Encyclopedia of Underground Movies" and "Independent Film Distribution."
"Cole Smithey tells me what I need to know about a movie: Does it fit into a broader social or political context? Is it fun? Is it worth $12 and several hours of my life? He's the only film critic I find indispensable." —Ted Rall - editorial cartoonist, political columnist, and author.
"[Cole Smithey] might just be the smartest film critic in the world." —Chris Fuller - filmmaker (LOREN CASS)
"This guy [Cole Smithey] is consistently sharp with his reviews and he clearly loves film. A rarity."
—Joe Carnahan - writer / producer / director (THE GREY)
ColeSmithey.com is your guide to what to see and what to avoid at the movies, as well as a window into all aspects of global cinema, classic movies, music, culture, politics, poster art, DVDs, VOD, and news. Critic and film historian Cole Smithey is available for speaking engagements, radio and television appearances, teaching opportunities, film festival juries, seminars, and other film related events. Get in touch with Cole via email by clicking on the "contact" link on the upper left sidebar. Follow Cole Smithey on Twitter, and subscribe to his YouTube channel — for the fun of it.
Cole Smithey is currently serving his third elected term on the Governing Committee for
The Online Film Critics Society.
Cole Smithey's Movie Week is a syndicated video product produced and distributed by Smart New Media Inc.
© Copyright 1997-2014 Cole Smithey - All Rights Reserved. These pages may not be reproduced in any form of electronic or printed media without the expressed written permission of the author.
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT FILM JOURNALISM — MAKE A DONATION
Website Design: Kris Fortney — Paul Nash