A slow-burn political thriller can either be unbearably boring or unbearably tense, the latter of which constitutes a worthwhile trip to the movies. A Most Wanted Man falls into that category, thankfully.
Getting it out of the way right from the get-go, Phillip Seymour Hoffman is spectacular. Having really only seen him briefly in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, I didn’t realize how good of an actor he was. Wow. He is undoubtedly one of the three major selling points of the movie.
Selling point number two is the phenomenal soundtrack. It adds its own layer of tension to an already emotionally-straining movie.
The last major selling point is the rare case of a big-screen political thriller not being an over-the-top fist-fighting, gun-shooting adrenaline fest. A Most Wanted Man is slow paced, and it ramps up ever so steadily until the shocking finale, all of which has a realistic pace and feel to it. It never dips so much as a toe into James Bond territory, with the most “high-octane” scene being a fender bender, but the amount of tension the movie builds with the plot’s circumstances is incredible none the less.
If you aren’t a fan of slow paced movies, A Most Wanted Man might just kill you. But if you don’t mind a political thriller with a realistic tone, you’ll have a smart, tense and masterfully done two hours of film ahead of you.