The Phoenix Network:
Sign Up  |   About  |   Advertise
Features  |  Reviews

Review: The Ghost Writer

Competent but dull
By PETER KEOUGH  |  March 2, 2010
2.5 2.5 Stars

How odd that the two latest films by two of the world's greatest living filmmakers should be adaptations of bestsellers set on islands off the coast of Massachusetts. And that both should be disappointing.

Like Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, Roman Polanski's adaptation of Robert Harris's The Ghost opens with a ferry crossing (metaphor alert) backed by stentorian music on the soundtrack. This boat is en route to Martha's Vineyard, where a former British prime minister (Pierce Brosnan) resides in seclusion — the World Court has indicted him for war crimes, so he can't leave the island or he'll be arrested.

Thus, the hack of the title (Ewan McGregor) joins him there to ghost his memoirs, only to uncover compromising material while doing research. The dreary-looking proceedings are competent but dull — which is surprising given the connections to Polanski's own predicament (not to mention Tony Blair's). In other words, it's no Chinatown.

Related: Review: La Danse: Le Ballet de L'Opéra de Paris, Review: Broken Embraces [Los Abrazos Rotos], Review: A Single Man, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Politics, Celebrity News, Robert Harris,  More more >
| More

 Friends' Activity   Popular   Most Viewed 
[ 04/18 ]   99% Poets  @ Porter Square Books
[ 04/18 ]   Chilly Gonzales  @ Regattabar
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: THE LADY  |  April 10, 2012
    In addition to making dumb action flicks, Luc Besson has another hobby — turning the lives of valiant women into mediocre movies.
  •   REVIEW: WE HAVE A POPE  |  April 10, 2012
    That College of Cardinals, what crazy guys.
  •   REVIEW: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS  |  April 12, 2012
    Youth will be served — as victims — in three movies in the theaters this week (four if you include the re-release of Titanic in 3D): The Hunger Games, Bully, and The Cabin in the Woods, the last being the most ingenious, entertaining, and sadistic.
  •   REVIEW: BULLY  |  April 12, 2012
    The MPAA claims to have given Lee Hirsch's well-intended but disappointingly perfunctory documentary about the bullying epidemic an "R" rating because of a couple of common expletives.
  •   REVIEW: L!FE HAPPENS  |  April 11, 2012
    In the opening scene of Kat Coiro's comedy, roommates Kim (Krysten Ritter) and Deena (Kate Bosworth), eager one-night stands waiting in their beds, both reach for a condom in the communal stash. But only one remains, and Deena grabs it.

 See all articles by: PETER KEOUGH

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed