Ghost Writer, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +4

Content: -2

Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Olivia Williams. Suspense thriller. Written by Robert Harris, Roman Polanski. Directed by Roman Polanski.

FILM SYNOPSIS: A successful British ghostwriter, known throughout the film only as The Ghost, agrees to complete the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang, only to discover that Lang is not all that he appears. What’s more, someone may have murdered the Ghost’s predecessor.

PREVIEW REVIEW: A pulp-ish, moody thriller in the manner of Hitchcock, this suspenseful and atmospheric tale contains, like Hitchcock’s best, an added dash of spooky smirk. It’s armrest-gripping and fun, a film, at last, for adults. No blue aliens or mad hatters, just witty dialogue, clever storytelling and solid performances. And while the disgraced filmmaker (Polanski is under house arrest in Switzerland and awaiting possible extradition to the U.S. for having sex with a minor and fleeing justice) leans a little too heavy on a one-sided swipe at conservative politicos, both British and American, his use of the conspiracy genre is fair game. The entertainment media should keep a suspicious eye on politicians, both Right and Wrong, I mean, Left. Should be interesting to see if in the near future, Hollywood will feel the inclination to sway from the past regime to this new, not-so transparent administration. (I live in hope.)

Sound performances from all, especially Pierce Brosnan, who seems to get better with each script and though the screenplay has a couple of absurd situations, still, this is a film that harkens back to the days before CGI effects became the stars of films.

My one objection: every body says “Jesus” or “Christ” whenever they get frustrated and they get frustrated a lot. Don’t want to support a film that profanes our Savior’s name, despite its cinematic virtues? Good for you.

DVD alternative: The Ipcress File. Michael Caine. Although it suggests some sexual activity, it doesn't bombard your senses with a lot of rough language or sexuality like much of today's cinema, but rather focuses on a great espionage caper.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Summit Entertainment

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: I caught none

Obscene Language: Four or five obscenities, mostly the s-word.

Profanity: God’s name is profaned once, Jesus’ five times.

Violence: We see a dead body pushed to the shore by an unfriendly sea; a man is punched by muggers; off-screen a man is killed by a hit and run driver; a politician is assassinated, his killer then shot by agents. Blood: Very little blood.

Sex: Adultery is committed; we see the couple in bed, but the scene ends before it becomes graphic.

Nudity: Male backside nudity as a man gets in bed.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Some drinking.

Other: None

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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