Philip Seymour Hoffman turned in one of his finest performances in 'A Most Wanted Man'
It will probably be bittersweet to fans of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman that one of the Oscar winner's final performances before his untimely death in February just happened to be one of his finest. Anticipation was always high for A Most Wanted Man - a forging of the creative talents of Hoffman and the auteur Anton Corbijn and now, on the week of its release, critics agree that it lives up to expectation.
Philip Seymour Hoffman in 'A Most Wanted Man'
Hoffman stars as Gunter Bachmann, a hard-drinking anti-terrorism boss seeking to develop sources within the Islamic community that will lead his team to higher profile suspects. Bachman finds himself at odds with the paper-pushing intelligence head in Hamburg, Dieter Mohr, who would rather arrest first, and ask the questions later. The pair clash over a 26-year-old half-Chechen, half-Russian immigrant who turns up in Germany looking near death after suffering torture and imprisonment. Classified as an escaped militant jihadist, the man is of interest to Mohr who wants him arrested, though Bachmann sees the bigger picture.
"Hoffman shines in a role that demands not showmanship, but a kind of complexity and contradiction that can be rendered only through the kind of dull character details that he excelled in, accumulating them from the inside out," said the Washington Post.
"Anchored by Hoffman's superlative performance, the story, based on a John le Carré novel, is low-key, brooding and engrossing," said Claudia Puig of USA Today.
"[A] crackerjack thriller, at once brooding, claustrophobic and unbearably tense" said Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times.
"Hoffman leaves us with a quality film that showcases his tremendous depth and range as an actor," wrote Peter Howell of the Toronto Star.
"Most Wanted can often be a chilly bit of business, but it's no less gripping for its emotional distance, thanks mostly to a superb cast led by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman," said Alonso Duralde of The Wrap.
A Most Wanted Man hits theaters in the U.S. today (July 25, 2104).