Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.
U.S. government agent Scott is assigned to rescue the daughter of a high-ranking government official. As willing as he is to bend the rules to get things done, though, Scott is shocked to find that others are willing to go even further to protect a political career.
"Set your motherfucker to receive."
more fun than miniature golf.
A ripsnorting-ly fast paced thriller with zero hand-holding and a cast fully committed to delivering Mamet's unique writing. Spartan is an underrated gem, one that has sailed under the radar of a lot of film fans and one that should be essential viewing to anybody attempting to make a spy thriller. What makes Spartan so great is that it doesn't treat its audience like an idiot, the plotting is tight and contains not a trace of fat or exposition. It is an impressive effort.
A remarkably emotionally cool thriller where a less bloated Kilmer starts looking for the damsel in distress of the day, you got it, the president’s daughter.
It plays out like a bad episode of 24 or Homeland meets Taken, and while the acting is on par, it’s totally let down by ridiculous dialogue (coming from Mamet’s pen btw) and a complete lack of any bond between the viewer and the characters.
"I was raised by wolves."
It's hard not to look at Spartan and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and wonder what Val Kilmer's doing co-starring in direct-to-video garbage with 50 Cent. He's excellent as a no-nonsense military man brought in to track a missing girl. David Mamet writes and directs this twisty thriller that boasts both his usual ear for dialogue and which moves to its own rhythm, starting and stopping and starting again, just when you think it's over. An excellent supporting performance by Derek Luke as Kilmer's novice assistant rounds one of the most satisfying and unjustly overlooked thrillers of the last decade.
Val Kilmer is really good but the film as a whole left me cold. There is not much to latch onto in terms of emotional connections. The realistic approach was great though. No big action scenes - they are gone in a flash and hit hard.
In which David Mamet emulates Harry Steven Keeler.
Really solid. Val Kilmer gives a fantastically understated performance.
A történet nem váltja meg a világot: klisés titkos ügynök-sztori, de ahogy a Geekzen is írták, nem is ez a lényeg, hanem a megvalósítás.
Beszippantott a hangulat, első nekifutásra végignéztem, pedig ez nem gyakori manapság.
Az utolsó negyed órában megmondom őszintén nem teljesen éértettem a történések közti kapcsokat, pontosabban a miérteket. Mindenesetre tetszett a végén, sztem egyszer újranézem.
Viszont a szinkron borzasztó, szigorúan felirattal!
This crisp yet black-as-pitch thriller never stops moving and masterfully keeps the information well-orchestrated. Probably the best expression of Mamet's directorial methods, though his stripping away has a tendency to feel dehumanized and impersonal.
Mamet delivers a gut busting dark adult thriller with a tough as nails Kilmer and some outrageously manly dialogue. The plot is fast paced, the script witty and the action is exciting. Each and every character has a personality and though Spartan is primarily focused on thrills there is really great character moments and very very emotional scenes. I can't believe I never heard or saw of this film before, a gem.
Remarkably, Mamet figures out that the best way to enhance the complexity of this genre is to actually omit needless complexities. By alleviating the actors of any expository dialogue, it's just pure flow and go, with no background details awkwardly planted into conversations, no breather transitions or contrived briefings. Everyone knows what everyone is talking about, which also gives the impression of authenticity even when people talk in inauthentic terse Mamet tough-speak. Might just be an action film, for its politics are undercooked, but what an unconventional action film.
Really nice to see Kilmer subdued and doing good work here, playing a sort of man who was decorated but now on his own. Don't think the film quite sustains itself all the way through, but Mamet's dialogue and snappy direction keep things going very well.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
This film was on its way to becoming one of the best crime/thrillers I've seen since Bullitt (which is my favorite crime/thriller). It does no hand holding, there aren't any fluff romance relationships thrown in just because they think every film needs one. Just straight up agent doing his job and remaining stern and non-personal about it. For the most part. And that's what makes this movie awesome, for the most part.
The pacing remains quick throughout, a few twists get thrown in that I honestly didn't see coming (except for the initial, "she's dead" twist, which I never bought for a second). Plan A almost never works, which is why they always have a plan B and C and…
The 2015 edition of the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films list.
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