A Most Wanted Man

A Most Wanted Man ★★½

I can't believe he's gone.

Philip Seymour Hoffman delivers his final lead role in "A Most Wanted Man," as a German spy who masterfully builds a case to capture a notorious criminal. But will the Americans foil his plan? Hoffman's performance is nothing short of extraordinary. Watch the way he brushes his hair back. Look at how he slouches. His face during the scene when he delivers the "make the world a better place" line is priceless. His expertly modulated performance here is precisely the reason why he will be missed. This is Hoffman going out on top.

But the film itself is a chore to sit through. Having seen countless spy movies in my lifetime, there's nothing here I haven't seen before. The director, Anton Corbijn, has some stylistic flourishes that I appreciated here (the final act, for one, expertly ramps up the tension), but his obtuse style of telling a story was far better served in "The American."

See this for Hoffman. Watch him closely. The rest of it doesn't matter.

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