A Most Wanted Man

A Most Wanted Man ★★★★½

I recently read an essay by Brian Stableford on the thriller genre that mentioned the basic theme of all thrillers which is a "moral debit" incurred by the villain that needs to then be wiped clean by the hero - in other words it's the villain that sets the pace and determines the requirements of the story, not the hero. By this metric anyway, it's very possible that the international War on Terror is being fought from both sides entirely by villains. I thought about this several times during this movie, which has as its hero a man who uses the same dirty tricks that his associates use, only to more merciful ends. Morally murky stuff, but is there any other way to do a spy story these days?

Has a more conventional relationship with its own genre than either of Anton Corbijn's previous movies have with theirs, but still top-flight stuff, and a true 70s-style downer ending of the kind that I will forever be a sucker for.

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