The Two Faces of January 2014

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A thriller centered on a con artist, his wife, and a stranger who try to flee a foreign country after one of them is caught up in the murder of a police officer.

Starring:
Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 36 minutes
Starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Oscar Isaac
Director Hossein Amini
Genres Thriller
Studio STUDIOCANAL
Rental release 15 September 2014
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 36 minutes
Starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Oscar Isaac
Director Hossein Amini
Genres Thriller
Studio STUDIOCANAL
Rental release 15 September 2014
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Albatross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 Oct. 2014
Format: DVD
I always think that the word ‘thriller’ can be a little misleading. ‘The Two Faces of January’ is often described as a ‘thriller,’ however, if you’re expecting wall to wall car chases and edge-of-your-seat kind of thrills then you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

It’s about an American city trader and his young wife who have ‘escaped’ to Europe, due to owing money to the ‘wrong’ people. Unfortunately for them, their past literally catches up with them in the form of a debt collector who they subsequently kill. Now they’re forced to enlist the help of a local young man to evade capture and flee their once safe haven.

And what follows is pretty slow, but deliberately slow. There are no government agents of police officers on their trail. Their worst (and most dangerous) enemies turn out to be each other. The two men are sort of tied together, both admitting that they’d drop the other in it if either were to get caught. It’s almost more of a ‘cat and mouse’ sort of game they play, even though they’re never more than a few feet apart.

Some people have described the film as akin to Hitchcock’s work. There are certainly comparisons to be drawn, as, not only is The Two Faces of January set in Hitchcock’s era, but it’s more of a subtle thriller, relying on tension in relationships and a slow build up of tension to provide the experience.

Viggo Mortensen is the star. Yes, Kirsten Dunst is the other ‘big name’ in the film and her (and Oscar Isaac supports the pair of them), but Mortensen arguably turns in the best performance. You can’t help but at least slightly root for him throughout most of the film.

It’s not a long film and its runtime is suitable. If it went on too long, people would probably start getting bored. If you’re into quieter, more refined, character-based thrillers, then you should give this a try. Those craving fast-paced action will be best off avoiding this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard Morton TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 Mar. 2015
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I though this was a tidy piece of work - a good looking, well acted, tight psychological thriller. It's not high on action but has a fair amount of tension and suspense to keep things ticking.

We start out in Athens in the early 60's with a couple (Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst) seemingly on holiday, checking out the sights. There's a little more to them that meets the eye - there always is - and they soon cross paths with Oscar Isaacs local tour guide/drifter. Our three main protagonists are thrown together in a strange game of cat and mouse as an old school tale of death and deception follows - littered with shady characters, illicit money, false passports etc etc.

Based on a book by Patricia Highsmith who also wrote (amongst others) The Talented Mr Ripley and Strangers on a Train, there's a similar vibe to both of those in this one. The central threesome play off each other nicely and create a certain doubt over who we should really root for in all this.

Like I mentioned at the top - it's not a roller coaster ride, it's all told at a deliberate pace, fleshing out a bit of character, creating a bit of tension and is the better for it. It has a tight running time and doesn't outstay it's welcome. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD
3.5 stars
This was a film that had me fast forwarding at times. It is filled with a good storyline, but it dragged in places. We meet Rydal played by Oscar Issac, as he guides tourists through the raptures of Greece. An American con guy, a tour guide, but he steals from unsuspecting tourists. On one occasion he happens to see a good looking couple, Viggo Mortensen, such a good looking man, plays Chester MacFarland, a man on the run with his wife, Colette, played by Kirsten Dunst. They are on vacation, they say, but in reality, Chester is trying to outrun those looking for him. It seems he fleeced his clients out of millions.

Rydal meets the couple, they strike up a conversation, a romance a couple of murders and then they are all on the run. The film is from a book by Patricia Highsmith, and once again, the book is better than the film. The performances make this film. Viggo Mortensen is superb. Where has he been, such a handsome dashing man. He portrays two faces very well. Chester and Oscar play the quintessential cat and mouse game, and we know it is not going to end well. But it is a surprise of sorts.

Recommended. prisrob 02-22-15
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Guy TOP 100 REVIEWER on 31 Aug. 2014
Format: DVD
The film is based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith. Rydal (Oscar Isaac) is an American living abroad working as a tour guide fleecing American tourists. He has father issues. He meets Chester (Viggo Mortensen) MacFarland who reminds him of his father and his wife Colette (Kirsten Dunst) who he desires in an Oedipus kind of way.

Chester gets into trouble and must go on the run. Rydal comes along with and gets tangled in his life.

Janus was a two faced god who looked both forward and backward. The title refers to Rydal, who is a younger form of Chester, two people who are alike but different in age. The story takes on aspects of a Greek Tragedy. The action is slow. The film is more drama than thriller. It is about relationships, that could have been better developed. (I imagine the book did that.)

This is not a film for everyone. It is well acted, but the plot moves slow.

Parental Guide: No F-bombs, sex, or nudity.
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