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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...There's What People Are Given...And Then There's The Truth..."
"The International" opens with a close-up of Clive Owen's bedraggled and unshaven face staring intently on a dodgy transaction that's taking place in a car park in the pouring rain across the street from him. As it cuts to his British colleague in a German car (played by an excellent Ian Burfield) negotiating the release of dangerous information from a nervous businessman...
Published on 17 July 2009 by Mark Barry

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Falls a little short
This review is for the Blu-ray.

This was a stylish film, with some remarkable cinematography. It toured some very prominent, spectacular buildings and certainly did them proud. At the same time it did bluray proud. HD lends itself perfectly to wide outdoor shots, big canvasses and dramatic vistas. So Picture Quality was very good, with very good colours, good...
Published on 7 Jun 2010 by Mr. James West


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...There's What People Are Given...And Then There's The Truth...", 17 July 2009
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The International [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
"The International" opens with a close-up of Clive Owen's bedraggled and unshaven face staring intently on a dodgy transaction that's taking place in a car park in the pouring rain across the street from him. As it cuts to his British colleague in a German car (played by an excellent Ian Burfield) negotiating the release of dangerous information from a nervous businessman in the driver's seat, you are immediately aware of a number of things - the stunning picture quality, the clever story and the cool cast. "The International" is beautiful to look at on BLU RAY and it's what you'd expect from a film like this - a well-paced espionage Bourne-like thriller that's both entertaining and striving to say something (though not always achieving either).

Roughly based on true events that rocked the banking system in the 80s and 90s, "The International" has been given a contemporary upgrade by Director TOM TYKWER and Writer ERIC SINGER - and in light of the avalanche of less-than-honest activities surrounding the recent global meltdown, it doesn't look the least bit out of place. In fact "The International" looks like it's arrived just in time - and with a really good point to make. Is it really the terrorists we need to be scared of - or the shady filth in suits that finance them? And what are their ultimate motives?

Clive Owen and Naomi Watts play Louis Salinger and Eleanor Whitman, two investigators from either side of the pond with a similar burning goal - for years they've been trying to expose a European bank they believe to be the number one choice for 90% of the world's dirty money. Toppling governments, controlling populations - it's a cesspool of hurt for ordinary people everywhere - and has clients said to include 'everyone' from Hezbollah to the CIA. But when Salinger and Whitman try to get close to an 'insider' who could give them a case, that person and their entire family gets removed by a no-loose-ends professional - and the agents subsequent investigations into the dead bodies then gets bogged down in endless amounts of convenient red tape and police bureaucracy.

After a while it becomes obvious that it's time to take chances, live dangerously and go outside the law. And on the movie goes to Istanbul and a newspaper collage in the end credits that depressingly reads more like the truth rather than fiction...

As you can imagine the cast is huge and the locations many. Keeping with buildings - the pristine yet detached architecture peppering so many affluent cities around the world especially in their financial sectors is used as a sort of subtext - as Agent Salinger climbs the steps of yet another sleek but soulless headquarters, he's little David making his way towards a mighty Goliath and with no real certainty that he's going to wound the beast, let alone kill the seemingly indestructible monster.

Owen is a great leading man if not too ludicrously handsome to be believable, while Watts is an actress of calm beauty and intelligence that most leading men would want to work with. Ulrich Thomas is superb as the intelligent yet clinically detached head of the shady bankers conglomerate that talk on laptops and meet in museums. Felix Silis and Jack McGee (the Chief in Rescue Me) turn up as low-level detectives in New York just doing their job with tenaciousness and heart, while Watts plays it straight throughout - a woman who is committed, but scared out of her wits for herself and her young family (the writing is thankfully too intelligent to set up the inevitable romance between her and the lead).

But the movie's secret weapon is Armin Mueller-Stahl. Stahl is the kind of actor who has monumental gravitas - he makes every sentence seem like an event - he's like Europe's acting equivalent of Anthony Hopkins. Armin plays Wilhelm Wexler - a man who exudes old-world power and corruption stretching back a lifetime. But Salinger detects something else in Wexler's advanced years - here is a once-principled man who started out with ideals and dreams, but has ended up defending a nightmare that kills real people in the real world and with sickening passionless detachment. There's a brilliantly written face-to-face showdown between Owen and Mueller-Stahl - a meeting of two minds - both of whom are tired of being beaten to a pulp by a huge lie. Wilhelm wants redemption - a way of making his life count - and perhaps both men are smart enough to work out a way of mutual interest.

The BLU RAY has a commentary by the Director that's fantastically detailed; there's a very interesting "Making Of" feature which has location footage in Berlin, New York, Istanbul, Milan and even a deserted warehouse in Germany where the spectacular Guggenheim Museum set was built for a huge shoot out between Salinger and the assassin he's trying to keep alive - the excellent Irish actor Brian F. O'Byrne.

If I was to put up a failing - it would be that there's too much style over substance - and you just don't care enough for the characters to have the movie make a real impact on you. And some of the shoot-outs border on the silly rather than the believable - put in there to up the action quotient and provide enticing trailer fodder. Or perhaps its just that the subject matter is frankly too real for most of us...and it's outcome too depressing...

For all that "The International" is an impressive and entertaining thriller - not great - but definitely worth a punt.

And could someone please give Clive Owen ugly tablets - it only seems fair to the rest of us mere mortals...
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Falls a little short, 7 Jun 2010
By 
Mr. James West "Nebulous" (Aberdeen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is for the Blu-ray.

This was a stylish film, with some remarkable cinematography. It toured some very prominent, spectacular buildings and certainly did them proud. At the same time it did bluray proud. HD lends itself perfectly to wide outdoor shots, big canvasses and dramatic vistas. So Picture Quality was very good, with very good colours, good lighting and a great deal of impressive street scenes- never mind the shoot-out at The Guggenheim.

Sound was also very good with a Dolby TrueHD track that gave some impressive effects and if anything it surpassed the excellent picture.

So why only 3 stars? Well the story and interpretation just don't make it. Clive Owen was good, but some of the lesser characters were very two-dimensional. The plot also left too many loose ends that were never resolved, and it didn't end so much as fizzle out. It filled a Saturday evening, and I have no regrets in buying it.

It's worth watching out for the other version though. At the time of writing the price is almost identical, and the other version is a triple play pack, with a DVD copy and a digital copy included in addition to the Blu-ray.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good mix of action/thriller, 30 Jan 2013
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(#1 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
I'm possibly be a little over generous with the 4 star rating but 3 seems too low for this movie.
Clive Owen is dependable as ever as suits the role well the scruffy look works wonders for Clive in this movie. Naomi Watts provides some eye candy and can also act (which helps) Overall happy with the cast and with Armin Mueller-Stahl being very suitable for a banking type figure too.

It has to be said that there are times the plot stretches things a little (financial institution conspiracy theme- though with recent events in banking you might feel it's not far off of reality!), could also be argued the ending isn't as good as many might like.
There is a very good and quite lengthy sequence inside the Guggenheim Museum, which is both well filmed and appealing from a cinematic angle an ideal location for a "shoot out" and it worked for me.

Overall I do recommend the film as I think it's one of the better thrillers in recent times, but enough action to keep non heavy plot folks entertained as well (the story is good and requires some thinking/attention, but it's not all long boring chats either). Decent acting, good story (even if stretched a tad), moves at a reasonable pace, good cinemaphotograpy as well I think it's worth checking it out. The bottom line for any movie for me is a: Did I enjoy it? (yes) and b: Have I watched it more than once (yes again) It's not a grade A masterpiece, but it's almost a B+ one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars THE INTERNATIONAL directed by Tom Twyker, 12 Aug 2014
An obsessive British Interpol agent teams up with a Manhatten DA to take down a multinational bank dealing arms in order to control third world debt by tracking down their hired assassin, only to find the killer is hunting them too.

This is a superior thriller, featuring a top-notch cast of pan-European actors (mostly unknown outside their own countries) who wind their way through a complex, well-researched and largely believable plot across three continents.

It prefers sequences of suspense to action scenes, has no pat romance, has a wonderful eye for architecture, has an ambiguous ending, and at every point makes the less-obvious choice. Altogether, gripping and clever.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylishly shot action thriller, 26 Oct 2009
This review is from: The International [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
This is a film full of great cinematography and breathtaking, super-sharp HD shots, accompanied by a compelling HD soundtrack. Tom Tykwer, the German director best known for his film version of Süsskind's "Das Parfum", often seems to have more of an eye for the architecture than for his actors, but both are usually impressive. Clive Owen originally did not convince me in this kind of role, but he is getting steadily more believable. He is of course dwarfed by the acting talents of Armin Müller-Stahl, who recently also starred in the filming of Thomas Mann's "Buddenbrooks", but that's seniority for you.

The plot is not particularly complex but quite refreshing; it tackles finance with almost as much invention and sophistication as "Syriana" tackles the oil-business. In trying to be a cut above the average thriller, there are scenes where they self-consciously try to work-up the dialogue and hover around pseudo-philosophical areas. This works at some times better than others. Clive Owen occasionally stumbles on duff dialogue such as the "I'm the one you burn" metaphor about crossing and burning bridges. I didn't really find the plot twist concerning a certain character's change of heart that convincing either.

Nevertheless this is a fast-paced film that easily fills 2 hours with events rather than trundling along. It is a joy to look at and to listen to on Blu-Ray, and has enough imagination to keep you gripped throughout. Not the world's best ending ever, but better than an unrealistic one, I suppose. Solid four stars. I took one star off for the occasionally queasy dialogue when the film tries to wax philosophical and falls well short of the depth it seems to be aiming at.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars i didn't think this was a great movie not Clive Owens best role, 16 July 2014
i didn't think this was a great movie not Clive Owens best role, his best role has to be inside man
the best part of the movie is the shootout in the museum
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "If I die, a hundred bankers will take my place", 15 Feb 2010
By 
Bill (Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
If you're a fan of 70s conspiracy thrillers such as The Conversation, and Three Days of the Condor then you might like this, but if you're looking for the frenetic action of Bourne or Bond, then stay well clear - The International is long on talk and short on action (despite the riveting and bloody gun battle half-way through).

Director Tom Twyker has clearly studied the work of Alan Pakula, and the film looks, and sounds, great. The action takes place in cavernous and gleaming buildings, in which the characters are dwarfed by the architecture, half-seen in reflections or lost behind pillars. The slightly-sinister musical score, with echoes of The Parallax View and Klute, helps set the mood of downbeat paranoia.

But sadly, for all its pretensions, the film is flawed. Clive Owen is no Donald Sutherland or Gene Hackman, and doesn't do much except look unshaven and unhappy. Naomi Watts phones in her performance (in a role that's underscripted anyway). Just when things get exciting the screenplay starts sacrificing thrills for moralising. And the plot has more holes than the Guggenheim Museum after a machine-gun shootout. From the opening sequence we realise that our hero is taking on an international bank so powerful and secretive that it will assassinate anyone who gets in its way, yet, illogically, it carries out these killings in the most public places possible and with the maximum of collateral damage.

And anyway, we know better now. The film was, presumably, in production before the collapse of the banking industry in the autumn of 2007, and has since been overtaken by events. Any multi-national bank on the brink of insolvency doesn't have to resort to hitmen to conceal its dodgy dealings and toxic assets when it can always rely on the tax payer to roll over and bail it out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 July 2014
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Great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top class, 26 Dec 2013
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Great locations great cast the best movie I have seen this year.Clive Owens best movie I think fast paced great acting from a top notch cast recommended
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4.0 out of 5 stars not bad, 1 Nov 2013
By 
Mr. W. J. D. Murphy (n ireland) - See all my reviews
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not a bad film which . well worth a watching if you can get it cheap enough second hand or ex rental
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The International  [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
The International [Blu-ray] [Region Free] by Tom Tykwer (Blu-ray - 2009)
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