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3.8 out of 5 stars
93
3.8 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 17 August 2013
This film is set in Belgium, the European Community's heart of darkness, but the bad guys as usual turn out to be an American Corporation and the CIA.
Aaron Eckhart plays the expatriate who works for a security company testing the efficiency of their systems. One morning he comes in for work and the company has disappeared. With his daughter he travels to the head office in Brussles to find that they deny all knowledge of him or his workplace. By now of course the alarm bells are ringing anmd before you know it a former colleague tries to kill him.
Of course we soon discover that this expatriate is an ex-CIA wet ops operative and it all gets very exciting.
I'm pleased to say that the director avoids the obvious device of a big set piece car chase and goes for a more realistic and gritty storyline in the vein of the Bourne films.
Aaron Eckhart makes a plausible action hero and it all makes for an enjoyable thriller.
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on 25 October 2014
This film was so amateur!. There was a part in the film where there is a cut in the arm and they pour alcohol on it. It was so clichéd but I thought that they surely won't say "this is going to sting" . They did! You name the lame cliché and this film had it apart from a fight on a roof of a train. The female actor was so wooden and the male lead supposedly black ops. Yeah! Right!
Truly a dreadful film.
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on 17 May 2016
Bad film
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on 17 October 2016
Don't waste money.
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The Expatriate has all the elements of an exciting action movie, all in the right order, with a pumping score to drive them along. Unfortunately, it's a film which is far too obviously made up of the elements, and you can see them arriving one by one.

For example, a tough father with a secret past is working in a foreign country, with his daughter who is staying with him -- his estranged wife is now deceased. How are we to know that he hasn't spent much time with her in the past? Easy, she has a peanut allergy he doesn't know about, which means he has to take her to hospital. Then the company division he works for abruptly disappears, as if it never existed. After he has cleared up the question of whether it existed or not by going to the head office, who confirm that they've never had such a division, he and his daughter are abducted by one of his former colleagues. Fortunately, the former colleague hasn't seen many films, and so doesn't know that when the hero tells his daughter to put her safety belt on, he's about to crash the car. This doesn't quite do it, but we then discover that the hero is even better at unarmed hand to hand combat than his abductor. When the police appear on the scene, instead of giving themselves up and asking them to sort it out, they flee the scene, and go off to investigate in another town.

It's not that any of these things are particularly implausible, it's that we've seen them so often before. Why are all allergies to peanuts? Why is everyone trained in hand-to-hand combat? How is it that all CIA operatives speak every language including Croation and Turkish? Why does no-one ever ask the police to help? Why does the heavy-braking trick always work? Why does putting someone through the windscreen from 70 miles an hour not instantly kill them? At least there is a moment where the estranged daughter angrily points out all the holes in the plot, but this is quickly cut off with a gun battle, which is all the answer she is likely to get.

The Expatriate is set in Brussels and Antwerp, taking us nicely into territory familiar through Salamander and nearby In Bruges. The Expatriate, though, lacks anything distinctively Belgian, apart from the occasional bit of Flemish. It could have been set anywhere -- Paris, Prague, Poznan -- anywhere but the USA, where law and order reign and things are done properly. This is partially redeemed by a touching but slight portrayal of Turkish immigrants, and by not subtitling the foreign language bits.

If you turn the stereo up loud, this is a pumping evening's entertainment, but no more than that.
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on 26 February 2013
Now firstly this film has nothing new to add to the Bourne, Taken films.

But saying that the way this film plays out is fantastic and a it is a very good action/thriller film.

Aaron Eckhart is fantastic as the main star in this movie, working in an office for the government, goes to get some papers that he has left behind, with his teenage daughter, finds his company gone, his bank account empty and agents after him.

Now i will not give the film away but this movie puts Taken 2 in the shade, Liam Neeson should have chosen this film instead of the Taken 2 film.

Aaron Eckhart does a great job in the lead role, the action scenes are fantastic and very well done, the pace of the film is very good.

As you can tell i am a fan of this film.

The only criminal thing is that this has gone straight to dvd and not on the big screen.

Get this film if you love action / thriller films.
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on 8 April 2013
Set in Belgium, Aaron Eckhart (Battle: Los Angeles) stars as high-tech engineer Ben Logan, who arrives to work one day to find the office he works in vacated & everyone gone. As he delves deeper into the matter, a pair of his work associates try to eliminate him & his estranged daughter Amy (Liana Liberato -Trust) so the pair go on the run. As it turns out, Logan is ex-CIA, and his past catches up with him, as he finds himself not only up against a big conglomerate, but corrupt ex-CIA colleagues who need him dead & to retain they're sensitive property. Logan put's all his skills into action, trying to keep himself & his daughter alive, while finding a bargaining chip. But it's not going to be easy, as not only is he fighting them, but he's fighting to try & regain the respect of his alienated teenage daughter.

Overall The Expatriate is a decent film, i had high hopes from reading the premise, but sadly it didn't deliver upon my high expectations enough for me to give it anymore than 3.5 stars. As the film unfolds it's very familiar ground to quite a few movies of this genre, the father/daughter relationship worked well here, which was reminiscent in particular of the genre benchmark Taken, but has more in common with Taken 2, with it's own twist on the subject matter. So using the Taken template, the potential was there after a promising beginning, but it just got bogged down in the story, that it doesn't reach out & grab your attention enough through it's 1 hour 30 minute run time to be remarkable or memorable, like the film it's trying to emulate. This is down to a couple of reasons really. Firstly, while the action sequences were good, considering that from the stunts this was a very low budget film, they were too thinly spread out over the proceedings. And inbetween it focused lengthily on the relationship between Eckhart & Liberato, as well as the other characters popping in & out, that parts were drawn out & poorly paced to keep your interest. Some of these father/daughter group sessions contained mumbled/whispering voices in scenes, that i could barley hear a thing on occasion.

The acting was good on the whole, while it hinged on 2 main performances to pull it through. Aaron Eckhart's huge screen presence & strong acting performance made the film that bit better, although he is more brains than brawn, so the hand to hand combat scenes didn't sit quite right. Liana Liberato was assured in her role, managing to easily go from sulky problem teen to scared & assured daughter, albeit a bit of an annoying character at times. Quantum Of Solace, Ex-Bond girl Olga Kurylenko adds her name more than anything to this, as she pops in & out as a CIA bigwig whose past obviously had some romantic tie in's with Eckhart's character, but her part wasn't too fleshed out & was given surprisingly little screen time. The rest of the cast were OK (A bit of movie trivia, the film also had the working title of "Erased" just prior to release).

In conclusion, it's obvious to see that The Expatriate is a vehicle to try & launch Aaron Eckhart's carer into Liam Neeson's stratosphere. And despite Eckhart's own best efforts, unfortunately the film does not excel in any particular department to get him there. Worth a watch.
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VINE VOICEon 23 April 2013
As others have stated this is basically, a European thriller about a man whose identity is erased set in a Jason Bourne style of editing, music and action or at a push in terms of style the Liam Neeson film Taken.

Sadly whilst well filmed, with clear editing, a few nice car stunts, gun shoot outs and fights galore, the film runs well out of steam over it's long running time.

The trouble is it really is quite overlong, for a thin plot, full of really dull talky scenes and just comes across as cold or sterile, lacking any real tension or emotion.

Whilst Aeron Eckhart as the lead man on the run is a very good actor, he's really not picked a great film to show his leading man status, and it's clear why this was a straight to DVD type of film.

Worth a watch, but thrillers such as the Bourne series have little to worry about, as this is a pale imitation.
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on 17 December 2013
The Movie: As other reviewers have indicated, this is a Bourne-lite spy on the run action thriller set in Europe. It is totally formulaic and there is too much exposition in the dialogue (i.e. show, don't tell). I found the location subtitles that said "Brussels, Belgium" particularly amusing. However it's competently executed, the pacing is reasonable and it's well made.

The Disc: The UK disc from Koch Media is well worth the upgrade to Blu-ray. The picture is detailed with a fine layer of grain. There is a noticeable step down in quality on the cast and director interviews, which are in DVD quality and run for 14 mins. There are no other extras and no subtitles provided for the movie.
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on 24 September 2015
Wow! what an espionage thriller! I read the write up of this film and for the price thought I'd give it a go. I'm so glad I did, it's an intelligent film that get's your cogs going right up to the end. It's only about 80% as good as the Bourne films but man it is still good. Even the climax at the end is a stroke of genius with all the bad guys being taken out in one explosion. Definitely worth watching, with excellent performances from relatively unknown actors. I've watched films with A list actors that have bored me to sleep but this film got me hooked every single minute.
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