Film review: A Most Wanted Man (3 out of 5)

This was always going to be known as the film in which Philip Seymour Hoffman played his final leading role.

It’s a shame because this movie is strong enough to stand on its own merit.

Philip Seymour Hoffman in A Most Wanted Man

Philip Seymour Hoffman in A Most Wanted Man

However, it can’t be denied that Hoffman is the glue that holds the whole film together.

He is head and shoulders above everyone else in this gritty espionage drama set in Hamburg.

Hoffman plays Günther Bachmann, a chain-smoking hard-drinking spy in charge of a counter terrorism unit that works outside the law.

When a half-Chechen, half-Russian immigrant enters the city illegally he draws the attention of Bachmann’s unit, the regular police and the USA.

They are all concerned at what threat this guy holds, his background and a potential fortune that awaits him.

The original story is from the pen of John Le Carre so there’s no surprise that this has many twists and turns.

Rachel McAdams plays a solicitor who helps oppressed people and William Dafoe is a banker whose father laundered money for the Russian mafia.

Grigoriy Dobrygin is ‘the most wanted man’ and gives a solid enough performance.

But this is Hoffman’s film and even sporting a German accent he still dominates the screen.

The final scene, obviously without anyone knowing what the future held in store for the actor, is particularly sad.

This isn’t the best film Hoffman has been in and it’s not his best performance but it sits very happily among the incredible work the man produced.

Film details: A Most Wanted Man (15) 122mins

Director: Anton Corbijn

Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Daniel Brühl

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol