“Were Playing A Game...”
“Obey The Rules.”
“The Typical Remake”
“A Must See !!! This Is A Thinking-mans Thriller!!”
“The Witty Banter Is Probably Not Enough To Keep The Audiences Glued To Their Seats, Yet The Actors Are Wonderful In Their Roles.”
It's like Deathtrap crossed with Cribs as staged by Stanley Kubrick.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
In the remake of Sleuth, what was once insignificant is now insufferable.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
A Dead Film Walking, a zombie of a film, a shuffling Frankenstein's monster of a film, leaking electricity from its badly-fitting neck bolts, tragically whimpering at the pointless agony of its own brief existence.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
Caine and Law are in fine form bantering cleverly in this entertaining cat-and-mouse game, thanks to the inspired dialogue of Harold Pinter.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Little more than a sleek, stylish stunt.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Sleuth gradually becomes soulless and no fun, and what's the point of that?
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
So what's it all about? Got me.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
I think the movie works best if you know the original and have a taste for goofy revisionism -- say, Hamlet as a giant Hawaiian luau with the final duel on surfboards, or Paul Anka doing a finger-snapping "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
In Sleuth what he [Kenneth Branagh] celebrates is perplexing, ominous, insinuating material in the hands of two skilled actors.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Branagh, whose screen career with Shakespeare began on a high note with Henry V and has gone steadily downhill since, does a nice job keeping a stagebound piece relatively cinematic without resorting to the usual opening-up techniques.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Director Kenneth Branagh has mercifully pared the action down to 88 minutes (the first movie dragged on for 138), but the final act... still seems to go on forever.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
This would have been a memorable night at the theater. Too bad they filmed it.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
It sounds so promising. It plays so disappointing.
Tom Long - Detroit News
A grand exercise in watching two marvelous actors rip into some crackling dialogue. It's the thespian equivalent of jousting, and it's fascinating to watch.
Randy Cordova - Arizona Republic
This is a radically different Sleuth, one that feels at times like Pinter self-parody.
Robert Koehler - Variety
Just when things should be getting exciting and complex, they become repetitive and predictable. Subtext becomes hint becomes statement becomes declaration. For once, Pinter is a little too easy to understand.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
It doesnt work, and the reasons why are no mystery, no mystery at all.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Closed-circuit cameras and electronic gadgets are so much in abundance, bathed in the coldest of blue lights, it's as if Branagh chose to film his Sleuth in a Best Buy warehouse.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Director Kenneth Branagh clearly is having fun navigating Tim Harvey's slick set design, but eventually the characters' deadly competitiveness becomes tedious.
Sean Means - Film.com
A wickedly entertaining four-man tour de force, Sleuth transforms Anthony Shaffer's Tony-winning, rather than rehashing the fine 1972 movie version.
- Globe and Mail
It has a certain edge and daring, or more to the point it pretends to. That goes some distance toward concealing that Sleuth is a horrible mismatch of writer and material.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
It's an interesting failure -- a film that works more successfully as a study of technique and writing than as a motion picture.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
If you consider what the exalted quartet of Branagh, Pinter, Caine and Law might have done with the project, and what they did to it, Sleuth has to be the worst prestige movie of the year.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Language this lethal has all but disappeared from the movies, and it's an unmitigated pleasure to observe Caine and Law attack it with such ferocity. Sleuth is nasty fun.
Carina Chocano - Los Angeles Times
- Digital Spy
It requires a light touch; I admire Branagh a great deal, but not for his light touch.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Idly plotted then tempered by a blunt ending. All of a sudden the viewer is left pondering 'eh?' as Pinter apparently run out of room on his pad.
Chris Laverty - Clothes on Film
Mark Bazer - Boston Phoenix
Bob Mondello - NPR.org
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Pinter's pauses, and the dour air of so much of the interplay, just don't fit on a story that's this slight.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
Once the homosexual subtext is brought to the surface, everything seems to be a joke. Are they gay, kidding, or just considering?
Brian Holcomb - PopMatters
Fans of the original should stay away.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
The script includes a verbal motif that reminds us of what binds the film's four central talents together: 'I want to show you something.' [Blu-Ray review]
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
- Sydney Morning Herald
What this Sleuth lacks in enthusiasm it makes up in character-driven menace.
David Cornelius - DVDTalk.com
Despite Branagh's every attempt to capitalise on the intimacy of the cinematic medium with (intrusive) close-ups, the direction is heavy handed; the result being a dramatic, but emotionally cold experience
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Goofy art house tendencies (including an ill-thought dalliance with homo-eroticism) trigger a few giggles, yet the clever, crisply-acted power struggle seizes your attention
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
What Pinter and Branagh present is a much more wicked, cold, disturbing film that is even more confined than the original.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Jennie Kermode - Eye for Film
Seems to me that the Kenneth Branagh-Harold Pinter Sleuth is a pretty good movie. It just isn't a very good Sleuth, exactly.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
By the time the film ends on a flat note, it is long past the point of failing to effectively showcase a meeting of minds between two great actors.
Matt Kelemen - Las Vegas CityLife
Message to Jude: You have more chance of convincingly concealing that receding hairline than becoming the new Michael Caine. Stop trying to be something you are not - a charismatic actor.
- Sun Online
Whether you like the film probably depends on whether you can treat it all as seriously as Pinter and Branagh. If you can't, this short, brackish piece will not work at all, even if you don't regard it as a piece of piss.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
A bold, initially fascinating but ultimately misguided attempt to 'Pinter-ize' an old-fashioned puzzle. Great mysteries leave their audience marveling 'how did they do that?' Sleuth 2007 leaves you scratching your head, wondering why they bothered.
Leigh Singer - Film4
When Sylvester Stallone's Get Carter is no longer the worst remake of a Michael Caine movie, you have to ask yourself: what's it all about?
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies