Movie Review: The Ghost Writer (2010)

Director Roman Polanski directed the political thriller The Ghost Writer under house arrest and the result is a long and winding film that saves the best for the last reel.

Based on the the novel The Ghost by Robert Harris and inspired by real political events, the film is about an unnamed ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) who was tasked to write the memoirs of a controversial figure. That figure is former U.K. Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), who is accused of sponsoring war crimes and must flee to the United States to escape prosecution. The tension is built when the Ghost stumbles upon clues as to the true nature of Lang's participation on the war crimes, and everything unravels on a big twist in the end.

While the film is smart and subtly executed, its pace is laboriously slow. By the second act in the film, you'd be wondering why the sleuthing of the Ghost has only accomplished so much. It doesn't help that several red herrings muddle how the pieces fit and may end up confusing some folks.

If you ask me, The Ghost Writer will appeal to fans of thrillers that need a break from the doldrums of the recent releases. But be prepared that film will be as exciting as a fleeting apparition.

Rating: 2.5