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The Interpreter (2005) - movie overview

The Interpreter (2005)

User Rating
(178 votes)
Critic Rating
(21 reviews)
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Quotes (13)
Plot Description
Shooting Locations

Original title: Interpreter, The

Release Date
• USA: Apr 22, 2005
• UK: 15 Apr 2005
DVD Release Date
• R1: Oct 4, 2005

Budget USD 80,000,000
BoxOffice: $72.5M

Official Website:
The Interpreter Website

MPAA Rating
Rated PG-13 for violence, some sexual content and brief strong language.

Running Time
2 hours, 8 minutes

Country UK, USA, France

Production Companies
Working Title Films, Misher Films, Mirage Entertainment, Studio Canal

Studio Universal Pictures

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Other Titles
• The Interpreter (2005)

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Genre: Crime, Thriller, Drama, Murder, Suspense, Political

Tagline: The truth needs no translation.

Plot: The escalating events begin when African-born U.N. translator Silvia Broome (Kidman) alleges that she has overheard a death threat against an African head of state, spoken in a rare dialect few people other than Silvia can understand. With the words “The Teacher will never leave this room alive,” in an instant, Silvia’s life is turned upside down as she becomes a hunted target of the killers. Placed under the protection of federal agent Tobin Keller (Penn), Silvia’s world only grows more nightmarish. As Keller digs deeper into his eyewitness’ past and her secretive world of global connections, the more suspicious he becomes that she herself might be involved in the conspiracy. With every step of the way, he finds more reasons to mistrust her.

Is Sylvia a victim? A suspect? Or something else entirely? And can Tobin, coping with his own personal heartache, keep her safe? Though they must depend on one another, Silvia and Tobin couldn’t be more different. Silvia’s strengths are words, diplomacy and the subtleties of meaning, while Tobin is all about instinct, action and reading into the most primal human behaviors. Now, as the danger of a major assassination on U.S. soil grows and Silvia’s life hangs in the balance, Silvia and Tobin play out a gripping dance of evasion and

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 External Reviews
external linkNot since "Shark Tale" has cinema given us such a blend of realistic detail and whimsy. And while it pains me to beat up on Pollack, who, in addition to being a consistently wonderful actor, is at least attempting to make movies the old-fashioned way, itpains me more to actually sit through his movies.

external linkThe {major} plot point is breezed over, and so it's possible to be disappointed by the lack of depth. C+
--Lee Tistaert (Lee's Movie Info)

external linkThe Interpreter is a slick, suspenseful political thriller with a huge problem at its center: Nicole Kidman.
--Jeremy C. Fox

external linkBut in “The Interpreter” there isn’t enough solid suspense to get over the far-fetched nature of the way the plot is worked out. The tale is only moderately compelling if one makes allowances and the ending brings a letdown. That’s not good.
--William Wolf

external linkBoth Kidman and Penn are fantastic. They have great chemistry together. The film runs like a well-honed machine. Some of the scenes are pure heaven. Watch out when pretty much everyone winds up on the same bus. You can cut the tension with a knife.
--Eric Lurio

external linkAt it's best however The Interpreter is a gnawing white knuckle thriller, pumping tension out of a pressure cooker of hard-boiled plots and spilling into a tangled web of cut throat politics, savage strategy diplomacy and justice system perversion. At it's worse it's a slightly clunky but diligent Hollywood picture handled with thought and restraint.
--Luke Buckmaster

external linkThank God for Catherine Keener, playing Tobin's partner, whose dour grimaces and deadpan sarcasm (strangely) save the film from being an otherwise humorless and pretentious mess. 2.5/5
--Christopher Null (

external linkIn short, then, this is a very old fashioned thriller that successfully uses tried and trusted techniques and craft but slaves them to a story reflecting very modern concerns and issues. 80/100
--Scott Andrews (

external linkThe power of their performances makes their characters credible -- and compelling -- even when "The Interpreter" isn't.
--Carol Cling

external link“The Interpreter” looks nice and the acting is terrific, but that's just on the surface. Definitely not the absorbing thriller you can feel Pollack was aiming to produce, "The Interpreter" is good but ultimately forgettable. B-
--Rebecca Murray (

external linkThe Interpreter is so lofty it feels as if it were made to be screened at the United Nations.
--David Edelstein

external linkSnappy dialogue, attention to detail and nightly news relevance all add up to a very enjoyable film. If you need romance, explosions and gun fights to hold your attention, consider looking elsewhere. But if you like seeing a little political awareness inyour thrillers, The Interpreter could be just the movie you’ve been looking for. 4/5
--Chris Wilson (

external linkPerhaps the most cheated of all is the terrific Catherine Keener, who is relegated to a part that amounts to barely a walk-on. Still, that she manages to all but steal the show with her wry delivery of the movie’s one great line (“Now that’s just rude!”)is almost payback enough for director Sydney Pollack’s arrogant padding of his own role from what should have been a Hitchcockian cameo to what amounted in the end to the level of third billing. 3/5
--Elaine Perrone (

external linkThe resolution of The Interpreter might not reach as far as we could hope, but it makes its point even if Pollack’s hand should be clear to those paying close attention. 4/5
--Erik Childress (

 Directed by
Sydney Pollack
The Firm, Sabrina, Out of Africa
 Written by
Martin Stellman
Defence of the Realm, For Queen and Country
Brian Ward
Death Defying Acts
Nicole Kidman
Moulin Rouge!, The Others, Eyes Wide Shut
Sean Penn
Mystic River, The Game, The Thin Red Line
Catherine Keener
Being John Malkovich, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Out of Sight
Michael Wright
Money Talks, V, The Principal
Jesper Christensen
Italian for Beginners, In China They Eat Dogs, The Inheritance
Yvan Attal
Munich, Bon voyage, My Wife Is an Actress
Earl Cameron
Thunderball, The Message, Tarzan the Magnificent
 Music By
James Newton Howard
The Sixth Sense, Batman Begins, King Kong

external linkThis unmemorable conspiracy-theory film has been gussied up real pretty-like with prestigious actors and intelligent dialogue, and darn if it doesn't make a world of difference. B-
--Eric D. Snider (

external link...a great movie or even a particularly good one, but it does offer something more than just superficial entertainment value. It asks us to care a bit more, and because I saw it, I do care just a bit more today than I did yesterday.
--Jim Pappas

external link``The Interpreter'' has finished translating its cheesy plot into an only partially satisfying ham sandwich. 2.5/4
--Bruce Newman

external linkIt's not a dazzlingly original film, but it's rich in precisely-observed emotional detail. And when all's said and done, that's one of the reasons we watch movies.
--Peter Thompson

external linkThe Interpreter is an enjoyably old-fashioned movie that reminds you that thrillers don’t have to be about big budget effects and explosions to succeed. Worth seeing. 3/5
--Matthew Turner (ViewLondon)

external link"Thriller" isn't quite the right word to describe Sydney Pollack's The Interpreter. "Anachronistic" is a much better description because even with very contemporary subject matters like terrorism, failed diplomacy in the United Nations and—wait for it—actual communication between government agencies, the superstar-heavy film still unfolds like a relic of the past. 2.5/4
--Lynda Lin (The Movie Insider)

Sean Penn in The Interpreter Wallpaper 2
©2005 Universal Pictures

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