Philip Seymour Hoffman Is an Obsessed German Spy in A Most Wanted Man

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
April 12 2014 3:02 PM

Philip Seymour Hoffman Is an Obsessed German Spy in A Most Wanted Man

a most wanted man
Hoffman and Robin Wright discuss covert affairs in A Most Wanted Man.

Kerry Brown © 2014 Roadside Attractions

It’s been a little over two months since the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman’s passing, but thankfully his singular talent will be on display in several forthcoming films. One of those movies is A Most Wanted Man, a John Le Carré adaptation that released its first trailer yesterday.

Like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and really any adaptation of Le Carré's work, A Most Wanted Man looks to be an intricate, layered spy thriller grappling with all the usual moral conundrums of high-stakes espionage. Hoffman plays Gunter Bachmann, a German spy who runs a counter-intelligence unit intent on infiltrating the jihadist network involved in 9/11; Rachel McAdams is his foil, an impassioned human rights attorney committed to protecting a suspect's due process. Robin Wright and Willem Defoe fill out the rest of the cast.

Advertisement

The director is Anton Corbijn, who’s no stranger to the genre: The American, his 2010 feature with George Clooney, was a glacially paced, beautifully shot longeur that pared the spy movie down to the sparse components of character study and atmosphere. A Most Wanted Man looks a bit more by the book, in terms of structure and pacing, but reviews from Sundance noted Corbijn's same pensive, methodical approach to the subject matter. Either way, in large part due to Hoffman's ability to extract brilliance from any role, it’s hard to see this not being one of the more intelligent, exciting highlights of summer escapism; it hits theaters July 25.

Sharan Shetty is a writer for Brow Beat. You can follow him on Twitter

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 8:38 AM An Implanted Wearable Gadget Isn’t as Crazy as You’d Think Products like New Deal Design’s UnderSkin may be the future.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.