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The Assignment
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Assignment More at IMDbPro »

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46 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Extremely underrated, first-rate action/thriller!

Author: Renaldo Matlin from Oslo, Norway
1 November 2003

This movie really proves that the world is all too often an unfair place, especially the world of motion pictures. "The Assignment" received barely any attention upon it's release and not surprisingly flopped at the box-office, but when history will be written this movie will most surely receive some long lost praise.

Thank God I'm surrounded by friends who knows what's good for me. Being a movie buff like myself a pal highly recommended "The Assignment", a movie I hadn't even heard about. I decided to check out what Leonard Maltin gave it, and not surprisingly he gave it **1/2. Knowing that this is the same grade he gave classics like "Alien", "The Usual Suspects" and "The Matrix" (I kid you not) I knew his meaning didn't mean diddly squat jack s***. So without hesitating I went out and bought it on DVD. This was about 3 years ago and the movie is still one of my proudest belongings in my DVD collection, despite a cover design that echoes a low budget stinker with Casper Van Dien.

"The Assignment" is expertly directed, delivering some really intense moments that will hold you on the edge of your seat throughout the movie, on top of that it boasts an at times brilliant story that you know will be riddled with unexpected twists and turns. It stars Aidan Quinn in one of his best performances, and serves him with great support by Donald Sutherland and Ben Kingsley who are both in great form.

Something like 40 out of 42 user comments like this movie, most of them can't seem to praise it enough. So what are you waiting for? If you call yourself a fan of action-thrillers you should have bought it, rented it, seen it YESTERDAY!

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30 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

An Outstanding Espionage/Terrorist Thriller

Author: CitizenCaine from Las Vegas, Nevada
4 September 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Assignment is an outstanding thriller with several plot twists driven by character, rather than star turns, the need to stage special effects, obligatory romance, and endless car chases. However, there is a car chase in here, and a dandy it is. Aidan Quinn is wonderful as both the terrorist and the naval officer "recruited" to eliminate him. It is rare that a second or third tier actor, such as Quinn, is given an important starring role like this that carries a film. Usually, such a role is given to an A-list actor with box office draw, which is probably why I never heard of this film before I saw it. Donald Sutherland is great as the morally ambiguous, somewhat creepy at times, agent that recruits Quinn. Ben Kingsley is fine also as the Israeli agent. The plot is very complex and there are multiple story lines, which converge in gradual fashion toward the end, and not all at once as we're used to seeing. The paranoia and claustrophobia of these type of thrillers is captured and portrayed with both moral ambiguity and frightening intensity. The locations are convincing and effective. The soundtrack is nothing special, but rarely do we get all of the above mentioned qualities these days, without dumb and/or meaningless plot developments; unconvincing star turns; loud, annoying, music video type soundtracks; a villain that hams it up; and repeatedly a cast, costumes, and plot that cater mostly to an audience under 25. This is an outstanding thriller, which most assuredly did not get its just due upon its release. ***1/2 of 4 stars.

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33 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Slick, tidy, and well-made old school version of a great international thriller.

Author: mhasheider from Sauk City, Wisconsin
4 February 2002

Slick, tidy, and well-made old school version of how a great international thriller should be made. Determined to nail a feared global terrorist who is known as "Carlos the Jackal", Jack Shaw (Donald Sutherland, "Without Limits", "Space Cowboys"), a CIA operative and his Israeli counterpart, Amos (Ben Kingsley, "Gandhi", "Sexy Beast") get a noble Naval officer, Annibal Ramirez (Aidan Quinn, "Music of the Heart"), to become Carlos and use him in a daring plot to get the KGB to kill the real Carlos, because he took an offer from the CIA. Sutherland and Kingsley are both good here, but the movie really belongs to Quinn here, who embodies himself here (in a dual role). Director Christian Duguay and cinematographer David Franco provide another great asset of the film here with Hitchcockian-like suspense and great sights of the world.

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29 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

kept my butt up

Author: David Reynolds ( from beverly hills, ca.
16 May 1999

Very late one night, I happened to click to some cable station that had a movie starting called "The Assignment". I had heard that it was a well made movie from my mother, but who listens to their mother's opinion about movies? Especially about some espionage thriller. Well --- who likes to admit when their mother is right...about anything? Well --- my mother was right. I was up all night, until 4 in the morning, alone, watching this movie, getting paranoid and sucked into its classically told story. The acting was superlative, the direction was on target - which could also be said for the aim of the actors (a lot of gun play), and best of all, it didn't telegraph where the plot was heading. It's a perfect set-up for a franchise, (sorry to sound like an executive at some lumbering movie studio) because I'd be completely interested to see the next adventures of these well rounded characters - and the actors that play them. To the film makers: Do more of these! To the movie watching audience: watch it! watch it with someone you love, as the old saying goes...not because it's romantic, but rather, it's a movie that you need to grab hold of someone during those extra exciting parts. No joke. (the sex scenes teach you a thing or too, as well. A movie that's entertaining, as well as informative! Hey! Now that's a novelty.)

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20 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

This movie never lets up.

Author: Tom Chenevert ( from Dunstable, Ma
12 January 1999

I don't usually like these kind of espionage movies due to their being dull and predictable. Well, I have changed my mind with this one. This was a real sleeper with a real intelligent story line that keeps you guessing and surprised throughout. Also the surround sound and the great camera work really adds to it. On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 10 as I don't know how you could make a better film on this subject.

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

A brilliant, complex, entertaining thriller

Author: James Culver from Spokane, WA
12 August 1998

This is one of the best thrillers I've seen. It's intelligently made and brilliantly filmed, and is one of the few thrillers that creates complex, interesting characters and makes the movie about them, not the action. I would recommend it to just about anyone, especially people who like movies with both style and substance.

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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

The REAL Jackal

Author: Blair Campbell from Perth, Australia
29 November 1998

This is certainly a quality movie with a classy cast. As far as movies about Carlos the Jackal go, this one beats Bruce Willis' feeble efforts in 'The Jackal' to a bloody pulp, then spits on them. I am a bit surprised that this movie hasn't attracted more votes, something of a 'sleeper' obviously. A pity because this film is definitely worth a watch. It is clever and never dull. See it, 7/10

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

The best spy thriller

Author: Luigi Di Pilla from Riehen, Switzerland
14 July 2002

It worked! Director Christian Duguay created a very clever action/spy thriller. The actors Donald Sutherland and especially Aidan Quinn gave a top performance. What a pity that we couldn´t see Aidan Quinn in others movies like this one till now. He was simply the best in the role as Ramirez/Carlos for what he should have earned the Oscar. The picture was very nice. The scenes are fast paced from beginning to the end and the story doesn´t let you a chance to get bored. The movie is too underrated and I recommend it to anyone otherwise you will miss something great. Believe me you will not be disappointed. That´s why i give it 9/10.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

A sleeper of a spy thriller!

Author: Glen Moreland from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
25 March 1999

I found this movie to be quite enjoyable and fairly entertaining. Good characters,good actors and enough suspense to keep your interest throughout. The plot twists might have been a bit much but overall a decent thriller. If you liked this film I would recommend The Spanish Prisoner, The House of Games and No Way Out.

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15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Stunts & Actors...

Author: mist from Stockholm, Sweden
19 April 2003

The Stunts sequences (as well as the Special Effects) are Brilliant, in this movie. Michael Scherer must be one of Canadas BEST Stunt Co-ordinators of all time. The explosion in the Café, is a wonderful combination of Stunts, Special Effects AND Visual Effects. The Director HAD an idea, that the Crew managed to create on film.

Besides that; Donald Sutherland makes one of his best performances in this film.......

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