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The Man Who Knew Too Little
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Man Who Knew Too Little More at IMDbPro »

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Bill Murray at his best

9/10
Author: Aaron Fuller
27 September 1998

Like Quick Change this movie was unfairly panned by critics and ignored by audiences. Bill Murray is simply wonderful, but it's not the sarcastic Murray from Groundhog Day or Ghostbusters, but the dim-bulb Murray from Caddyshack (with a dozen fewer blows to the head). The plot is contrived, but cleverly so. Of course it's ridiculous, but this wasn't intended as a thriller like David Fincher's The Game, but as a low-key comedy like A Fish Called Wanda, The Lavender Hill Mob, and especially the Inspector Clouseau pictures - except this character's absent- mindedness is explained by the plot: he doesn't realize this is a real cloak & dagger situation. Very funny, and every facial expression, physical gesture, and voice inflection is done perfectly by Murray in a nuanced rather than manic performance. Smart, silly stuff.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Idiot savant

10/10
Author: oystermanproductions from Savannah
10 December 2010

Bill Murray has made a lot of brilliant art, from Caddyshack to Rushmore to Lost in Translation. This, I think, is his funniest work. He plays an idiot savant who is fearless, who plays games of life and death because he thinks it's a game. What makes this whole movie seem like a high-wire act is whether Murray will discover that his life really is in danger. If he makes this discovery, his confidence will be shattered and he will fall to pieces. It's a hysterical and brilliant riff on male confidence and male delusion. It's an ode to the power of innocence. He is oblivious to all the bad in the world. He's unaware of his own vulnerability. Compare the sweaty James Bond to the cool and nonchalant Bill Murray. It's like zen for morons. It's hysterical when you watch it and brilliant when you think about it.

Taylor Carmichael

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Bill Murray amazes me

9/10
Author: mark-1941 from United Kingdom
26 March 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was looking for something to see with my son, so had no great expectations of a movie I had not heard of. I have not cried with laughter for years, perhaps the last time was when Steve Martin poked his eye patch with a cork on a fork! The story is good enough, but Bill is fantastic. Such a likable guy.

The spoiler - the end was a bit naf, ie, I would have preferred him to have given us a wink, because for me the ending is a bit irritating. Surely he would not still be oblivious of the misunderstanding after all that? They carried the joke very well all the way, but I think it should have been dropped, perhaps the two guys at the end could turn out to be actors from London who cane on holiday with them, and they were just goofing around? I loved it regardless.

Mark.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

You have to experience it...

9/10
Author: MovieAddict2016 from UK
10 February 2004

Great spy-spoof of Hitchcock's classic 1930s film (remade in the 50s) in title only involving an American tourist (Bill Murray) getting put in a fake spy program by his frustrated brother (Peter Gallagher), who only wants peace and quiet. The catch: He gets caught up in a real spy scandal, mistaken for a top secret American operative working undercover in Britain.

Having lived in London for most of my life, moving back and forth twice from England to America, this movie is a fun culture clash comedy that uses one of comedy's dryest, funniest personalities to its advantage. Lots of fun, slightly ruined by a madcap ending that, in retrospect, actually seems quite pleasant and enjoyable.

4/5 stars.

- John Ulmer

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A funny case of mistaken identity.

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
2 June 2003

Bill Murray and Alfred Molina, two of the best movie comics. Set in London, visiting Murray thinks he is in a reality TV show when he answers a pay phone on the street, instead the phone call was intended for a shrewd crook and Murray gets involved in a big criminal case unwittingly, thinking he was actually in the TV show. So, of course, threats, guns, and other gangster habits do not faze him.

This one polarized critics. Ebert gives it a very low rating, but gives an accurate summary. Berardinelli gave it a very high rating. I am in the middle somewhere, I enjoyed it, but after a while the gag got a bit old. Was my weekly free rental from Bloodsucker.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Masterpiece!!

Author: Guise11 from Essex, England
17 October 2002

I absolutely LOVE this movie!! Murray is at his best here. I am a huge fan of Bill Murray and I try to watch as many of his movies as I can. I recorded this a few months ago when it was on TV, and I keep watching it over and over. It may not be the funniest movie in the world, but what amused me was Murray's character not knowing he was participating in a real-life crisis. That is what I liked most. This is the most original movie he has done (apart from Groundhog Day) and it is refreshing to see a movie of this quality shot in the beautiful city of London. Yes, I know I am biased, but more movies should be shot here. It's just a shame that most of the scenes were at night. Never mind. Oh, I fear I may not have put across just how much I liked 'The Man Who Knew Too Little'. I have two words for you. WATCH IT!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Funny!

8/10
Author: colinr29 from Scotland
28 August 2002

I loved this. It reminded me a lot of the black and white gangster films I used to watch during the school holidays as a kid. At least this one was meant to be funny! Haven't laughed so much at a film for a long time.

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Funnier than expected

7/10
Author: Rumples-2 from Perth, Australia
30 September 1999

While this movie is neither unique nor intelligent, it is good for a chuckle. Murray plays a wonderful role as the good-hearted bumbler, and Joanne Whalley makes for a great femme-fatale. Turn down your brains (there is the odd witty bit) and enjoy a bit of a laugh. My vote 7/10

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Man Who Knew Too Little

5/10
Author: Jackson Booth-Millard from United Kingdom
4 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The title made it obvious that this film would a parody of classic Alfred Hitchcock style espionage thrillers, despite it being an average rating by critics, I was drawn to it by this and a good list of actors in it, directed by Jon Amiel (Copycat, Entrapment, The Core). Basically naive American tourist Wallace Ritchie (Bill Murray) from Des Moines, Iowa, who works at Blockbuster Video, has travelled to London, England on his birthday to spend time with his brother James (While You Were Sleeping's Peter Gallagher). James is happy to spend time with Wallace, but has business guests coming to dinner and needs something to distract his brother so he doesn't sour the evening, so he sets Wallace up with an interactive improv theatre business, the "Theatre of Life", which promises to treat the participant as a character in a crime drama. But trouble begins when Wallace unknowingly answers the phone to a real hit-man and in is mixed in a case of mistaken identity, the criminals believe him to be a CIA spy, and he gets tangled in a plot to kill Russian dignitaries who will be signing an important peace agreement. Wallace is completely gullible and goes along with this, even when people are being killed, criminals are chasing him and newfound femme fetale Lori (Joanne Whalley) and a bomb is ticking down, he thinks it is all an act, part of his experience with "Theatre of Life". Also starring Alfred Molina as Boris 'The Butcher' Blavasky, Richard Wilson as Sir Roger Daggenhurst, Little Britain's Geraldine James as Dr. Ludmilla Kropotkin, John Standing as Gilbert Embleton, Four Weddings and a Funeral's Anna Chancellor as Barbara Ritchie, The Fast Show's John Thomson as Dimitri, EastEnders' Cliff Parisi Cliff Parisi as Uri, Dexter Fletcher as Otto, J.E. Freeman as CIA Man, Maxwell Caulfield as British Agent, The Fast Show's Paul Shearer as TV Reporter, Going Live's Sarah Greene as TV Presenter and Top of the Pops' Mike Smith as TV Presenter. Murray is very convincing as the idiotic slow-witted ordinary man caught in the middle of a dangerous predicament, so much so that it almost becomes annoying, the supporting stars all do well being more amusingly serious, the bumbling dimwit formula does create laughs, but it does a little kick eventually, and the assassination attempt stuff wears a little thin as well, becoming slightly predictable, overall though it is a funny enough spy comedy. Worth watching!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

tgchan says YES!

6/10
Author: tgchan from Poland
4 October 2014

www.tgchan.pl

21 minutes have passed and it is already good xD

Hilarious misunderstanding and I already can't wait to see more! Bill Murray has a natural charm in, such as these roles! It is a decent movie but there is no wow and oh moments in it, it just keep its pace without any greater ups and downs. I expected a little more from it... I don't think I would enjoy it, if it wasn't for Bill Murray. It wasn't bad... but it wasn't good either... There are lot of other better films out there. If you truly don't have anything better to watch or you merely desire to see Bill Murray go for it, if not... look for something else.

tgchan's rating 5.5 /10

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