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The Fourth Angel
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Fourth Angel More at IMDbPro »

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29 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Intelligent thriller, suddenly timely

8/10
Author: alnstirl-1 from Paris, France
10 October 2001

Absorbing and intelligent, FOURTH ANGEL uses its London (and briefly Paris) setting skilfully to show the story of a man seeking to avenge the murder of his family by what appear to be terrorists. The film raises (lightly but thoughtfully) questions of how civilized people ought to react to outrageous attacks upon them and muses over the rights and wrongs of vigilantism. Jeremy Irons reminds us again that he is one of the best screen actors in the world; the pain and distress which he etches in his role as the bereaved father is very moving. Forest Whitaker makes the most of an underwritten part and when he and Irons come face to face in the climactic scenes they are a magnificent duo of powerful screen presences. This film will, presumably, disappear in the aftermath of September 11th events. Which is a pity since in its modest way it actually has something to say. And that's rare enough in the world of thrillers.

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19 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Bright, thoughtful Irons film

7/10
Author: petersimcox from St. Petersburg, Florida
16 October 2003

I have appreciated Jeremy Irons since Brideshead Revisited. An actor of much skill and emotional range, he can admittedly be faulted for the occasional bizarre choice of rolls, for example the pedophile in the Lolita remake and the mad bomber in Die Hard 3, performances that surely have him waking up nights in a cold sweat. In The Fourth Angel, he takes on a semi-action role, which is not his usual casting, and yes, he pulls it off, because his character is basically a brainy journalist who stumbles into the world of shoot-em-up terrorists. If he is to survive, he must figure out how the clip goes into the AK-47 and how to work the safety, and learn it even as the killers are coming down the hall for him.

There's no secret about the plot. His wife and daughter are slaughtered by terrorists and he discovers that governments are not going to lend a hand. The way he expresses both his grief and his outrage represent his art at its peak. This film is nicely written and paced, and reminded me of Defense of the Realm. The Fourth Angel has an important role for a young male actor, who does very nicely, and features a brief but pleasing appearance by Charlotte Rampling, who has made the transition from femme fatale to middle aged woman with great grace. (She will look better to some now than she did then.)

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19 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

An intriguing thriller

8/10
Author: LukeS from London
3 October 2001

Although the genre (revenge thriller) is a little dated and the cast hardly A-list, this is a constantly involving film which may delight an unsuspecting audience. Jeremy Irons is not everyone's natural choice for an action hero. However, casting him as the beleaguered Jack Elgin only serves to reinforce the intelligence and sensitivity with which the film's makers construct the story of an innocent man's quest for justice. Support from Forrest Whitaker (amusing, if hackneyed), Charlotte Rampling (bizarre accent/affectation) and Jason Priestly (smarmy, slick and spot-on) enriches the drama and the little boy is fantastic.

Action sequences are sporadic and small-scale compared with big-budget American movies like Planet of the Apes and A.I. but at least The Fourth Angel has characters about whom one cares and a story that, if not wholly original, is constantly involving.

London sparkles spectacularly and the overall look of The Fourth Angel makes you wonder why other British-set films feel cheap and TVesque. The score is a little intrusive but the soundlessness of the Seventies seems a distant memory with modern films choosing to instruct the audience exactly how it should react with over-the-top strings and drums. End of rant. See The Fourth Angel.

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15 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Just a good movie

9/10
Author: Lorenz Bogaert from Belgium
14 April 2002

Quite a good movie actually with skilled cast and great locations. The plot and script are not really worth a lot, but it worked out for the best. If this would have been a low budget movie, it wouldn't be worth seeing it. But with this cast and director it's just a good movie. Enjoy it!

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16 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Undertouted and underestimated

7/10
Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
2 March 2003

"The Fourth Angel" tells of one man's quest for retribution beyond all reason as he, the protag (Irons), takes on a bunch of hijackers while trying to avoid inquiries from government agents. Typically British in its austerity of production, this flick makes for a good middle-tier drama by creating a series of believable moral and practical dilemmas to which the well portrayed protagonist must react. A satisfying though not sterling blend of action, intrigue, and human drama, "The Fourth Angel" is not a no-brainer and, considering the complexity of the intrigue over the run time, is very well managed throughout. Not for Hollywood blockbuster freaks, this little import now on cable is well worth a look for those into foreign intrigue and movies that make you think but not too much. (B)

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16 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

The exterminating angel?

Author: dbdumonteil
23 November 2004

It's strange that an earnest thespian like Jeremy Irons may have agreed to play this part .There's really nothing new under the sun.The umpteenth tale of revenge -which,as everybody knows, is a dish best eaten cold-No more gangsters and make way for the terrorists .But even if the baddies change,it's the same old song.I would save only one scene: when Irons is about to kill one more guy ,he runs into his little daughter,and begins to think over ,which he apparently didn't do much before:did he only have a thought for his motherless boy?

A weird cast does not serve the movie:Jason Priestley 's pretty face is a very bad choice;Forest Whitaker cannot do anything with a hackneyed part.Charlotte Rampling a brilliant actress who could have matched Irons every step of the way is completely wasted.Consolation prize for James Bond's fans:Lois Maxwell(Miss Moneypenny) appears as the grandma.

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16 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Great performances by Jeremy Irons and Forest Whitaker!

8/10
Author: Movie Nuttball from U.S.A.
5 May 2004

This movie, The Fourth Angel is quite good and it has two very good role performed excellently by Jeremy Irons and Forest Whitaker! The story is good the things in it allows Irons to do a lot. In Fact he does quite a bit in the movie. His performance is very believable as it makes the viewer believe something horrible happened to his family. The terrorists are different in the film. The music is pretty good and it fits the film very well! The scenes when Irons and Whitaker are together really makes the film good and Whitaker does a very good job here. I feel he is really an underrated actor. Plus I like to see two unusual actors together in a film and see how they can make it interesting! Jason Priestley was different in this one and he performance showed Me that he can be a big star! Really the part I didn't like is the hunting scene. Other than this is a decent film! If you want to see Jeremy Irons and Forest Whitaker is superb performance then watch The Fourth Angel!

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Jeremy Irons in nearly every scene

8/10
Author: Rogue-32 from L A.
5 June 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jeremy Irons plays a journalist whose wife and daughters are killed right in front him during a plane hijacking; he is left alone with his 10-year-old son and finds himself unable to deal with the fact that these hijackers are going to be getting off scott-free. Being a journalist, he uses his skills to find out where the hijackers will be and he takes it upon himself to even the score.

This is an extremely intelligent and absorbing film about a difficult subject, handled with skill and grace by everyone involved. Irons is superb, as always, incapable of making a false move; he embues Jack Elgin with a stunning mixture of rage, frailty, horror and resolve. Forest Whitaker, another brilliant actor incapable of a false move, is also used to fine advantage, as the FBI agent assigned to the case and finding himself -=- SPOILER ALERT -=- understanding and sympathizing with Elgin -=- END OF SPOILER -=-, and the appearance of the fiercely intelligent Charlotte Rampling certainly doesn't hurt.

The film is very hard to find - I bought my DVD online through JumboVideo in Canada. There's a very cool Featurette on this DVD, where everyone involved talks about the making of the film in great detail, very satisfying.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

This should have been a comedy

3/10
Author: Ornlu Wolfjarl from United Kingdom
7 February 2012

The only good thing about the movie is the acting. Everything else is a joke, the plot is full of holes and obviously the creators of the film got drunk one night, then came with the idea of making an action film copying concepts from Air Force One, Jason Bourne and a few revenge films and decided instead of doing such laughable preproduction activities such as RESEARCH and PLOT WRITING, decided to play lottery with a bunch of words written on tiny papers, and then put those together to create this... thing. It would have been a great movie if it was more of a satire, like Hot Shots! and Black Dynamite. Instead they decided to make something serious and the outcome is ridiculous. The acting is very good, but their dialogue is quite crappy and without any real sense. Irons and Whitaker do their best to deliver with emotion the words written by, obviously, a 12-year-old and you just laugh all the way. Their idea of putting the protagonist in dilemmas, where he seeks justice but it can't be delivered because of failed politics, is quite good but again, the people who were behind this messed up everything else.

To the good stuff: - Fun fact: The "Serbian" terrorists have neither Serbian names nor do they speak Serbian. There never even was a case of reported terrorism from Serbians. The writer and producer just thought that since they never cared to learn anything about Serbians, then their audience wouldn't have either and they would accept the "Serbian terrorism" story. - Fun fact: Limassol in Cyprus doesn't have an airport - Fun fact: Cyprus is not a desert and neither does it have people wearing jelabias (the white sheets that most Muslims wear) - Fun fact: Terrorism in Cyprus is inexistent.

Being from Cyprus, it was actually quite funny to watch how the British thought Cyprus was, considering they are a significant percentage of the tourists visiting the island. Great!

Short version: If you want to watch a b-movie for the laughs, then this is not bad actually. If you want to watch a real movie, don't bother.

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23 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Good actors, bad movie

3/10
Author: blados
28 October 2002

I think the manuscript of this movie was written on the piece of toilet-paper. No respect whatsoever to many important details which intrinsically make the movie. For example, the names of some Serbian terrorists (that I remember) are Caradan Maldic, Ivanic Loyvek and Leo Hasse. What kind of names are that? Certainly not Serbian! By the way, Caradan Maldic!!! What a name, I laughed for days thinking about it. Probably an implication on Karadzic and Mladic. Secondly, there have never been any cases of terrorism done by Serbians. A journalist like the main character ought to have known that. Thirdly, the actors playing Serbian terrorists are not even Serbs nor do they speak Serbo-croatian. All this aside, this movie is solidly acted but the story is paper-thin and full of holes. At times it makes no sense whatsoever!!!

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