Critic Reviews



Based on 41 critic reviews provided by
A hugely entertaining thriller shot through with dark shards of agony and paranoia. It takes nothing away from the original while delivering pleasures all its own.
Structurally and thematically similar to John Frankenheimer's original but entirely different in style, feel and nuance, this political thriller about a brainwashed soldier being positioned for the White House provides a delectable network of dramatic tripwires that teases the mind and quickens the pulse. This is brainy popcorn fare.
The A.V. Club
Shockingly, he's (Jonathan Demme) pulled it off, replicating the original's tricky feat of investing a paranoid plot with timeliness, psychological complexity, sociopolitical acumen, and almost frightening conviction.
The Hollywood Reporter
The updated classic is a chiller of a political thriller in its own right.
If Demme's version lacks the wallop of its predecessor, it is more likely to be popular with contemporary audiences, who will enjoy not only its labyrinthine twists but its stars' burnished professionalism.
Chicago Tribune
Demme's movie is just as sophisticated and knowing as Frankenheimer's, but it isn't as hip or daring. It doesn't haunt your mind or stir your sense of dread the way the '62 movie did--and it lacks almost totally the earlier film's piercing, oddball satire and humor.
If you ride the paranoiac tide, letting Jonathan Demme's assured direction carry you along, the sardonic humor and anxiety-inducing message work on you.
Dallas Observer
Just as you feel the numbing, clammy clench of paranoia on your neck, you realize, nope, the grip is just the director's attempt at tickling you to death. Demme's movie had no right to work. It does, and then some.
Entertainment Weekly
What this Manchurian Candidate for a new generation makes up for in timing, it lacks in discipline and edge.
The result, regardless of how it was arrived at, is gutless.

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