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The Ghost Writer (2010)

PG-13  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  19 March 2010 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 127,574 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 344 user | 340 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

A ghostwriter hired to complete the memoirs of a former British prime minister uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy.



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32 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »



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An unremarkable ghost-writer has landed a lucrative contract to redact the memoirs of Adam Lang, the former UK Prime Minister. After dominating British politics for years, Lang has retired with his wife to the USA. He lives on an island, in luxurious, isolated premises complete with a security detail and a secretarial staff. Soon, Adam Lang gets embroiled in a major scandal with international ramifications that reveals how far he was ready to go in order to nurture UK's "special relationship" with the USA. But before this controversy has started, before even he has closed the deal with the publisher, the ghost-writer gets unmistakable signs that the turgid draft he is tasked to put into shape inexplicably constitutes highly sensitive material. Written by Eduardo Casais <casaise@acm.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Read between the lies.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, brief nudity/sexuality, some violence and a drug reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

19 March 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Ghost Writer  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$183,009 (USA) (19 February 2010)


$15,523,168 (USA) (11 June 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On the fence outside of Professor Paul Emmett's house, a sign reads "Cyclops Security". The Ghost is able to take a peek at Emmett's letter, because there is only one security camera. This is a reference to the cyclopes of Greek mythology. See more »


On the private jet, McAra presents Adam Lang with a group photograph that shows Paul Emmett and Adam Lang together. The dialog runs: "When McAra found this (the photograph) he went to Boston to show it to Emmett and he died on the way home and I think he was murdered. If McAra drowned before he could get back to the island, how did the photograph get into the envelope taped to the bottom of a drawer in McAra's bedroom closet? See more »


[first lines]
The Ghost: You realize I know nothing about politics.
Rick Ricardelli: You voted for him, didn't you?
The Ghost: Adam Lang? Of course I did, everyone voted for him. He wasn't a politician, he was a craze.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are written as black-on-white with a typewriter font, like the manuscript shown throughout the movie. See more »


Featured in Maltin on Movies: Video Guide 2010 (2010) See more »


Performed by David Majzlin
Courtesy of Toy Hanner Music (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Flawless Gem; Exhilaratingly Good
27 February 2010 | by (Marin County, CA) – See all my reviews

Polanski does some of his best work in a long time in this nearly-flawless and beautiful-looking film. Engaging story, interesting characters, incredible mood and sense of place (amazingly, locations in Germany substituted brilliantly for Martha's Vineyard -- having spent some time on the Vineyard, I was completely convinced that's what I was seeing, forgetting during the film that Polanski wouldn't have set foot on U.S. soil), more implied violence than any real screen violence (for those who like suspense but stay away from thrillers because of worry about violence, don't worry) -- it's all about suspense and intrigue. Every shot is gorgeous. Fun references to CHINATOWN, and especially Billy Wilder's SUNSET BOULEVARD. Lovely performances by Olivia Williams, who is sexy and vulnerable, Pierce Brosnan, the absolutely always brilliant Tom Wilkinson and an extraordinary cameo by Actors Studio legend Eli Wallach (he still has the chops!). The ending caps a perfect film perfectly, and the MacGuffin is great fun. If you like vintage Hitchcock, and especially if you like the best work of Polanski, don't miss it. I'm ready to see it again and watch how it's put together.

160 of 266 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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