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The International (2009)

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An Interpol agent attempts to expose a high-profile financial institution's role in an international arms dealing ring.


Tom Tykwer
3,448 ( 2,216)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Clive Owen ... Louis Salinger
Naomi Watts ... Eleanor Whitman
Armin Mueller-Stahl ... Wilhelm Wexler
Ulrich Thomsen ... Jonas Skarssen
Brían F. O'Byrne ... The Consultant
Michel Voletti Michel Voletti ... Viktor Haas
Patrick Baladi ... Martin White
Jay Villiers Jay Villiers ... Francis Ehames
Fabrice Scott Fabrice Scott ... Nicolai Yeshinski
Haluk Bilginer ... Ahmet Sunay
Luca Barbareschi ... Umberto Calvini (as Luca Giorgio Barbareschi)
Alessandro Fabrizi ... Inspector Alberto Cerutti
Felix Solis ... Detective Iggy Ornelas
Jack McGee ... Detective Bernie Ward
Nilaja Sun ... Detective Gloria Hubbard


In The International, Interpol Agent Louis Salinger and Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman are determined to bring to justice one of the world's most powerful banks. Uncovering illegal activities including money laundering, arms trading, and the destabilization of governments, Salinger and Whitman's investigation takes them from Berlin to Milan to New York and to Istanbul. Finding themselves in a high-stakes chase across the globe, their relentless tenacity puts their own lives at risk as the bank will stop at nothing - even murder - to continue financing terror and war. Written by production

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They control your money. They control your government. They control your life. And everybody pays. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sequences of violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



USA | Germany | UK | France


English | Italian | French | Danish

Release Date:

13 February 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Agente internacional See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,702,613, 15 February 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$25,450,527, 22 March 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The radio frequency scanner which Salinger uses to overhear the conversation in the end of the film is an Alinco DJ-X3. See more »


The cut and bandages change often when Owen is talking to man in prison. See more »


[first lines]
Thomas Schumer: Listen, I'm from the Bronx, so you need to keep it simple. Why is the bank buying all this missile-guidance stuff from Calvini? - I don't get it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"The fictional exhibition depicted in the main galleries of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum was not curated by nor an actual exhibition of the museum." See more »


References The Eye (2008) See more »


The International End Title
Written by Matthew Bellamy, Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil
Produced by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The International
22 April 2017 | by ronnietgSee all my reviews

The genres for the International are: Thriller/Crime/Drama. From the get go, this is not a Drama, which emphasizes the internal, intimate moral decisions of the Hero. Yes, the story contained Drama elements, but it was not the genre of Drama. The designing principle that is the key to the heart of the story is defined in the Tag Line: "Sometimes a man can meet his destiny on the road he took to find it." Revenge is not sweet, nor does it make a problem go away, as the Opponent so rightly states to the Hero. The Hero must deal with his Desire/Goal for revenge throughout the story. But the true spine of the story is encased in the genres of Thriller/Crime. We see the crime committed in the first 10 minutes of the story, and as an Inciting Incident, it serves to suck the Hero into action that will change his life forever. What could have been a story with intense Narrative Drive was lost because the screenplay writer decided to give this story a branching form, which took the audience off the Drive/Goal of the Hero. The blond, attractive D.A. was an add-on because as it was written, the Opponent did not try to block her from achieving the Goal. The bank/Main Opponent went after other players instead of going after the Hero and the D.A. By branching out this way and having the bank knock off obstacles INSTEAD of having the bank focus on knocking off the Hero and the D.A., her role was a waste AND the Narrative Drive slowed down. For the Thriller/Crime genre, the spine of the story must have intense Narrative Drive. When there are these two genres, the writer must make the decision as to which genre takes precedence for the spine. In the case of this story, the bank is knocking off opponents left and right - The bank should have been after the Hero and the D.A. This would have provided that punch-counter-punch that was lacking in the story. Also, the Hero and the D.A. would have been on the run while being pursued - which ups the Narrative Drive in this genre. The character of one of the Opponents is used as a mouthpiece for the writer's ideology - This is a no-no in story telling. The character loses his believability in the story and the message in his dialogue comes off as preachy. He's a Communist and goes on about the good and bad points of this ideology. The Hero also mouths very predictable ideology on Communism, which takes the story completely off the Narrative Drive because it really has nothing to do with the Hero's Desire/Goal. The Desire/Goal must be clear; must be one main Desire/Goal; the Hero must be passionate about achieving it. So this speech could have been edited out. The assassin was also a contrivance and part of the branching story line that detracted from the main story line of Thriller genre, which should have had a linear shape to it. The assassin could have been written into the story with a connection to the Hero in some way, which would have upped the ante for the Narrative Drive. The international locations were awesome, but again, the story went off the Narrative Drive by getting into the African nations issues and the Israeli/Arab issues, which should have been a montage or edited out because it slowed the Drive down. Cross-cut between various players associated with the bank would have increased the Narrative Drive in this genre - This would have given the blond D.A. a more intensive role instead of her having a car accident in the middle of the action to get her out of the action for a while, a contrivance again. In summary, the story premise was high-concept, the acting and directing were stellar, but the script was highly lacking key ingredients - Had these flaws been dealt with, the film could have been as high energy as the Bourne series, yet with a decidedly sophisticated high finance angle that could have also capitalized on the exotic settings and cultures of the the story world where the Hero is fighting to come to grips with his main Desire/Goal. The film could have been a 10 had the script flaws been corrected.

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