A Chechen refugee arrives in Hamburg illegally; he’s believed to be a terrorist, but intelligence agent Günther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman) sees a chance to catch bigger fish. Anton Corbijn delivers another spy thriller after The American (2010) and he’s well-suited to portray the stylishly gray world of John le Carré. This adaptation depicts the challenges of terrorist-hunting and turf war between different interests. Cold as ice and very deliberately told, with unattractive German locations, but credible. Hoffman is magnificent in one of his last parts, as the chain-smoking, ruffled agent.
2014-Britain-U.S.-Germany. 122 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Anton Corbijn. Novel: John le Carré. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Günther Bachmann), Rachel McAdams (Annabel Richter), Willem Dafoe (Tommy Brue), Robin Wright, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Derya Alabora… Daniel Brühl.
Trivia: Co-producer Stephen Cornwell is the son of le Carré. Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain and Carey Mulligan were allegedly considered for McAdams’s role.