Raised by her father (Eric Bana), an ex-CIA agent, in the wilds of Finland, Hanna's upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one. Sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe, eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Cate Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence.
Hanna has the plot of a Hollywood action blockbuster but the style of a European art movie--and this unholy hybrid is fascinating to watch. Hanna (Saoirse Ronan, The Lovely Bones) has been raised by her father (Eric Bana, Munich), an ex-covert agent, for one purpose: to murder the American agent, Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett), who murdered Hanna's mother. Hanna thinks she succeeds and escapes, but she's actually being followed by Wiegler, who will go to any lengths to exterminate the girl. Hanna could have been little more than a tween reboot of La Femme Nikita, but in the hands of director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) the movie spends as much time on Hanna's budding relationship with a girl on holiday in Morocco as it does on Hanna's capacity to kill. Even the action scenes have atypical rhythms (and one violent sequence occurs in a long, sustained shot that will make film geeks squeal with glee). Hanna is visually sumptuous, emotionally delicate, and completely unlike any other action flick you'll see. The ending goes flat as disappointingly banal plot mechanics take hold, but up until then, Hanna combines genuine thrills, unexpected complexity of character, and an unusual electronica soundtrack into an enthralling film. --Bret Fetzer