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The Ghost Writer (2010)

Ewan McGregor , Pierce Brosnan , Roman Polanski  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Hutton
  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Writers: Robert Harris
  • Producers: Alain Sarde, Robert Benmussa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Summit Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 3, 2010
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0036TGSR6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,060 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Ghost Writer" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Oscar-winning director Roman Polanksi (The Pianist) teams up with author-screenwriter Robert Harris (Enigma) for this twisty political thriller. Ewan McGregor plays an unnamed ghostwriter who signs on to pen the memoirs of former British prime minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan). The money is good, but there's a catch: the ghost's predecessor perished under mysterious circumstances (his body washed up on the shore in an apparent suicide). Being the adventurous sort, the ghost puts that information aside and travels to Lang's austere compound on Martha's Vineyard, where he meets Lang's efficient personal secretary, Amelia (Kim Cattrall, good but for an inconsistent accent), and acerbic wife, Ruth (An Education's Olivia Williams). Just as he's wading through Lang's dull text, the PM's ex-cabinet minister accuses him of handing over suspected terrorists to the CIA, fully aware that torture would be on the agenda. The next thing the ghost knows, he's working for a possible war criminal, and the deeper he digs, the more convinced he becomes that Lang is lying about his past. After exchanging a few words with a sharp-eyed old man (Eli Wallach) and a tight-lipped professor (Tom Wilkinson), he realizes his life may also be at risk. Then, while Lang hits the road to proclaim his innocence, the ghost gets to know Ruth better--much better. If the conclusion feels a little glib, Polanksi tightens the screws with skill, McGregor enjoys his best role in years, and Williams proves she's fully prepared to carry a movie of her own. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

When a gifted ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) is hired to write the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), he quickly finds himself trapped in a web of political and sexual intrigue. Lang is implicated in a scandal over his administration's harsh tactics, and as the ghostwriter digs into the politician's past, he discovers secrets that threaten to jeopardize international relations forever. Co-starring Olivia Williams and Kim Cattrall, it is a taut and shocking thriller from acclaimed director Roman Polanski (The Pianist).

DVD Features;
An Interview with Roman Polanski,
The Ghost Writer: Fiction or Reality?,
The Cast of The Ghost Writer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
126 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This One Is Really Good March 10, 2010
Format:Blu-ray
"The Ghost Writer" is a Roman Polanski political thriller of the first order. It is very cleverly plotted with gripping suspense and narrative drive that pulls you into the story. Some movies of late have seemed endless; in this one I was completely unaware of time passing and was completely enthralled by this story of the deepest intrigue. It's full of conspiracies, and the whole thing is done in a very classy, sophisticated manner that will remind you of Hitchcock at his very best. It's engrossing and involving.
The acting is top-notch with Ewan McGregor very effective as the ghost writer who has been brought in to liven up the memoirs of a former prime minister (played extremely well by Pierce Brosnan). He is a Tony Blair figure who has been fingered for war crimes by one of his former cabinet ministers. He has ordered the arrest and rendering out of Britain of suspects so that they could be tortured for information.
The movie begins in gloomy, leaden weather on the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. A car is discovered without a driver. The man's body turns up later on the island, the victim of accident, suicide, or as we rightly assume, murder. Foul play indeed! He is the previous ghost writer who has now been replaced by McGregor. And of course he found out too much while doing his research. McGregor, of course, knows he could be a target as well.
Polanski has deliberately made very mundane matters seem full of import and menace. It's full of clues and mysterious doings in the austere modernistic house so alien to the Vineyard. The cinematography and atmospherics are terrific. A lot of sinister-seeming goings-on.
They don't make them this good anymore, and I think viewers will be pleasantly surprised. The intellectually curious and politically savvy will be impressed, I think. Pierce Brosnan by the force of his personality makes Tony Blair seem like a naïve schoolboy by comparison.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Suspense Film of 2010 January 10, 2011
Format:DVD
Watching this film for the second time I was struck by how great of a director Roman Polanski is. This is a director, who at the age of 76 can still direct a high-minded suspense thriller that doesn't rely on violence or even plot to drive the suspense; a a throwback to classic suspense films, driven by atmosphere and directorial skill.

Ewan McGregor plays the unnamed ghost writer hired to ghostwrite the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan) after Lang's previous ghostwriter dies under mysterious circumstances. Soon after the Ghost arrives at Lang's beach house, where he's staying with his wife Ruth (Olivia Williams) and assistant Amelia (Kim Cattrall), controversy erupts over Lang's alleged involvement in handing terrorist suspects over to the CIA to be tortured.

Many recognizable faces appear in The Ghost Writer including James Belushi, Timothy Hutton, and Tom Wilkinson, in a terrific bit role. 95-year-old Eli Wallach also participates in the film and his brief scene brought a smile to my face. The performances are solid all-around; Ewan McGregor carries the film as the mysterious protagonist, while Pierce Brosnan gives his best performance in years as Adam Lang. Even Kim Cattrall does a solid job that should silence the skepticism over her cast. Olivia Williams (probably best known for Rushmore) makes the biggest impression in a performance that will likely be tragically overlooked come Oscar season.

The Ghost Writer is a masterpiece of atmosphere and tone, being more in control of those elements than almost any recent film that I can think of.
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41 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Art and the Artist February 28, 2010
Format:DVD
This movie is bound to raise some ire and all for the wrong reasons. The controversy surrounding Polanski will dominate the argument. I feel that is incredibly unfair to every one else who has worked on this movie. So I am going to separate the art from the artist.

In what has to be one of the best casting decisions, Pierce Brosnan plays Adam Lang the former Prime Minister of UK. Embroiled in a controversy regarding the rendition program, he has sought refuge in America. Ewan McGregor (he is never given a name) is hired as a ghost writer after the original one dies in a mysterious accident.

Your average thriller would start out with the base setup and build on the tension leading upto the finale. But in Ghost Writer the tension is always palpable. Even in the most mundane of scenes you are never allowed to settle. The remarkable background score by Alexandre Desplat and the camera work of Pawel Edelman which paints predominantly in varying shades of bleakness play a huge part in achieving that.

Pierce Brosnan is brilliant as a conflicted man who had to make difficult decisions in demanding situations. The movie very wisely chooses not take a stance on where it stands on those decisions. Olivia Williams as Ruth Lang produces an impressive multi-faceted performance in a meaty role - the kind rare in Hollywood these days.

So if you are open to separating the art from the artist, definitely watch this movie.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun peeling away the mysterious layers August 8, 2010
Format:Blu-ray
A ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) is hired to replace a previous writer that was found waterlogged. His job is to go to a remote island and organize the memoirs of an ex-British Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan.) He suspects not all is well but it takes a few discoveries to determine that there is more to the memoirs than just names and dates. He may not be an invective reporter but he is too nosy to let it go. What he cannot let go of could very well mean his life. Then again, maybe it will all work out for the best. We get to discover the layers of mystery together with the ghostwriter. We also get to tell him to "stay in the car" but does he ever listen.

The movie is formula and politically charged. Yet we get to enjoy the suspense without a lot of blood and gore, no excess of explicative's or over cranked chase scenes. Roman Polanski seems to have mellowed out in his old age. Watching the movie, a second time will reveal the clues that were not blatant or masked.

I like the review of old actors in this presentation. I was surprised to see Eli Wallach. Aside from Kim Cattrall's accent, she was believable. Once Pierce Brosnan left those bond movies he also has become pretty good and fit the part in this film. I first became aware of Ewan McGregor from "Angels & Demons" then I remember seeing him around in a retroactive since; He can make expressions that speak better than words.

I only saw the Blue-Ray version so I cannot comment on other versions. I did find the documentary: The Ghost Writer: Fiction or Reality. Useful in sorting out the writer from the director, from the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Story
The story was good but we had a problem with the video itself. It got interrupted several times and we had to shut it down and start again. The movie itself, kept you guessing.
Published 10 days ago by Tina Bonitatis
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies I have seen in a long time
One of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Tense thriller with smart dialog and a rock-solid plot
Published 17 days ago by Garth Upshaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good and delivered on time and high quality
One of the biggest interest for me was to watch this movie. Very good and delivered on time and high quality. thanks
Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great art in this movie
The movie was interesting, but the thing I liked the most about the movie was the Art work. I paused the Movie and DVR several times to get a good look at the art in the house. Read more
Published 25 days ago by D. Tholen
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it!
Well made movie, well acted by Ewan McGregor alone. Suspenseful and story sounds so real. I liked it!
Published 29 days ago by Noah A. Lefevre
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Suspenseful.
Published 1 month ago by Ann Tamulinas
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent acting and plot
Excellent acting and plot, the director and producers did a fine job on the landscape, I felt I was there.
Published 1 month ago by Maria
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GHOST WRITER: ENIGMATIC, ENJOYABLE INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY
When Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), former British PM, decides to write his memoirs, a ghost writer is brought in to finish an almost completed advanced draft. Read more
Published 2 months ago by RSProds
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
What can I say that would make a difference?
Published 2 months ago by benji
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good movie.
Published 2 months ago by Deanna Larson
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Censored version
Yeah, I picked up the Canadian version. Sooo worth it!
Sep 27, 2012 by paper tiger |  See all 2 posts
Another Stinking *ss Flipper Disc, UGH!!!
I didn't order this for the same reason.
They can do what they want; companies should try to maximize profit. But they won't get my money for a flipper disc.
Jul 30, 2010 by Elo |  See all 11 posts
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