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The Interpreter 2005 PG-13 CC

(271) IMDb 6.4/10
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Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn shine in Sydney Pollack's riveting thriller about a translator who overhears a potentially explosive secret about a planned assassination attempt.

Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn
2 hours, 9 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Thriller, Mystery
Director Sydney Pollack
Starring Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn
Supporting actors Catherine Keener, Jesper Christensen, Yvan Attal, Earl Cameron, George Harris, Michael Wright, Clyde Kusatsu, Eric Keenleyside, Hugo Speer, Maz Jobrani, Yusuf Gatewood, Curtiss Cook, Byron Utley, Robert Clohessy, Terry Serpico, David Fonteno, John Knox, David Zayas
Studio Universal Studios
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on April 23, 2005
Verified Purchase
"The Interpreter" is an excellent movie. Nicole Kidman plays Silvia Broome, an African-born U.N. interpreter who overhears a conversation about a plot to assassinate the dictator of Matobo. Federal agent Tobin Keller (Sean Penn) is then assigned to protect Silvia and crack the case.

This is a great suspense thriller with an interesting and witty plot. It's also a psychological drama of sorts: Tobin and Silvia are both coping with personal losses while trying to deal with the stressful situation at hand. Kidman and Penn are both amazing Oscar-winning actors, and they turn in amazing performances in this film.

My favorite thing about "The Interpreter" is that it is the only feature film that has ever been shot on location inside the United Nations. It was great to see the details of these famous and somewhat intimidating government buildings and watch this exciting story unfold. (There are also some really great scenes shot in the streets of New York as well.)

The only thing that bugged me about this movie was the ending. Silvia kind of flips out at the end of the film, and although she definitely has clear motivation for what she does, I had a hard time buying into the fact that she wigged out to such an extreme, and also that her little speech to the dictator appeared to have such a profound effect on him. The story wraps up pretty nicely at the end, though, so that one little inconsistency can easily be forgiven.

I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a good suspense thriller: good movies are hard to find these days, and "The Interpreter" is definitely one you don't want to miss.
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Format: DVD
"The Interpreter" has the distinction of being the first commercial movie to be filmed inside the United Nations building in New York City. The UN Charter prohibits commercial use of the building, but director Sydney Pollack was able to get permission to film from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the grounds that the film's themes support the UN mission. It helps that "The Interpreter" was able to film on location inside the UN, as that building's huge open spaces and natural light improve the film's aesthetics considerably and would have been impossible to recreate. The premise is that Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman), a simultaneous interpreter at the UN, overhears a conversation about an attempt on the life of Edmond Zuwanie (Earl Cameron), President of the fictional African nation of Matobo, who is scheduled to give a speech before the General Assembly. Secret Service Agent Tobin Keller (Sean Penn) of the Dignitary Protection Squad, and his partner Agent Woods (Catherine Keener), are assigned to protect Zuwanie and to investigate Silvia's claim. Even when it becomes clear that her life is threatened, Silvia's politics concerning Zuwanie and her involvement in the drama are still suspect.

Silvia Broome and Tobin Keller are not what I'd call well-written characters, but Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn give them more weight than lesser actors would. Silvia has a bizarre, unidentifiable accent. The character has one British and one white African parent. A South African accent would seem appropriate, but that's not what she has. The Matoban language "Ku", which Silvia translates, was created for the film at the South African Language Institute in London. It is a cross between Swahili, commonly spoken in East Africa, and Shona, a language of Southwestern Africa.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Heather A. Teysko VINE VOICE on December 31, 2006
Format: DVD
I'm surprised there are so many so-so reviews of this movie - I thought it was really good. The plot was pretty hard to follow at times, but Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn were great, and there were times when the suspense was almost too much to take. The twist at the end was totally unexpected - all along I thought I knew what was going on, and who the bad guy was, but that was completely shattered in the last scenes. The only reason I'm not giving it five stars is that it was a little long and convoluted - I kept thinking the movie was about to be over with, and then a whole new plotline would come up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Noever on April 23, 2006
Format: DVD
It's always a nice surprise when movies turn out better-than-expected. The Interpreter, thanks to Nicole Kidman, was not just thoughtful, but involving. As with anything having Sean Penn in it, it was somewhat top-heavy in the 'message' department, but Kidman's elfin grace saved the day. Her portrait of a 'white' woman-and fair-haired as well; which kind of drives home the point-whose 'home' is a country where white skin is a cause of social displacement, discrimination and alienation, was understated and therefore effective. By comparion, Penn was ponderous and colorless; which is possibly as it should have been. His character, despite a contrived background that served mainly as a tool for some contemplative philosophy of life and death, remained essentially shallow and undemanding.

The pacing of the story was uneven, but in this instance that was an asset. There was too much heavy stuff in here, which required some down-time on the part of the audience. All in all, the dosage was well measured and applied judiciously.

For those who wonder, after they saw the movie, just what exactly was the 'point', or what it was all 'about'-apart from it being a political polemic, which, of course and sadly, it was to a large extend...

Well, it's all in the ending-which in this movie does wrap things up, showing up the dismal and near-uncrossable gulf that will always exist between people who have something to live for and those who basically don't.

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