A Most Wanted Man

This adaptation of a John le Carré novel works smashingly as a suspense film, a mood piece, and a vehicle for the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, playing a world-weary German spy who gets more than he bargained for when he investigates a suspicious Chechen immigrant. Director Anton Corbijn (Control, The American) seems to have modeled the film’s somber look and muted drama on such paranoid 70s thrillers as The Conversation and All the President’s Men; the most suspenseful passages tend to be the quieter, more cerebral ones. Corbijn employs wide-screen framing to striking dramatic effect, using it to emphasize the characters’ confinement in tight spaces and their vulnerability in open ones. This is all very entertaining, though as an assessment of post-9/11 surveillance culture the movie isn’t sophisticated so much as cynical. With Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, and Homayoun Ershadi.