The Two Faces of January
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Screenwriter Hossein Amini (The Wings of the Dove, Drive) makes a stylish directing debut with this sleek thriller set in Greece and Istanbul, 1962, and adapted from Patricia Highsmith's novel. Intrigue begins at the Parthenon when wealthy American tourists Chester MacFarland (Viggo Mortensen) and his young wife Collete (Kirsten Dunst) meet American expat Rydal (Oscar Isaac), a scammer working as a tour guide. Instead of becoming his latest marks, the two befriend him, but a murder at the couple's hotel puts all three on the run together and creates a precarious bond between them as… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"At a certain point, it's akin to reading a mediocre murder mystery. You finish it because you're too far in to quit, as opposed to actually caring how things wrap up."
‑ Randy Cordova, Arizona Republic
"The movie never reaches a boil. Instead, it simmers and simmers until you're suddenly shocked at the hot water you're in."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"As complicity, solicitude and self-interest blur and shimmer in the sun, the Highsmith-ian triangle of danger, deceit and desire tightens into a noose. A crisp, elegant throwback to a classic era of character-driven thrillers."
‑ Brian Gibson, Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
"The Two Faces of January is a stylish and riveting thriller full of suspense where the boundaries of the deranged fragments of the mind are pushed beyond their breaking point."
‑ Chris Sawin,
"Momentary times of intrigue never add up to genuine engagement therefore boredom prevails."
‑ Joseph J. Airdo, San Francisco Examiner
"What the movie lacks in suspense, it could make up for with erotic tension. That's missing, too."
‑ Wesley Morris, Grantland
"Things get awfully twisted under that hot Mediterranean sun."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"The film is worth watching just to see Isaac's performance grow through the final third: as misery, grief, and hate fuse together in a tumultuous, hopeless climax."
‑ Nick Deigman, Fan The Fire
"Amini is perhaps too intent on producing a film whose elegance outweighs its horrors, and as a result The Two Faces of January never fully delves into the hearts of darkness clearly beating beneath its mannered surface."
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"It's pretty to look at, at any rate."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Everything about The Two Faces of January is right, even as the events it describes - a couple's idyllic Grecian holiday, a charming American's adventures abroad - go terribly wrong."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"A stylish directorial debut for screenwriter Hossein Amini."
‑ Kristin Tillotson, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Any subtext is derived from the shades of Isaac and Mortensen's performances, playing men forced into an uneasy alliance."
‑ John Serba,
"The sleek old-fashioned suspense story kept my interest throughout."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Amini's attention to detail is first-rate, giving his film a nostalgic retro feel that convincingly portrays Greece, circa 1962."
‑ Al Alexander, The Patriot Ledger
More reviews for The Two Faces of January on Rotten Tomatoes