Sleuth (1972)

Presented as an exaggerated mind-game, this mystery drama pits two men, one a thriller writer who revels in his own cleverness, the other, the man engaged in an affair with his wife, whom it is claimed has been murdered. The resulting duel… More

Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1972
DVD Release Date: January 27, 1998
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Critic Score: 96% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jay Cocks
TIME Magazine

This is a fastidious, acrobatically cunning and invigoratingly well-acted thriller.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

What really makes the movie come alive--what makes it work better than the play, really--are the lead performances by Lord Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, and Alec Cawthorne.

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TV Guide

This stylish, intelligent mystery is full of delightfully unexpected twists, and boasts extraordinary performances from Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier.

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Variety Staff

Provides Laurence Olivier and especially Michael Caine with two of their best roles.

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James Berardinelli

With the exception of a brief showing by British thespian Alec Cawthorne, the only actors on screen are Olivier and Caine. Both are so good that there's not a moment when we wish for someone else to interrupt their duel.

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Emanuel Levy

Despite flaws (it's overlong and too theatrical, betraying its stage origins), this stylishly made cat-and-mouse thriller with strong social class overtones boasts great performances from Olivier and Michael Caine.

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Derek Adams
Time Out

Thoroughly entertaining.

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A hugely enjoyable thriller, adapted by Anthony Shaffer from his own phenomenally successful stage play, about two men involved in an intellectual but deadly game of cat and mouse.

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Dan Lybarger
Nitrate Online

A stagebound but effective two-character thriller. It might work better on stage, but you're not like to find better leads.

More reviews for Sleuth

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
Aj V
A great movie adapted from a great play, Caine and Olivier are excellent together, and it's just perfect. I highly recommend this movie.
Cindy I
A hoot of a film with a completely oddball ending. Rich eccentric Lawrence Olivier invites Michael Caine over for visit to discuss Larry's wife, who Caine… More
Corey Wood
After a friend told me to see "Sleuth" [1972]. i had to see it! Its a good thing i did because this may be one of the greatest films i've ever… More
Ken Stachnik
This movie is incredible. 2 Guys, 1 House and a hell of a wild ride. The acting here is beyond top notch.
Drew Smith
Sleuth is brilliantly written, brilliantly acted and brilliantly crafted. It is a stage adaptation of the highest form. The material gets a little samey, which… More
Pierluigi Puccini
Joseph L. Mankiewicz's swan song united two gigantic legends in a deadly battle of wit, persuasion and humiliation. a masterful thriller with richness in… More