Polanski's Ghost Writer Criminally Good
Director has lost his freedom, but not his touch
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2010 9:59 AM CST

(Newser) – Roman Polanski’s new movie, an atmospheric political thriller, is a winner, critics agree—assuming you can forget the off-screen drama surrounding the director. Here’s what they’re saying:

  • It’s “a dark pearl of a movie…made by a filmmaker suddenly returned to the height of his power,” writes Ken Turan of the LA Times. Polanski works his trademark themes into an “impeccable adult entertainment” not unlike Chinatown or Rosemary’s Baby.

  • “Polanski’s skill with actors hasn’t waned,” marvels Peter Travers of Rolling Stone. “Ewan McGregor grabs and runs with his juiciest role in years,” and “even the smallest roles are expertly played.”
  • The Ghost Writer is a reminder that, regardless of his real-life problems, Roman Polanski can still craft compelling thrillers,” writes James Berardinelli of ReelViews. It’s especially impressive given that Polanski couldn’t shoot in the US, and finished the film under house arrest.
  • But Kyle Smith of the New York Post couldn’t get over it. For god’s sake, he says, the movie’s all about the systematic disrespect of women and its villain is a guy hiding from extradition—making Polanski “the mayor of Chutzpahtown.”