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The Tourist movie poster

The Tourist: Movie Review

Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff, Rufus Sewell
Released by: Sony Pictures

In Short: Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie make this Hitchcock-influenced romantic thriller a delightful caper that will keep you guessing until the final moments, just like the master used to do.

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Johnny Depp Delivers Once Again

When Johnny Depp decided to take on the romantic thriller “The Tourist,” he had to have been thinking about Cary Grant, and all the great roles Grant played in Alfred Hitchcock films. “North by Northwest” comes to mind immediately, for in this Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck-directed thriller set in the romantic cities of Paris and Venice, Depp plays a man who is mistaken for a most-wanted thief, and the chase is on.

He plays Frank Tupelo, a slightly naïve math teacher from Wisconsin, and a tourist who is traveling across Europe alone. When he meets Elise Ward (played beautifully by Angelina Jolie, who is channeling Hitchcock’s favorite female lead, Tippi Hedren, both in clothing style and persona), he’s swept up into a situation that quickly gets out of hand. For she’s the girlfriend of that on-the-run thief, and his victim, the coldblooded businessman whose millions were taken, is out to get him, through tracking her.

It’s a classic cat-and-mouse game, with Interpol and Scotland Yard detectives (led by Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton) hot on the trail of that elusive thief as well, all played across the stunning landscapes of France and Italy. The views of Venice alone are worth the price of admission, as von Donnersmarck practically makes that incredible city another character in the film.

Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in The Tourist Paul Bettany and Johnny Depp in The Tourist

But the real draw of “The Tourist” goes far beyond just a breathtaking travelogue, as Depp and Jolie make an eminently enjoyable onscreen pair, sparking and sparring as they race across the landscape, avoiding the bad guys while falling in love. The clever twists and turns of the plot keep the audience engaged throughout, and of course – how can you help it? – constantly cheering on Depp’s Everyman as he channels his inner Cary Grant and gains a level of suave sophistication as the tale unfolds.

Will he get the gorgeous girl? Will he survive the assaults of the bad guys, who are ruthlessly tracking him? It’s the movies, what do you think? But even knowing the answer, the ride to get there is tons of fun, and a great way to spend a holiday evening at the movies.


Reviewed by Jenny Peters


(Updated: 12/13/10 CT)

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