The Two Faces of January Review [WATCH VIDEO]

By Hannah Aven Guarin | 2 years ago
The Two Faces of January Review [WATCH VIDEO]

The mystery/suspense/drama film, “The Two Faces of January,” is written and directed by Hossein Amini. It is a film adaptation based on the 1964 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. The ensemble cast include: Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac. It opens in theaters on Sept. 26, 2014. Read on to learn more about the film’s synopsis, including reviews from top critics.

“The Two Faces of January” Synopsis:


The film opens in Parthenon, with Chester McFarland (Mortensen) and his young wife Collette (Dunst) touring around. They then met Rydal (Isaac), who claimed to be a Yale graduate and was working as a tourist guide until he finds out what he really wants to do. Chester, an investment broker, then hired Rydal to tour them around.

While having dinner one night, Rydal was obviously smitten by Collette’s charm. Aside from jealousy, Chester has another problem to deal with. A man was sent by the mob managed to track down Chester in the luxury hotel they were staying in. The two awkwardly talked in the bathroom. Before we know it, the man was dead, and Rydal found himself in an unlikely situation as he helped Chester cleaned up his mess.

The McFarlands left the hotel without their passports with them. Sensing that he can make good money from the couple, Rydal accompanied them in the depths of Crete where a lot of things unfolded.

“The Two Faces of January” Review:

As of this writing, the film has scored 67 percent on Metacritic and 86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with 91 percent of the moviegoers would like to see it.

Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter (THR) commended Amini for his execution of Highsmith’s novel.

“On his first trip behind the camera, the British-Iranian Amini shows his skill at working with actors and sensing the way they can fill out literary characters. His screenplay generally feels more naturalistic than Highsmith, the dialogue less spare,” wrote Young in her review in THR.

Meanwhile, Dave Calhoun of Time Out London praised the ensemble cast, Dunst, Mortensen and Isaac, for the wonderful execution of the characters they were portraying. He also gave it a four out of five stars.

“Dunst handles her sidekick role with a mature ease that’s new to her, but it’s the men you remember: Mortensen in psychological freefall and Isaac always tough to read and hiding something behind a handsome, controlled exterior. It’s a gentle and smart blast from the past,” wrote Calhoun in his review.


There you have for the synopsis and review of “The Two Faces of January.” It opens in theaters on Sept. 26, 2014. Follow Movie News Guide (MNG) for more updates on upcoming films.

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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Georges Biard