The Mauritanian

audience Reviews

, 86% Audience Score
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Elevated by a phenomenal performance from Tahir Rahim, this is a must-watch! The Mauritanian is an emotionally engaging watch, pulling you into the harrowing tale of its real-life protagonist, a man who was forced to spent years in Guantanamo for a crime he didn't commit. Director Kevin MacDonald peels away layer after layer of the conspiracy hatched to entrap him and one can't help but shiver from the weight of the series of systemic wrongs brought down on one man. As the main defence lawyer, Jodie Foster delivers a performance well worth her Golden Globe win for Best Supporting Actress while Shailene Woodley is underutilized. Cumberbatch shines in a limited role, playing the emotional struggle of a righteous man pressured to prosecute an innocent victim with gusto. It is, however, the titular character played by Tahir Rahim that truly elevates the film to greatness, brilliantly portraying the trials and tribulations of a man held behind bars for 14 years, without a single crime charged to his name! Appalled that this didn't get a nod for a Best Picture nomination at this years Oscars. Highly recommended.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Solid fucking movie.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    The Mauritanian is a riveting, yet enraging legal true-story. Taking the rarely seen stance of defending the 9/11 accused. Rahim impresses, while Foster is a powerhouse. An eye opening account of Guantanamo.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    Good acting and music. Unfortunately another great story being used as a vehicle for Hollywood and ACLU hypocrites to pretend they care about truth, justice and the rule of law.
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    By the book legal drama on "GITMO BAD!".
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Initially, 'light-hearted' anecdotes about Mohamedou Ould Slahi's 14 years detention without charge at Guantanamo Bay which circulated during the publicity for this film had me worried that the adaptation of his memoirs may lean into these 'happier' moments, thus toning down what should've been an intensely dark tragedy inflicted on someone who has not been accused, let alone convicted, of any crime. Colour me pleasantly surprised then when I was greeted with a solidly constructed and engagingly made drama, with little light comedic relief, where Slahi's story is played out within the framework of an, albeit John Grisham-lite, legal drama fought between Jodie Foster's human rights lawyer Nancy Hollander and Benedict Cumberbatch's morally upright Christian military man, Stuart Couch. Considering its director Kevin Macdonald's documentary background, this is a film that prides itself in getting its details right and opinions balanced, and he delivers a compelling and incredible story of one human being who finds himself caught up in an excruciatingly terrifying and untenable situation that he cannot extract himself out of. Yet, the film never feels heavy or heavy-handed and is watchable even at 2hrs+. If the depiction of Slahi's 70 days of torture is arguably too artistically palatable and comes across a bit avant-garde video installation and Cumberbatch's American accent takes time to get used to (and I did); there are two remarkable performances from Foster and Tahar Rahim's Slahi who are rightfully singled out, especially Rahim who's done a 180 after his menacing portrayal in The Serpent. So, despite any artistic license that might've been liberally applied here, ignore the few naysayers out there, for this is a well crafted and balanced film that celebrates human resilience and grace in the face of inhumane injustice that should've never happened and hopefully never will again.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    Nothing is more tantalizingly than a true story. Nothing is more disappointing than a poorly orchestrated rendition of it. I assume a Directors fantasy would be to make a movie so great the moviegoer was compelled to know who created this masterpiece. In this case, I was compelled to know who created a film based off footage they watched on Locked Up Abroad. The protagonist is poorly acted and unlikable. In fact, the Director failed to get good performances out of all the actors. Foster is one of the best actors of all time and this Director did a poor job capturing the actors delivery. Extreme long shots and dramatic cinematography in every scene like this is the Godfather? Well, it's not. It's a boring movie with zero climax. The story just goes down a uninteresting and not surprising route. The only shining role in this film is Woodley.
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Political thrillers and Kevin MacDonald - it just fits! Some fourteen years after The Last King of Scotland, the British director is now attracting attention with the top-cast The Mauritanian. The film tells the tale of woe of Mauritanian Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who was held without charge for years in the controversial Guantanamo detention centre and was traded as a 9/11 recruiter. As mentioned above, the film boasts a cast full of big names. Jodie Foster plays Mohamedou's lawyer Nancy Hollander, who takes on the case without being aware or certain of his guilt or innocence. At first Foster seems a little absent and apathetic in the role. She flashes her skills in the last third of the film, when she goes from being the dry-as-dust pragmatist to the emotional support of her client. Above all, her scenes with Tahar Rahim, who embodies the protagonist Mohamadou, bristle with great chemistry and emotional connection. Rahim is the revelation of the film. His acting is mysterious at first, leaving someone who doesn't know the real story in the dark. From the second act onwards, his performance is filled with emotion, heartbreak and cynicism. Rahim throws himself into scenes that are insanely hard to watch and it seems unimaginable that even an actor would take on such. From this point on, at the latest, all sympathies are on the protagonist's side and Rahim transports this brilliantly into a passionate speech in the film's finale. Despite all the seriousness and brutality, his dialogues with actual enemies in particular are sometimes enormously witty and sarcastic, which rounds off his multifaceted performance brilliantly. While Foster and Rahim shine, Benedict Cumberbatch as the initial antagonist Stuart Couch and Shailene Woodley as paralegal Teri Duncan look a little down the tube. Woodley's character is hugely underused, underdeveloped and represents every cliché. Cumberbatch does his best, but his character is somewhat mis-written. Also, Cumberbatch fake dialect is as authentic as an Adam Sandler movie. MacDonald doesn't necessarily manage to tell an original story here. We've seen all of this a zillion times before, which is very noticeable in the first half of the film. The approach seems very generic and drags on immensely. Often you don't even know exactly what's going on now and due to the opaque editing it's sometimes even difficult to make out the time in which a scene takes place. As soon as Rahim and Foster raise their game, the quality of the film improves considerably. The last act is suspenseful and then even presses the tear-jerker. Here it also becomes clear what message MacDonald wants to send: the effects of injustice on a victim who always keeps his head up despite all the taunts. Rahim's charismatic performance is the absolute highlight of the film and ultimately makes The Mauritanian a worthy narrative of a thoroughly important event. Important: stay for the final credits, because these are enormously satisfying.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Amazing story; beautifully told with outstanding performances. Achingly sad but in the end inspiring and uplifting.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    One dimensional lawyers overcome an obstacle without any significant effort. Film ends. That it lacks the impact Slahi's story deserves is a travesty. And for entertainment value, despite strong performances, it adds nothing to the genre the likes of Rendition, Zero Dark Thirty, et al., haven't already provided. Meh.