The Two Faces of January

A thriller centered on a con artist, his wife, and a stranger who try to flee a foreign country after one of them is caught up in the murder of a police officer.

This feels like an old-fashioned thriller, partly because it’s based on a novel from 1962, and partly because of how it looks and feels. That’s a good thing for me, and I really enjoyed this debut in the director’s chair from Hossein Amini, the writer of Drive. The film is set primarily in Athens, and we are introduced to a wealthy American couple (Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst), who are on holiday. They come into contact with a fellow American, Rydal (Oscar Isaac), who is currently working as a tour guide in the city, whilst scamming tourists to make some extra cash on the side. After they all go out for dinner, Rydal finds himself intrinsically linked to the couple after an incident occurs.

The performances from the three leads are excellent, with Viggo Mortensen standing out as a callous and jealous man who’ll do anything to look after himself. The escalating game of cat and mouse between the characters is thrilling to watch, as loyalties shift and the hole that’s been dug gets deeper and deeper. This is an excellent thriller that will keep you entertained throughout, with strong acting, a strong script, and a fine conclusion. Recommended

Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Hossein Amini

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac

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