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'A Most Wanted Man' features a fully rounded performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman

Hoffman stars as a German spymaster in one of his final films.

Roadside Attractions
Philip Seymour Hoffman in A MOST WANTED MAN.

It’s impossible to watch “A Most Wanted Man,” Anton Corbijn’s methodical version of the 2008 John le Carré bestseller, without realizing that, except for an appearance in the upcoming “Hunger Games” sequel, this is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final film. He plays the German spymaster Günther Bachmann, a heavy-drinking chain smoker whose painstaking attempts to root out an illicit Muslim terrorist ring are stymied by other agencies slavering to swoop in and score.

Hoffman, bloated and flushed, does not look well in this film. But he is such a consummate actor that whatever infirmities he may have been fighting become a part of his performance. His portrayal, complete with a convincing German accent, is a fully rounded portrait of courage and dissolution. Grade: B (Rated R for language.)

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