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The Conversation
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The Conversation

1974
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
1h 53m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 72.56% from 4419 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(4419)
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Rated 20 Jul 2018
90
97th
Hot off the heels of what is generally considered to be one of the best movies of all time, Coppola delivers, in my opinion, a far better movie. "The Conversation" is gripping, it's thrilling, it's mysterious, and Hackman sells the role as one hell of a character in Caul. There's a degree of subtlety in his paranoia and overcautious privacy that ultimately destroys him, ending in one of the most harrowing, poignant scenes ever committed to film.
Rated 27 Apr 2008
93
96th
Insidious mystery/thriller with creeping intrigue and a wonderfully barren, scorched conclusion. Coppola's subtle touches morph the seemingly mundane conversation, it's repetition getting under your skin, as it does Caul. The intense and haunted character is perfectly realised by Hackman, playing against type, his introverted and controlled existence pulled apart and laid bare by the finale.
Rated 24 Mar 2012
90
95th
A good thriller 'with a twist', but an even better examination of obsession and of the voyeur-esque hypocrisy of an observer that can't handle being observed. A quite desolate and lonely film.
Rated 10 Dec 2020
100
97th
One of my favorite film scenarios is witnessing a character with a finely cultivated philosophy adapting to change based on external stressors or conflict. Coppola does an amazing character study on a paranoid loner confronted by his own conscience. His technical aesthetics build on that premise--including a screenplay that continually elevates tension and sound/film editing that question your basic understanding of the story. I love this film more than Apocalypse Now & The Godfathers.
Rated 17 Jan 2014
90
93rd
It's like listening to a Tom Waits discography. It starts off with some beautiful piano that has some odd sadness or darkness underneath. Then it morphs into a rough dark train ride descending quickly into madness. Tom Waits rules.
Rated 01 Mar 2018
85
94th
Makes De Palma's Blow Out look like...well...I mean...still a good movie. Not taking away from this film but Blow Out is pretty great. Damn it. This wasn't the comparison either film needed. John Travolta is no Gene Hackman but Teri Garr is no Nancy Allen. I mean, dead or alive she's coming with me. But Teri Garr was in Mr. Mom. And Tootsie. And Close Encounters. Damn it. Nancy Allen is no Teri Garr.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
85
73rd
A fascinating character study. Hackman's character fancies himself an unbiased observer, but he's anything but, and that becomes his downfall.
Rated 07 Apr 2010
74
90th
Disorientating, stimulating, suffocating. TC encapsulates '70s paranoia with quiet crescendo. One of my favourite bits of symbolism: the literal structural detritus -- skeletal buildings and heavy machinery -- harks back to Reed's "Third Man." Steals your senses; the world doesn't seem quite the same.
Rated 06 Oct 2009
90
96th
Theres a solid thriller in there - but that isn't what interests us really. What's fascinating is Harry Caul and his loneliness - the film captures the emotion like no other I have seen. For me The Conversation - and not the Godfather II - is Coppola's masterpiece. Terrific score.
Rated 20 Feb 2010
87
94th
Slowly builds up to a fantastic finale. Doesn't overuse the paranoia angle, has some nice surprises along the way, and the pacing is perfect for the type of story being told. Hackman completely nailed the role.
Rated 09 Feb 2007
4
70th
This movie had the misfortune of only being FFC's fourth-best movie of the 70s, and as a result, might be the most underrated movie of the entire decade. It's the most workmanlike of the four, without the directorial bravado that marks Apocalypse Now and The Godfather, but it's perfectly suited to the material. Gene Hackman is outstanding and the entire movie has this sense of tension and mystery to it.
Rated 22 May 2007
92
94th
In between The Godfather parts I and II, Coppola crafted what could be the greatest American film dealing with paranoia and one of the better films of the 70s. Gripping the entire way through.
Rated 22 Jan 2013
85
91st
A professional wiretapper in San Francisco records a potentially dangerous conversation, and is drawn into a world of paranoia and danger when he refuses to walk away from his responsibility for the resulting consequences. It's Mini-Wheats: The Movie....the adult in me appreciated the fine acting, tense plotting and excellent cinematography, but the kid in me couldn't stop laughing at the early 70's "high tech" surveillance gear. A microphone in a pen? AMAZING!
Rated 01 Nov 2016
90
95th
[MMWTM3K#02] I expected way more classical Hitchcock-style thriller at first, but after the end I've realized that this simple (yet elusive) crime mystery is just a pretext to show Harry's paranoiac guilt trip. I'm a bit bothered by the incostencies of his character - he's all scary pants in bed with his girlfriend, but he has no problem making a party in his room full of secret tapes? He's no. 1 expert in his field but get's easily played with pen trick? Still a great experience though.
Rated 30 Sep 2011
85
92nd
Coppola creates an unusual version of "1984" but focuses more on the individual that would typically be the antagonist in lesser films. This character operates in the shadows who as a consequence suffers from the neurosis of living on the isolated fringe. Hackman is in his best role as this paranoid lonely character. The film crosses boundaries through ambiguity, reality, and dream paranoia. It's seemingly played straight but there's a psychological tone to this film that's difficult to define.
Rated 29 May 2015
96
96th
A rare Essential Film, aligning very prescient '70's social paranoia with very universal internal anxiety, which when combined, unravels into a kind of psychological apocalypse - a collapse. In an odd way, this may be much more important than Coppola's other esteemed contributions to cinema.
Rated 25 Jan 2024
88
87th
It was only missing one bit at the very end - he should have shaved off the mustache just to reallllly be sure
Rated 08 Feb 2007
80
68th
from the director of jack and the star of heartbreakers
Rated 12 Jan 2012
85
90th
Expertly crafted mystery/thriller with a simplicity in terms of plot and production that belies the subtle brilliance that elevates this film to another level. It's atmospheric, stimulating, unnerving; it's a testament to Coppola's directing chops and Hackman's impressive performance as an introverted, obsessive and paranoid man. It's refreshing to watch a quality classic film every once in awhile.
Rated 16 Feb 2007
75
84th
Interesting, tense and gripping, with an awesome performance from Hackman. Certain aspects of the ending disappointed me, although I certainly see what Coppola was going for. The film raises several intriguing philosophical issues, but remains a bit cold and cerebral.
Rated 14 Aug 2013
90
92nd
Ending scene is me looking for the television remote.
Rated 08 Jul 2017
90
95th
Thrilling is the word to define this movie. From beginning to finish the story, musics, Hackman's character thrilled me. Every movement, every scene enlarged his character. Obviously, what made this movie great was Hackman's character development. Obsessed, clever but most importantly lonely man changed throughout the movie.
Rated 19 Mar 2019
78
85th
Coppola's direction is perfect here. The story is told through camera, subtle acting, and sound, with basically no exposition. I think the pacing could have been a little tighter, but the slow burn does really pay off down the home stretch. Definitely deserves a second viewing.
Rated 01 Feb 2008
92
95th
Not as fantastic as Coppola's Godfather 1 & 2 or Apocalypse Now but still amazing. I almost think the only reason it's not as good is not due to film quality but rather this film is simply much smaller in scale and specticle than the others. Gene Hackman is great and Harrison Ford turns in a perfectly unsettling performance. Great film for any spy movie fan and essential viewing for Coppola fan.
Rated 19 May 2008
65
35th
I think, It is a valley between Godfather Mountains. The man's dilemma between religion and his professional life is performed by Gene Hackman successfully but slow progress make the film so boring.
Rated 15 Jul 2014
70
56th
harry witnesses a societal unconcious about massacres and genocides in a paranoid cold-war society. he also desperately needs a motherlike woman figure, maybe that's why he tries to help the girl in conversation. a very subtle movie about witnessing something terrible but not being able to tell it to others; maybe it is the modern man's destiny?
Rated 02 Jun 2011
92
92nd
A masterpiece of cinematography and editing (sound and picture). Also, this and Hackman's performance in French Connection allow him to forever leave an impact on film acting. This is a character whose unraveling alienation and paranoia deserves to be studied. The core theme of the movie is a rare one - there is no such thing as human objectivity.
Rated 06 Oct 2008
95
96th
Excellent parable about the state of the world, with Hackman's character mirroring the distrust and paranoia that has seeped into contemporary society. Love the mostly minimalist photography, the bland backgrounds, and the use of that conversation--popping up at just the right moments. Fantastic.
Rated 24 Oct 2008
84
80th
Very good film. Great characters, great atmosphere. All of the characters are kind of unsettling in their own unique way.
Rated 06 Jun 2017
85
97th
(Viewed on 9/02/13): T.C is Coppola best script and the closest he came to really living the great auteurist's dream. Hackman gives an excellent performance as Harry Caul, a surveillance expert who becomes unwittingly ensnared in a sinister conspiracy. As an examination of the perils of technological encroachment, it remains alarmingly relevant, but more fundamentally it's about the dangers of misinterpretation created by the possibilities inherent in sophisticated cultural mnemonics.
Rated 22 Mar 2009
90
97th
You can't tell this story better than Coppola. That's what you think after watching this movie.
Rated 17 Jul 2009
85
80th
A film that has many layers to its characters, with a classic performance from Gene Hackman. The recording of the conversation gets creepier every minute.
Rated 12 Jun 2011
9
95th
A dark, moody, & very intricate character study. The dimly lit sets tell a story about the protagonist in themselves, they slightly shed secrets of his inner psyche, but the answers never quite come forth, veiled behind a distant past. The closing scene is representative of his life torn apart, his soul exposed... alone and still short of any truth. The observer, turned into the observed, a full cycle of paranoia.
Rated 13 May 2013
20
8th
This is a miserable movie, dull and mostly just boring. There was some interesting technology, but not much story and little action. Much of the story is about a recorded conversation, that gets replayed ad nauseam. Then when something does happen, our hero hides and buries his head. That's when I stopped caring about this character and spent the rest of the movie deciding if I should just turn it off. Sadly I did watch through to the pointless, forgettable, lack luster, lousy ending.
Rated 31 Mar 2012
93
96th
They don't make thrillers like this anymore. Nowadays this type of movie would be entirely plot-driven rather than character-driven, and would include at least one or two explosions. Hackman's performance is nuanced and perfect. Coppola's direction is great, using many surveillance-type shots to give us that sense of voyeurism. Another thing that really stood out to me was the perfect music; much like Coppola's other masterpieces, the music here is spot on and memorable. Great movie.
Rated 11 Sep 2010
93
83rd
Remind me never to go to a wire tappers party.
Rated 27 Nov 2010
93
96th
Released creepily close to a significant event pertaining surveillance, engrossing is such an understatement for a film, whether it's drawing you into the mystery or the mind. Loads better than those other films Coppola made that sandwich this undervalued masterpiece.
Rated 23 Jan 2015
90
80th
Coppola was insane in the 70s. This is a phenomenal psychological thriller that just happens not to be The Godfather or Apocalypse Now.
Rated 14 Jan 2015
83
65th
Watch if you want to understand the value of repetition done right in film.
Rated 13 Jun 2007
90
95th
Mesmerizing story about paranoia.
Rated 31 Mar 2020
60
35th
A good character study in a thriller that takes its time in building up to the climax. It feels a little dated by the equipment (although I swear I own the same voltmeter Harry does), but the performances are top-notch.
Rated 25 Sep 2016
9
91st
The Conversation is another masterful piece of filmmaking from Francis Ford Coppola. In comparison to the grandiose scale of The Godfather, this is a much smaller and subtle film but FFC showcases an equal measure of filmmaking craftsmanship. It is paced, shot, written and scored to perfection and the sense of paranoia and loneliness mounts towards a spectacular finale. Gene Hackman is perfectly cast and he gives a career best performance and John Cazale & Harrison Ford are worthy mentions too.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
99th
My favourite Coppola's films. Hackman gives a brilliant performance, and the film remains pretty relevant today.
Rated 10 Mar 2015
52
70th
Many aspects of this unique character study of a disturbed man were subtle and interesting, but I by far prefer "Taxi Driver." To an extent that is because of the latter's formal boldness, but it also may come down simply to more of a personal interest generally in the sociological rather than the psychological (to put it crudely).
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
95th
Last great Coppola movie.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
93
99th
On fear, loneliness and recording technology, or in other words, the question concerning Gestell. Coppola's masterpiece.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
100
98th
Perfect.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
7
84th
A fascinating little drama / thriller / character study that eventually evolves into a portrait of unbridled paranoia. Also, this is one of those rare political cautionary films that might hold more relevance today than ever. Also, Harrison Ford cameo!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
72
41st
I'll be honest: the "cheat" at the film's climax really ruins it for me. I know I shouldn't let a minor detail like that bother me, especially when the movie has so much else going for it, but I can't help it.
Rated 12 Sep 2007
85
91st
coppola had a great run from 72 to 74
Rated 27 May 2016
82
92nd
Best sounding movie I've come across - the music choice is impeccable and sound editing is just great. Camera work is spot on across the entire length and the directing feels so meticulous.
Rated 12 Feb 2013
85
88th
Stark and stylish slow-burn thriller, probably Coppola's best work I've seen yet.
Rated 06 Jan 2008
5
93rd
A more subtle effort than Coppola's other work around the same time. There's nothing too flashy going on here, but Gene Hackman's performance is more than enough to keep the momentum going. Harry Caul is one of the most memorable characters of the 70's, comparable to Travis Bickle or Michael Corleone. Harrison Ford and John Cazale are both great, too. The sound design is superb, which is fitting for the subject matter. The film just seeps paranoia.
Rated 30 Jul 2012
5
98th
Wonderful, weighty film, my favourite Hackman performance and a very memorable score.
Rated 18 Nov 2016
78
50th
I've overheard better conversations. I do think that the acting and sound editing were really good in this movie. It came out the same year as the Godfather - Part II, so it didn't have much of a chance of winning best picture. I did like how paranoid Gene Hackman was in the film. Harrison Ford was an interesting mean guy, not exactly sure if I can call him bad...
Rated 16 Jan 2012
60
43rd
I expected this to be a fairly straight-up thriller, but it was actually more of a character study. As expected, Francis Ford Coppola's direction was great. I must admit, I was slightly bored at times, but maybe I just wasn't in the right mood. It is a good film though. It reminded me a bit of Brian De Palma's Blow Out (1981).
Rated 11 Aug 2014
100
99th
There's a little Harry Caul in all of us.
Rated 02 Jul 2017
80
85th
Gene Hackman is impressive as paranoid surveillance expert Harry Caul. Don't know why it took me so long to get to this one...
Rated 27 Aug 2008
100
90th
Subtle and suspenseful. Hackman and Ford are excellent. Great story. The musical score is incredible.
Rated 23 Sep 2008
90
90th
Maybe Coppola's second masterpiece behind "Apocalypse Now." This is an absorbing and very prescient look at the need for security in all its various facets. The protagonist, played beautifully by Hackman, is one of the most complex characters I've seen. In the end, he's not merely doing his job; he's proving himself. Great flick and a bewildering finale to boot! Long live the 70's!
Rated 16 Mar 2016
91
46th
Incredible, incredible music, worthy of repetition.
Rated 17 Jan 2009
80
89th
Between the Godfathers, a lonely introverted self-destructing story.
Rated 29 Jan 2011
70
56th
I didn't like it as much as many, but that happens. Hackman gives a great performance and I really enjoyed the story. Coppola shows you why he was so good at his craft (not that we really needed any reminding). I, for whatever reason, just didn't get into it as much as I wanted to. Perhaps if I re-watch it after awhile I will be able to reevaluate and bump up it's score. As it stands it's a very well made movie that I would recommend to most.
Rated 22 Feb 2009
30
24th
A little too slow-moving for the 21st century. Modern technology has made some of the key elements of this movie kind of pointless. I really wanted to like this before I saw it recently, but there was just too little there to enjoy.
Rated 24 Jan 2020
93
98th
Coppola's characterization and Hackman's performance perfectly portray the secretive paranoia of Henry Caul. San Francisco is so beautiful here. The architecture is gorgeous even though most buildings are only shown from street level. The interior design is as well, mainly the director's building and even the subway. We've stylistically regressed since then
Rated 09 Apr 2009
100
99th
Coppola gets inspirated by Hitchcock, and this mind-blowing end thriller is a pure masterpiece.
Rated 16 Mar 2017
91
80th
No car chases.... Yes!
Rated 20 Oct 2014
57
52nd
Harry, before you wreck your apartment...it's in your *SPOILER*
Rated 06 Sep 2009
80
73rd
The Conversation is a very good thriller and a very good character study, but for me, it ultimately falls short of achieving greatness. Coppola has acknowledged the influence Blowup had on this film, but the most directly correlated scene (Thomas/Caul's analyses of the photos/tapes) doesn't live up to the original. And the fact that the most important line of the movie is literally changed just feels cheap - Antonioni didn't need to use a trick like that. My quibbles aside, it's quite good.
Rated 01 Sep 2015
93
98th
Great script and directing from Coppola, with Hackman delivering the role of his career.
Rated 09 Feb 2014
85
89th
This is one of those films where I really wish I could have watched it in the mindset of someone from the time of its release. While I feel that the dated technology detracted only minimally from what was a fantastic portrait of a man wounded by the dangers of the work he loves and by which he defines himself, I feel that the overall mood of the picture would have been that much more enhanced if I wasn't watching it in a world worried that the NSA is doing this to everyone through their phones.
Rated 07 Sep 2012
6
43rd
Although this explores some very interesting themes of paranoia, privacy, personal responsibility and job morality and is brilliantly played by Gene Hackman. I found the film dragged in places and was slightly dull.
Rated 03 Mar 2010
3
80th
Very minor in its plot, setting and characterisation, yet it feels like there are numerous hidden layers you could peel away.
Rated 17 Dec 2016
72
65th
Is at times slow, but I've thought about how the movie would be like if they left things out. My conclusion was that it was all necessary for things to fold out to a great conclusion.
Rated 25 Mar 2013
92
98th
Caul's unwinding into complete paranoia was well underway when we get to enter the story, but the episode shown is masterful. Hackman portrays a very tragic and sad hero in probably his very best work. Coppola's view of intrusion and technology is frightful as he blends wonderful sound-mixing with claustrophobic cinematography. Fantastic.
Rated 24 May 2010
92
85th
Hackman's eccentric performance carries this paranoid and unnerving mystery perfectly. Somewhat overlooked because of Godfather II's immense shadow casting over it, but don't let this subtle treat pass you by.
Rated 20 Sep 2010
88
91st
Very slow buildup to IMHO the second most shocking conclusion ever (right after Don't Look Back). Give it a chance and sit through the first half; the ending makes it all worth it.
Rated 22 Jun 2015
8
80th
The Conversation thrives when it's focused on its main character but falters when examining the outdated paranoia surrounding personal privacy
Rated 25 Sep 2010
84
81st
Great thriller and character study. Harry Caul is a lonely man who can only focus on his job but feels tremendous guilt over it. Hackman plays him perfectly.
Rated 10 Dec 2010
90
98th
Claustrophobic, paranoid thriller with Hackman's greatest performance and wonderful sound (which is integral to the plot). My favourite Coppola.
Rated 06 Jan 2011
93
98th
Discovering layers of sound reconstructing a conversation. In parallel, discovering layers of personality of the surveillance expert. At the end, putting the pieces together to find a shocking story unfolding in front of our eyes. The hunter is first reduced to a dog, then to a puppet and finally to the hunted, whereas what seemed to be a defenceless pray becomes a ruthless killer. The film is similar to the Blow-Up (1966). The image is replaced by sound and the decadence by despair.
Rated 01 Oct 2019
94
74th
Classic '70s thriller. A very, very hollow man much like Col. Kurtz.
Rated 25 Jan 2011
94
99th
An incredible piece of filmmaking. Brilliantly written, expertly paced & with a spellbinding performance from Hackman. There are several great scenes also, ranging from the supurb exchanges in Hackman's studio, to pretty much every second of the mesmerising last half hour. On top of that a delicate, harrowing, lonesome musical score only adds to brilliant camerawork & performances. I'm in the minority; but Coppola's best film in my opinion, & a recent rewatch just reinforces this for me.
Rated 28 May 2007
9
90th
Coppola's giant middle finger to Antonioni.
Rated 30 May 2011
95
93rd
The lost Coppola classic. Probably his best directed movie.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
91
86th
Wow! When the denouement hits, it hits hard.
Rated 04 May 2020
86
94th
A brilliant performance by Gene Hackman in a fascinating character study of a messed up guy. The movie threatens to get lost in its own paranoid mindspace for a while, but pulls it together for a very strong finish.
Rated 06 Jun 2008
50
15th
Bored me to tears.
Rated 12 Apr 2016
69
61st
i'm all for a slow build up, if it pays off. but this was really testing my patience, and maybe i've seen too many movies, but the "twist" was none. for the major part, it is well shot and executed, and i really tried to like it more than i...well, did. probable score 94. can't really remember the last time criticker was that far off the mark.
Rated 01 Oct 2008
54
53rd
very good, but blowup is better
Rated 18 Feb 2009
85
80th
Excellent. Very atmospheric, Hackman is superb and the script is excellent.
Rated 22 Jun 2013
89
94th
Great suspense flick with an extraordinary amount of subtlety.
Rated 22 May 2021
92
93rd
A masterfully constructed story, maybe the best piece on the nature of paranoia. It is such an economic story, even in the beginning it feels like having an idyllic pace; you see in the end how every piece is tightly fit together. Hackman did wonders with his overtly suspicious character and his need of opening up and what it does to him. The story seems like heading in a certain direction, but then it veers away in a mind-blowing way and punches you in the gut. The music needs special mention
Rated 05 Jun 2009
90
94th
Another masterpiece from Coppola in a phase incredible. The balance between plot and characters are perfect, giving depth to both. A brilliant direction, with a melancholic soundtrack, a precise script and untouchable performances build this work clever, realistic and intense.
Rated 17 Jun 2009
70
59th
A wire-tapper becomes paranoid, borderline psychotic even while becoming obsessed with his latest case. Coppola uses music too the fullest to make a rather dull film seem more suspencefull.
Rated 28 Sep 2009
84
88th
Great psychological thriller about surveillance expert Harry Caul, played perfectly by Gene Hackman, whose conscience drives himself paranoid when he fears for the lives of a couple whose conversation he recorded. It's fascinating how director Coppola manages to make you feel unnerved and haunted by this seemingly mundane conversation, its endless repetition eating away at your comfort, as it did on Harry's.
Rated 28 Sep 2009
87
93rd
This movie has been haunting in my mind for some years now. I cannot remember when I saw it for the first time, but the last scene image of the film was shaking. Everything in this flick is marvelous, except some scenes are a bit too long. The story and studing of listening and being listened and as well the character of protagonist suceeds nicely. A close cousin movie for the theme of Blowup.
Rated 20 Jul 2019
72
36th
Dreadfully, unapologetically slow, but filled with subtle, humanistic flairs and solid payoffs.
Rated 28 Nov 2012
82
96th
It seems reminiscent of Coppola's other work with the epic scale switched out for something more subtle, packing as much deception and double-crossing into two hours as The Godfather Part I and II did into six. It also conjures up Hitchcock, creating the same deeply unsettling sense of paranoia and guilt seen in Vertigo, and the scariest hotel scene since Psycho. Utterly outstanding acting, script, music, and cinematography add up to an utterly outstanding film.
Rated 24 Jul 2010
84
58th
Under watched thriller.

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