Ninth Gate

Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Johnny Depp, Frank Langella, Emmanuelle Seigner

Director: Roman Polansk

Johnny Depp plays the part of a Dean Corso, a book-finder, a sort of agent hired by wealthy collectors to find rare antique books worth millions.

He is hired by one of the book world’s richest collectors to authenticate a rare edition and to compare it to two other copies of the edition each owned by famous European collectors.

Dean Corso becomes aware that the book and it’s two copies are unique in a more sinister way as it seems the co-author is none other than the devil, and in fact these supposedly identical volumes have differences, and put together hold a dangerous key that certain interested parties are prepared to kill for.

THE NINTH GATE is a spectacularly shot film that uses its various European locations to their maximum effect. Johnny Depp plays a professional almost cold character whose interest in the power of the books becomes a personal quest. Director Roman Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner is excellent as Dean Corso’s mysterious protector who has to be more than she seems.

All in all this is a well and carefully made film that really needs to be watched on a large screen to achieve its full visual impact. You preferably also need a comfortable seat as it has quite a long running time. As long as you have the ability to stay with a fairly slow moving film you’ll enjoy this cinematic event and you certainly won’t be watching the clock as it holds your interest to the end.

The only unsatisfactory thing about this movie is the ending, not because of what happens but because it seems to suddenly be over too quickly.

4 out of 6 stars