The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

In the hands of British director Paul Greengrass, the third and most thrilling Bourne film proves that studio action movies need not be brainless.

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“[T]he series has come close to attaining a kinetic perfection... [It is] one continuous, exhausting, exhilarating chase.”
Richard Corliss, Time magazine, 2007

The third film about the exploits of Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), who has little memory of his time as an assassin for the CIA but has deduced from the way his erstwhile employers keep shooting at him that a reference is out of the question. Like its predecessors, it mixes breakneck action and modern-day espionage, updated from the Cold War setting of Robert Ludlum’s original novels.

Damon makes a convincing action hero, expressionless but never dumb. There’s always something ticking away behind his face. On the second of his two Bourne assignments, director Paul Greengrass’s style feels fully formed here: twitchy handheld camerawork, twitchier editing and an engagement with modern paranoia about surveillance, terrorism, the erosion of civil liberties. Like its hero, the movie rarely draws a breath.

After making two Bourne films together, Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon followed up with the Iraq-war conspiracy thriller Green Zone (2010).

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