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Rated 3.02 stars
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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Intense Hit Man Thriller
by Betty Jo Tucker

Anson Mount, Anthony Hopkins and Abbie Cornish lend their considerable talents to The Virtuoso, an intense hit man thriller directed by Nick Stagliano, who co-wrote the script with James C. Wolf. Anson is great to watch as The Assassin, but Oscar® winner Hopkins gets too little camera time as The Mentor. Fortunately, Cornish projects a mysterious aura as The Waitress who keeps us wondering what she’s up to. 

Most of the action takes place in an out-of-the-way little town where Anson’s character is sent to kill a certain target. The catch? He must first  find out the identity of that target. Not an easy task, right? Adding to his problem, he feels guilty over collateral damage on his last assignment.

Mount seems perfect in this role. Much of what we learn as the story unfolds comes from his hit man’s candid narration. We find out how important planning and precision are to him as well as how concerned he becomes when things do not go as planned. He is truly a killing “virtuoso.”         

Assassins in movies abound.

In “Virtuoso” one is found.

Though professional and prepared,

he shows a guilty soul impaired.


His mentor gives him such strange jobs.

And danger lurks with one or mobs.

A stray white dog his only friend.

What will he do if all things end?


Anson Mount so intense on screen.

It’s been a while since him I’ve seen.

Anthony Hopkins? Not his best.

After the Oscar®, taking rest.


Abbie Cornish, a big surprise.

In this movie, she vies for prize.

   “The Virtuoso” mystery

might intrigue viewers just like me.

One of the most interesting things about this film involves the relationship between the assassin and his enigmatic mentor. Evidently, they have been working together a long time. The mentor even talks about “killing” experiences with the assassin’s father. And he seems worried about the hit man’s recent guilt feelings. So we can’t help being suspicious when he gives his minion such a perilous assignment. The smell of betrayal became so strong that I wanted to shout, “Don’t take this job!”

It’s a good thing I settled in when Cornish came on screen. As the attractive waitress in a dingy café where the assassin is looking for his target, she lights up the place. And she appears particularly interested in the virtuoso hit man. The question now becomes why.

However, this thriller belongs to Mount. I might be a bit biased because he impressed me so much as the hero in one of my favorite TV series, “Hell on Wheels.” Although he looks and acts completely different in this role, he’s still just as compelling to watch. It’s an intense performance indeed!

I recommend The Virtuoso to patient viewers who enjoy less action but more depth of character portrayals – even in hit man sagas. And, of course, to Anson Mount fans like me.           

(Released by Lionsgate and rated “R” by MPAA.)     

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