The Ghost Writer

Libertarians may especially enjoy Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, which is now playing in second-run theaters and coming to DVD in August.

I wish I could tell you more about why, but it’s the sort of movie that’s best entered with minimal knowledge. The plot involves a man (Ewan McGregor) assigned to write the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan) who has recently been charged with war crimes for torture. An earlier ghost writer who worked on the book was found washed up on the beach at Martha’s Vineyard, and McGregor’s unnamed character tries to solve the mystery and avoid the same fate.

It was delightful to see the movie not only call attention to the Blair/Bush/Obama war crimes but also depict the CIA as nothing other than a force for evil in the world.

Above all, though, it’s a great, old-fashioned suspense thriller — written for intelligent adults, not teenagers — which is refreshing at a time when it seems that most movies are little more than a series of special effects, brutal killings, and/or dirty jokes.

I recall that Murray Rothbard referred to a certain type of film as a “movie movie.” I’m not sure what that means, but I’m pretty sure this is one.