The International is actually two movies in one:
A highbrow thriller about a sprawling bank that resorts to murder and arms sales to retain its power and a sleek visual essay on how architecture and interior design shapes your perceptions.
Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) has been on the brink of conclusive evidence against the villainous international bank, but his sources always end up dead. With the aid of a Manhattan district attorney (Naomi Watts), he stumbles on the trail of the bank's favorite hit man, who might provide the (literally) smoking gun Louis needs.
The International starts out smooth and silky, with visual style to burn and Owen's intense fervor.
The plot contains many taut sequences, including a bloody shootout in the Guggenheim Museum where alliances shift unexpectedly. But what makes The International worth seeing is director Tom Tykwer's astute eye for public space: Chic post-modern buildings, broad Italian plazas, Turkish rooftops like mountain paths--Tykwer orchestrates actors through these architectural shapes, his hypnotic visual sense creating tension and excitement to the plot.
Also featuring Armin Mueller-Stahl (Eastern Promises) and Ulrich Thomsen (The Celebration) as malevolent Europeans.