The Little Drummer Girl (1984) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Little Drummer Girl (1984)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Little Drummer Girl Photos

Movie Info

Based on John Le Carré's novel by the same name, this story about Charlie (Diane Keaton) a female double agent working between the Palestinians and Israelis, loses some of the excitement and in-depth characterization engendered by the long novel -- mainly because the novel is hard to capture in a two-hour filmed format. But the action itself carries viewers along as Charlie ends up leaving England and her job as an actress in a Brit repertory company to meet Kurtz (Klaus Kinski) in Greece who recruits her as a spy. Charlie later has to handle her own emotions when she gets romantically involved with her Israeli contact (Yorgo Voyagis), though events move her quickly along to a Palestinian military camp near Beirut. Once she has passed herself off as a reliable Palestinian agent and completed her military training at the camp, she goes to Germany to hunt down a Palestinian terrorist (Sami Frey). Filled with a multitude of characters and locations, not to mention camera shots, the intensity of this story is dissipated somewhat by literally and figuratively covering a lot of territory, though the thread of the story itself is never lost.

Watch it now


Diane Keaton
as Charlie
Klaus Kinski
as Martin Kurtz
Sami Frey
as Khalil
David Suchet
as Mesterbein
Eli Danker
as Litvak
Ben Levine
as Dimitri
Anna Massey
as Chairlady
Thorley Walters
as Ned Quilley
Julian Firth
as Young Man
Albert Moses
as Green Grocer
Ben Robertson
as Policeman
David Cornwell
as Commander
Michael Graham Cox
as Donald/Soldier
Rowena Cooper
as Miss Bach
Peter Capell
as Schwili
Heinz Weiss
as Red Cross
Rolf Becker
as Red Cross
Ori Levy
as Lenny
Shimon Finkel
as Prof. Minkel
Aviva Joel
as Mrs. Ben Ami
Max Schillinger
as Bus Driver
Dieter Augustin
as Freiburg City Official
Noam Almaz
as Gabriel
Paul Prosper
as Translator
Jeff Lester
as American
Adib Jashan
as Bomb Instructor
View All

Critic Reviews for The Little Drummer Girl

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2)

Like an enchanted escape artist, director George Roy Hill has pulled off that rarest of Hollywood feats -- the thriller of ideas.

January 4, 2018 | Full Review…

It is so jammed with characters and incidents and mystifications that everything seems to get equal, cursory attention. And not a single one of the characters comes alive.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Stark criticisms are unavoidable, even as I'm forced to admit that the film is one of those wrongly-assembled movies that is built on such an unusual Hollywood premise...that it eventually becomes halfway fascinating.

January 5, 2012 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Intriguing and complex but not entirely satisfying, George Roy Hill's version of Le Carre's novel suffers from the weak performance (perhaps even miscasting) of Diane Keaton in the lead role.

July 23, 2005 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Underrated thriller with a typically solid Keaton performance

April 9, 2004 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for The Little Drummer Girl

Excellent performances and a believable story. I don't understand why some reviewers took issue with it. I was engrossed by all of it, found it easy to follow, and felt it did justice to the human cost on both sides of the Israel / Palestine conflict. Worth seeing.

Morris Nelms
Morris Nelms

Super Reviewer


What I liked most in this solid, underrated thriller was the whole complexity of its situations, alliances and strategies as seen through the eyes of a naive actress caught in the middle of a conflict and following her heart instead of any political convictions.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

The Little Drummer Girl Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features