Entertainment Weekly - 03/21/2003
"...The landscapes of wilderness, city, and movie-set Kosovo are finely delineated by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 04/06/2003
"...As Jones tracks Del Toro, the movie stays close to their immediate physical experience....Surprisingly effective..."
Total Film - 07/01/2003
"...The visceral violence is razor sharp..."
Sight and Sound - 08/01/2003
"...An efficient nuts-and-bolts thriller....Shot with striking thematic continuity....This is muscular film-making at its most instinctive..."
Echoing Francis Ford Coppola's APOCALYPSE NOW, William Friedkin's THE HUNTED opens with a close-up of the protagonist, Aaron Hallam (Benicio Del Toro), a Special Ops soldier who is witnessing atrocities in Kosovo. His battle stress soon turns him into a killing machine, as he murders hunters in the Oregon woods. Meanwhile, L.T. Bonham (Tommy Lee Jones) is living a solitary existence in the Pacific Northwest, rescuing wolves and living off the land. The Feds lure Bonham out of retirement, since he was responsible for training Hallam--and might be the only person alive who can stop him.
Combining elements of RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD, in which Richard Crenna played the only man who could stop the battle-fatigued Sylvester Stallone, with THE PARK IS MINE, in which Jones played a Vietnam veteran who took over Central Park and booby-trapped it, THE HUNTED is an exciting chase film that is infused with a compelling streak of humanity amid all the blood and gore. Del Toro and Jones are both excellent, conveying a father-and-son-like relationship that is filled with intrigue. Johnny Cash's talk-rendition of Bob Dylan's "Highway 61" opens and closes the film with gusto.
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