There is a moment about halfway through The Ghost Writer where I had forgotten just how long I had been watching the movie. It felt like it had been about 20 minutes when in reality it was about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Roman Polanski's thriller is so efficient and so well made and polished that I lost myself in it. It's the type of thriller that relies on the tired old cliché of being "Hitchcockian", yet the cliché is apt because the film is as taut and expertly crafted as anything Hitch made. It's about as smooth a thriller that I've seen in years (a stark to contrast to one of my other favorite thrillers this year, the wonderfully grimy and cruelly ironic neo-noir The Square), but don't let its benign, British sheen throw you off: this is a nasty thriller with a final moment that seems out of place in most thrillers these days. It's a perfect coda to a film with secrets and the discovering of secrets. I've been elusive for a reason as the film's plot – and the slow unveiling of the story's mystery – is one of the things that allows the viewer to immerse themselves so deeply in the film. The acting – headed by Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor – is top notch, and the film's aesthetic is the best Polanski has employed in years (I specifically loved the score by Alexandre Desplat which makes something as simple as the passing of a note the most suspenseful thing I've seen in a film this year). The Ghost Writer was released all the way back in February alongside another forgotten masterpiece of 2010: Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island. Both films, based on novels, are about men searching answers that will help unlock some truths; both films begin with ominous music as ferries approach a destination (Scorsese's ferry is enshrouded in fog; Polanski's ferry is clearly reaching its destination – both openings say a lot about their protagonists and the types of journeys they will embark on); and both films are expertly crafted thrillers by two masters that show they have no signs of slowing down. It's a refreshing reminded in this most banal of movie years that there are still two old masters out there making great movies. I have now seen The Ghost Writer twice. Upon my second viewing, I noticed a lot of the clues that help make sense of the film's dénouement, and one of the things I noticed most was that none of the film's momentum or suspense is lost after you know all of the film's information. Like any great film, The Ghost Writer becomes a richer experience with each subsequent viewing. It reminded me of the efficient, addictive prose of Ian McEwan, and the way he can conjure up suspense and irony while making it so accessible that it simultaneously works as a potboiler and as a more layered reading experience. The Ghost Writer left me, twice, with the same feeling. I can't wait to see it again.