Plucked from real life, The Imposter is a documentary film from A&E Indie Films, Film 4 and Channel 4 whose story is worthy of any big-budget hollywood picture.

The riveting account begins with the disappearance of 13 year old Nicholas Barclay from Texas in 1994. Three and half years later, Nicholas re-appears in Spain claiming to have been subjected to kidnap and torture. Welcomed home by a family who have missed him, Nicholas soon begins to arouse suspicion – looking much older and with different coloured eyes, could this really be Nicholas after all? To reveal much more than this here, would destroy the film’s exquisite tension, so I’ll halt on the synopsis for now but insist that there is much more to this story than meets the eye.

Featuring interviews with Nicholas’ family and friends as well as official investigators, the tale twists and turns at incredible speed, delving into themes of identity, truth and human psychology. Demonstrating the impeccable storytelling craftsmanship of its film-makers, The Imposter’s mystery is unfurled with care and an attention to detail that builds breathtaking suspense.

A huge part of the The Imposter’s lure lies in the fact it is a true crime mystery and the film has a beautifully open ended approach to letting its audience make up their own mind. Of course, The Imposter is also made so compelling by the real people it introduces us to. And when a private detective joins the ensemble, we are treated to a character as lively and vibrant as any Hollywood creation.

“The Imposter’s mystery is unfurled with care and an attention to detail that builds breathtaking suspense”

The Imposter is no traditional Channel 4 documentary simply brought to life on a larger screen. With re-enactments that are not only captivating but both stylish and clever, what unfolds is a much bigger, bolder story well-worthy of a place in cinematic history. This is the most powerful and astonishing film I’ve seen all year. A full five stars and a must see picture of 2012.

VERDICT: ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

For more info and to watch the trailer, see the official website