The Courier Review

The Courier' Review: Secrets and Spies - The New York Times

The Courier is a spy and espionage thriller (directed by Dominic Cooke) with structure and deceit. The approach of confidentiality in the film finds its violations (discreetly). The Courier is a true story where it feels the conflicts are setup chronologically. The events that begin to happen one-by-one drives the questions of trust and honesty between the two men who are involved in the espionage of trying to put an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis. However, its more about being curious to whose side is Greville Wynne (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) is on.

The Courier gears on the true story of Greville Wynne in the early 1960s in London. Greville Wynne is a businessman and is recruited to be a spy for The Cold War and finds himself in a partnership with a Soviet Officer Oleg Penkovsky (played by Merab Ninidze). Their strategies they begin to implement is to find ways to prevent attacks of terrorism that are nuclear. They ultimately must find a solution to put an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis. This leaves Greville to go to Moscow consistently. The further they go with being secretive from the government they work for, there begins to be more dangerous and uncharted territory that both Greville and Oleg may not be able to avoid. The fact that The Courier is based on actual events is where the events become unnerving.

I found myself feeling spellbinding moments as the risks in The Courier continually grow and worsen. That is where the performances are just outstanding along with questioning if there is going to be light for the dangerous territory The Courier crosses. The job of being discreet becomes challenging for Greville and Oleg as many government officials question their behavior. There is also moments of dishonesty and misinterpretations of how risky the job of stopping the Cuban Missile Crisis is. The film leaves a trail of suspense, and I kept asking myself is any of these scenarios going to find resolution or only going to result in danger?

The Courier felt a lot like The Imitation Game (2014). Cumberbatch was also in that and in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). Both films that previously deal with safety in terms of intelligence among the international governments. Cumberbatch’s performance in The Courier defines him as one that is the perfect fit for these real-life government suspense thrillers. He has the authoritative voice, the stature, and the mindset like a government official which he plays so well and portrays them in many realistic ways. His performance in The Courier is a knockout performance.

The Courier is brilliant and directed well. For a film based on real-life events, it holds the attention. The dramatic scenarios and the deceitful elements are engrossing. This is one of those films that many will not want to miss. Cumberbatch is what steals the film for his brilliant performance. Three and a half stars.


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