Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Courier Movie Review

Benedict Cumberbatch (l) stars in The Courier

Just a Courier

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: The Courier is a true-life spy thriller, the story of an unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) recruited into one of the greatest international conflicts in history. At the behest of the UK's MI-6 and a CIA operative (Rachel Brosnahan), he forms a covert, dangerous partnership with Soviet officer Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) in an effort to provide crucial intelligence needed to prevent a nuclear confrontation and defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis. Directed by Dominic Cooke.

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Merab Ninidze, Rachel Brosnahan, Jessie Buckley, and Angus Wright.

What's Good: It's no substitute for James Bond, but The Courier boasts two stellar performances (Cumberbatch, Ninidze) and a relatively brisk pace. That's (more than) enough to hold your interest for its modest 111 minute runtime. It's also straightforward, which makes it easy to follow (no quirky plot twists, etc.)

What's Not: Brosnahan is fun to watch in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but her CIA character feels "wedged in," and unconvincing. It's as if the powers that be were searching for a way to get her into the movie. Mission (un)accomplished. Also, beware... daffy lines ahead, such as Wynne's "I can't believe I'm having lunch with spies!"

Budget: N/A

Runtime: 111 minutes

Target Audience: Fans of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (on a smaller, more manageable scale.)

Bottom Line: The Courier was originally titled "Ironbark," but thankfully cooler/smarter minds prevailed. It's not thrilling per se, but interesting to watch and (for the most part) well-acted. Considering what else is out there (i.e. Godzilla vs. Kong) you could do a lot worse.

GradeB- (Good enough to warrant a trip to your local theater.)