Movie Review: The Courier

Secrets and spies, oh my! The Courier, a true life-based Cold War spy thriller is set in the early 1960s and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a salesman-turned-secret agent.

The Courier will be available on Premium Video on Demand (PVOD) Friday, April 16, 2021.

Save the date: Friday, April 16 for $19.99, On Demand platforms such as Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, VUDU and cable providers let you bring this Cold War espionage thriller to the comfort of your living room.

Based on the true story of British businessman Grenville Wynne and the daring acts of espionage he undertook during the Cold War, The Courier features a desaturated color palette which definitely set the scene for the movie.

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Wynne, a happy-go-lucky English businessman who is married to Sheila (Jessie Buckley) and the father to Andrew (Keir Hills). Wynne is invited by acquaintance (Angus Wright) to have lunch with an American “consultant”, where he is pressed into “service” for Great Britain, and by the line “I can’t believe I’m having lunch with spies” you can tell he is shocked.

Wynne’s mission, should he accept it (let’s be honest, there isn’t much of a choice) is to travel to Moscow and collect images from Col. Oleg Penkovsky, a high-ranking Soviet officer who has grown wary of Nikita Khrushchev’s threats of nuclear war. Willing to betray his country to save his family and the world, risking it all—can you image the brutal death if he’s caught? Yikes

While at first I loved the desaturated color scheme, and was excited that it was genre-appropriate over the course of the movie the gray color scheme became depressing to look at. The muddy hues of people and buildings just wasn’t something that was attractive throughout the movie.

Overall, the movie seems like your typical spy movie with some twists, turns and danger. However, the fact that it is in fact a true story is what helped keep me captivated.

Synopsis

In this true-life Cold War spy thriller, unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) becomes entangled in one of the greatest international conflicts in history. Recruited by MI6 and a CIA operative (Angus Wright and 2018 Primetime Emmy® and 2018 & 2019 Golden Globe® winner Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Best Actress in a TV Comedy Series), Wynne forms a covert partnership with Soviet officer Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze), and both men risk everything in a danger-fraught race against time to provide the intelligence needed to prevent nuclear confrontation and end the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Cast

Benedict Cumberbatch Doctor Strange, Avengers: Endgame, The Imitation Game
Merab Ninidze “Homeland,” “Freud,” “McMafia”
Rachel Brosnahan “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” I’m Your Woman
Jessie Buckley “Fargo,” Dolittle, “Chernobyl”
Angus Wright “Cobra,” “Flowers”, The Witches

Written by Tom O’Connor (The Hitman’s Bodyguard); Directed by Dominic Cooke (On Chesil Beach)Open document settingsOpen publish panel

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