Benedict Cumberbatch is back on the silver screen. He stars as Greville Wynne in The Courier, which is based on the true story of Wynne, a regular British citizen who was recruited to spy for MI6 during the Cold War. Wynn and Oleg Penkovsky, a Soviet colonel, form a partnership to secretly provide information that winds up defusing the Cuban Missile Crisis. The movie also stars Rachel Brosnahan, Jessie Buckley, Angus Wright, and Merab Ninidze as Penkovsky, and is directed by Dominic Cooke.
The film was originally titled Ironbark and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January of last year. After a few delays, The Courier is now finally being released in theaters this Friday, March 19. Critics have started releasing their reviews for the film, so check out what they have to say.
CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg saw the spy thriller for the home team and considers it worth a watch. He writes that Cumberbatch’s and Ninidze’s performances are excellent, and gives credit to the screenwriter Tom O’Connor for keeping the film tension-filled and allowing the audience to become emotionally invested in the characters throughout. Eisenberg continued, saying:
Leigh Monson from WhatToWatch enjoyed many aspects of The Courier. She commends Ninidze’s performance, noting that he had much more emotional range than Cumberbatch. She also considers the business relationship turned friendship between the lead roles the “beating heart” of the film. But that’s also where she criticizes the movie, arguing that it feels wrong for it to have framed that friendship as the driving force of the narrative, and then shuffle the more interesting of those two characters (Ninidze’s Penkovsky) off to the side as more of a supporting role. Monson said:
Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt noted in her review that though there is a familiarity in The Courier to other spy thrillers, Tom O’Connor’s script and the performances by Cumberbatch and Ninidze are “remarkable” (There seems to be a common theme here). Greenblatt also praised Dominic Cooke’s (On Chesil Beach) steady direction that kept the action moving. She continued, saying:
Variety’s Peter Debruge also highly praised the lead performances in the movie, (Yep, we’re definitely seeing a theme here) along with the cinematography and score. However, he considers the film less exciting than it could have been, and notes that “there are too few extras to flesh out the film, giving the relatively stuffy impression that life stops at the edge of the frame.” Debruge continued:
Well, it seems that most critics agree that Benedict Cumberbatch and Merab Ninidze are great highlights of The Courier. We'll have to wait until Friday, March 19 to see if audiences agree.
While we wait for the spy thriller to debut, you can check out all the other movies that are also premiering this month.
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