Movie Review: The Courier


By Andrew McManus - Contributing Columnist



Directed by: Dominic Cooke

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

Runtime: 111 minutes

Rating: PG-13 (For some violence, partial nudity, and thematic elements.)

Over the last few weeks, Abigail and I have been seeing the same trailers before our movies. Obviously we have fewer releases than normal. I give color commentary between each trailer. One we both wanted to see was The Courier which stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Doctor Strange) I think he’s an excellent actor and I obviously love history. She also likes popcorn with ketchup so there’s that. This film is actually a true story. Although I hadn’t heard about it. I’m sure you’re familiar with the Cuban Missile Crisis and how we came on the brink of World War III with the Russians. However do you know how the British helped this cause? I did not.

Onto the film.

We meet our protagonist Greville Wynne (Cumberbatch) who’s a British businessman. His job asks him to travel to various countries to build relationships and sell goods. Meanwhile, Oleg Penkovsky (Ninidze) who is Russian Colonial. He is unhappy with the way Russia is being run and the impending war with the US. He proceeds to take pictures in secret and finds two Americans on holiday and urges them to take this information to the U.S. Embassy.

This information eventually gets to the CIA and Agent Donovan (Brosnahan) who recruits the MI6. They have to be discreet with this operation to now destroy the fragile framework of what’s left of peace. They need a civilian. They need a courier to retrieve documents from Penkovsky.

Meanwhile, we learn more about Wynne’s family. His wife Sheila (Buckley) and their son Andrew (good name.) It’s a loving family but there is mistrust. It’s alluded to of a past affair Greville had. This will obviously come into play later.

Reluctantly Wynne (Cumberbatch) agrees to help, but the MI6 and CIA keep him in the dark. He is supposed to accept packages and drop them off. The film slowly turns into a classic espionage tale and the bond between Wynne and Penkovsky is exhibited almost immediately.

On to the technical aspects of this film. I raved more times than I can count of the unique way the film was shot. I kept leaning over telling Abby “Look how cool that is..” I believe she said dork at least once but it was true. We saw shots in through phone booths, doors, car windows. This added to the “spy” theme. I was IMPRESSED.

The plot (being one I didn’t know) was exceptional. The acting as well. Both leads gave heart to their roles and you wanted success. The story weaved like any spy thriller, and I truly didn’t know how things would end. We were both shocked at certain plot points.

If you’re a fan of the genre. SEE THIS FILM. The cast as well! One of the best of the year. Abby says 5 stars out of 5. I’m going with 4 stars out of 5!

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By Andrew McManus

Contributing Columnist

This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper

This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper