The Courier (2020) 720p

Movie Poster
The Courier (2020) - Movie Poster
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
112 min
IMDB Rating:
7.3 / 10 
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Directors: Dominic Cooke [Director] ,

Movie Description:
In the shadow of the Cold War a letter from Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) an agency of the Soviet Union received by M16 stating the concern of Penkovsky about world safety and his anxiety about a nuclear war, So Emily Donovan (Rachel Brosnahan) a CIA Agent reached out to MI6 Agent Dickie Franks (Angus Wright) , who recruited British salesman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) to be their spy.


  • The Courier (2020) - Movie Scene 1
  • The Courier (2020) - Movie Scene 2
  • The Courier (2020) - Movie Scene 1

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Extremely Average

This ticked every cliche box in the generic spy movie playbook. It was nothing special, and I'll forget it by tomorrow. All the amazing reviews are either studio plants or the kind of people who thought Bridge of Spies was good (good as a cure for insomnia, sure). I felt nothing for any of them, and you knew how it would play out before the credits rolled.

They also did the real Grenville Wynne a disservice by stating he died peacefully in 1990. He died of throat cancer and suffered depression and alcoholism after being released from the Soviet Union. That would've been a more interesting story. His life after spying.

It's really just Meh

I disagree with the general IMDB crowd on this one. I thought that the acting from Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel Brosnahan did not give the depth and seriousness that is required for this kind of grim and serious movie. Of course Rachel Brosnahan was wonderful in Mrs Maisel (If you haven't see- go see) but there she is liberated comic whereas here she has to portray a serious CIA agent and that casting just doesn't work.

In general the rest of the story about the cold war, spies, espionage, deserters etc has been told a thousand times already. I found myself not drawn to the story at all even if it has some ground truth behind it, it is just not exciting and the acting did not do enough to carry it. It does not come close to creation such as 'the Americans' which brings a new spin on the cold war and deep, complicated characters. None of it exists in this movie.

Not a bad movie overall but it is a far cry from a masterpiece. There are so many better stories out there, I would watch only if you have some sort of personal connection to this story otherwise you will be bored. Exact score: 53 / 100.

Cumberbatch Moves The Bar Higher

Benedict Cumberbatch's best performance to date, which makes this is one of the best-ever acting performances. His physical transformation in the film is startling, and testimony to his commitment to his craft.

This role should garner award nominations across the spectrum of such ceremonies for Benedict, and if he does not win an Oscar, it may be the last time I watch the Academy Awards.

The Courier is one of the finest espionage films ever made. No spy film is better at emotionally connecting the viewer with the lead character.

The Director maintains a refreshingly low-key atmosphere in scenes, befitting the "trade-craft" of espionage that thrives on innocuous and concealing behavior (rather than the overly dramatic big moments too often leaned upon in blockbuster spy films). None of that nonsense would actually occur as spies would bring too much attention to themselves - a sure way of having a short career and brief lifespan.

This is a spotlight film role carried by Benedict, but a film of this immense achievement does not occur without similarly great performances by the supporting cast.

Merab Ninidze hits one over the Berlin Wall and deserves recognition for his remarkable supporting role performance.

Rachel Brosnahan was spot-on as well, and is clearly on a roll after her deserved critical praise for 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'.

Tom O'Conner's screenplay is brilliant as is Dominic Cooke's directing, and Gareth Scales' editing which somehow brings this fascinating true story to film in under two hours.

The Courier has me once again ('Spotlight' being the first in 2015) breaking my long standing rule of not putting a film on the Top 100 All Time Greatest list within a year of its release.
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