Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 03/19/2021
Production Company: Roadside Attractions

Benedict Cumberbatch, Merab Ninidze, Rachel Brosnahan and Jessie Buckley.

Director: Dominic Cooke. Producers: Adam Ackland, Rory Aitken, Ben Browning and Donald Sabourin. Executive Producers: Dominic Cooke, Benedict Cumberbatch, Leah Clarke, Alison Cohen, Ashley Fox, Tom O'Connor, Milan Popelka and Josh Varney. Screenwriter: Tom O' Connor. Cinematographer: Sean Bobbitt.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Benedict Cumberbatch is a fine actor who can light up the screen whether he’s playing a famous mathematician (“The Imitation Game”), a genetically engineered superhuman (“Star Trek Into Darkness”), a neurosurgeon/sorcerer (“Dr. Strange”) or even an unassuming businessman turned spy like the one he portrays in his latest movie, “The Courier” from director Dominic Cooke (“The Hollow Crown”).

“The Courier,” from director Dominic Cooke (“The Hollow Crown”) is loosely based on a true story involving Greville Wynne (Cumberbatch), a relatively quiet and unassuming British business and family man who is coaxed and recruited by Secret Intelligence Service operative Emily Donovan (Rachel Brosnahan, “I’m Your Woman” and TV’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) and acquaintance Dickie Franks (Angus Wright, TV’s “The Witches”).

They want Greville to deliver classified messages from secret agent Oleg Penkovsky (a terrific Merab Ninidze, “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse”) to them to help thwart a nuclear confrontation and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Once Greville decides to go all in, he uses his charming personality to win over Penkovsky and the two become strange bedfellows.

Surely Greville knew the risks involved in this covert Cold War operation and that his wife Sheila (Jessie Buckley, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” and TV’s “Fargo”) and young son Andrew (Keir Hills, “Vodafone: Raising Voices-Dc”) would at some point pay a price when things go awry.

They do go awry.

While “The Courier” doesn’t have the flash and dash of a James Bond spy thriller, it does have Cumberbatch and he anchors it well. Wondering who will blink or make the first misstep is what ratchets up the tension in this dramatic thriller.

"The Courier" opens in theaters on March 19.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Watch This Trailer For "THE COURIER"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Year Released: 2020
Running Time: 94
Production Company: Paramount
Director: Arthur A. Seidelman
Director of Photography: Hanania Baer
Screenwriter: Mark McClafferty, Clint Smith, Mark E. Corry, Lin Marlin and Sam Egan
Author: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

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