John Le Carré meets Alfred Hitchcock in this entertainingly tense sort-of spy thriller starring Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgård, Naomie Harris and Damian Lewis.
While on a romantic getaway with his high-powered lawyer wife (Harris), college professor Perry Makepiece (McGregor) meets gregarious Russian Dima (Skarsgård). After a hard night of partying, some tennis and an unexpected invitation to Dima’s daughter’s birthday party, Perry has grown quite fond of this gruff, lovable Russian, who happens to be the top money launderer for the Russian mob. After his friend is killed, Dima wants out, and Perry is his ticket—via MI6, thanks to Dima’s highly desirable info about crooked Brits, MPs included.
Screenwriter Hossein Amini has some unfortunate scripts for which to answer—namely, Snow White and the Huntsman—but this Le Carré adaptation crackles. Director Susanna White should garner attention too; her highest-profile previous feature, Nanny McPhee Returns, did not portend the tense talents on display here. But the film is made by Skarsgård, whose Dima is the most appealing cinematic character I have met this year; Skarsgård is always reliable, but here he is Our Kind of Traitor’s dynamic game-changer.