The Courier

7.11 h 52 min2021X-RayHDRUHDPG-13
Benedict Cumberbatch (DOCTOR STRANGE) and Rachel Brosnahan ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel") star in this true-life Cold War spy thriller about British businessman Greville Wynne, who must form an alliance with a Soviet spy to prevent a nuclear confrontation.
Dominic Cooke
Benedict CumberbatchMerab NinidzeRachel Brosnahan
HistoricalSuspenseDramaMilitary and War
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Supporting actors
Jessie BuckleyAngus Wright
Leah ClarkeBenedict CumberbatchAshley FoxGlen Basner
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagenuditysexual contentsmokingviolence
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4.5 out of 5 stars

11933 global ratings

  1. 68% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 20% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Elle Shopper LadyReviewed in the United States on June 12, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
This is a true story of one small act that saved the world
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I always prefer true story films - so WORTH it! The "After" is as interesting as the "Before" and "During".

This was a story about what real people did in a real moment of extreme life threat to the world.
It is a story I must talk about because is one of the most important ones of my teen years.
1962 - Passionately ignoring all but my own mandates as adulthood approached- no matter what - in my Jackie K clone fashions, working studying and dreaming of my Handsome Prince to come.

Our coming of age - all was new..... many new tools for world powers were new - how would we use them?
Nuclear power, U-2 and other information helpers...a whole new way to be "my brothers' keeper".

World Peace as a main course at the UN - not a dessert.

People like me will love this film that clips a segment of the story of those days.

We lived that moment - when we CHOSE to save the world and not blow it to smithereens.
No spoilers but pay attention - the first simple quiet moments of the film may not seem worth attention, but they ARE the thing.

One man thinks and decides and acts - and states his awareness of the likely outcome for him, and yet chooses to act in the interests of world peace.
Although others like him existed - they would have been unknown ot one another and so the awful loneliness of the man.
The timing on the part of the thing was clever - seasonal cloud cover obscured the view for U-2 and other surveillance.
The man on the ground - the LONE HERO is the one who must help.

The film is well done technically and use of quality approaches in sets, costumes, makeup, and camera work are appreciated - they did not let us down.

I smiled: Tom O'Connor. as writer seems likely to capture the Irish flavor of things in those days. does the Western European flavor in Production and Direction. Thank you so much - good work.

The Acting never lost me for a moment:
Merab Ninidze, the actor who played the part of Oleg Penkovsky, the Russian war hero who saved the day for all good nations, will treasure this role forever, as a fine Georgian himself, so good.
Benedict Cumberbach is PERFECT as his UK contact and partner in the rescue of the world from certain nuclear war, Greville Wynne.
Rachael Brosnahan was super in the role of Emily Donavan, who bridged things among Russian, British and American powers in the story.

Even if you rent it, watch it more than once - or twice - till you appreciate the story. The gravity of the Cuban Missile Crisis was such that the many tellings of the story from varying perspective are still happening.

On October 22, 1962. I was studying for my drivers license, but set it aside and sat with my siblings hugging parents in front of the television, as the JFK Cuban Missle Crisis Broadcasts played out for us.
I remember, veteran of lots of John Wayne Movies and a good large family of American Patriots, thinking to myself after JFK announced his ultimatum to "Stand down Gentlemen" ...
"That's just what we do - something threatens , we catch it and fix it". This is intense but no big deal.

Later on, as age and priorities sorted themselves, the awesomeness of that moment in world history. sank in.
The Nike sites were set up in our totally gold coast residential town, and soon after dismantled, and all that was left was the heavy-duty access road - to accommodate the weight of the missiles on flatbeds. We PLAYED there - using it to test our teenage cars for efficiency and 0-60 mph quicktime. That "straightaway" was to fun -- my Hillman Minx did it in under 7 seconds.

Plans for Fallout Shelters were on my parents' table where, with other tech wise friends they planned....not so different from "Blast from the Past"
Fortunately, the crisis passed and our basement remained cache shelves for "Delicious jams and jellies"
Tomatoes for sauces, piccalilly for Dad, and a freezer full of frozen treats. A much better idea, no?

While we saluted the flag and sang our. "God Bless America" with enhanced passion and devotion, people like the heroes in this film chose to think us worth it and risk all to keep it for us.

I feel that each and all of us could be a bit better at doing our part to be worth their sacrifice.
As long as America is a government of, for and by the people we are obligated to do our part and yet most feel paying some taxes take care of that - and geting trash to curbside nicely...and maybe voting.

How many of you tell the story- as a story- to your children - to make it real?
I am finding that I did some good but in places where I thought they KNEW - I was often really wrong...they needed me to SAY and say again till the good thing was part of them.

They grow up wonderfully fit for the Third Millennium but sometimes just MISSING PARTS
The story of the heroic character and integrity of our heroes - are we good when challenged even in small ways? It's not so hard. Maybe we can be better.
What do you think?
80 people found this helpful
KinDallasReviewed in the United States on September 14, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent! True story, suspenseful, & clean! PG
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Very good!! The whole family can watch it too. It is so hard to find movies that you can watch with a child and/or a grandparent lol. This is all the way around good! No regrets. Watch it!
Avid readerReviewed in the United States on April 14, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
How one ordinary person can make a huge difference
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It is very unlikely even most who lived through the Cuban missile crisis have any idea of how close the world came to a nuclear exchange. This movie, based in true events, shows how a rather simple salesman can make a huge difference. MI6 need to recruit someone who could get information from Oleg, someone who would not be noticed. They selected Greville. He asked why, as he drank too much, etc., and they said that was precisely why. No one would suspect. And Emily did a great job of laying on a huge guilt trip to make Greville not back out. When Greville first went to Moscow on a mission to make trade contacts, since he was a salesman, he wore a special tie clip so Oleg would know. And Oleg filled him in that everyone would be spying on everything he did. MI6 told him the less he knew about what he was doing the better, and he was true to that. He took out of Moscow the information that allowed the U.S. to recognize what the missiles were that were placed in Cuba. When Oleg wanted to defect, MI6 didn’t have a way of getting him out, so a plan was hatched, and Greville went to Moscow where both were caught. The prison Greville was in certainly wasn’t pleasant, but he lived to be exchanged. Oleg did not. For anyone who wants to understand the terror of those 13 days in October and how close America came to nuclear war, the book by Graham Allison (Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis) is outstanding. Back then, Kennedy had 9 days to work on the situation and defuse the crisis. No leader gets 9 days anymore.
3 people found this helpful
Jeb D.Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
it happened
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good film. enjoyed. cool that it was real
John McCulloughReviewed in the United States on September 10, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
A little heads up of what we’re working towards
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Seriously, this was a great movie. Cumberbatch is one of the best. The story was believable, the writing was excellent. My stomach turned for the characters.
RTMReviewed in the United States on August 1, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Interesting True Story About a Citizen Spy During the Cold War
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British Secret Service (MI6) recruit an ordinary businessman to handle communications with a highly placed spy in Moscow during the Cold War era in this well made and acted drama. Based on a true story, I found myself engrossed in this film from start to finish. The movie effectively puts the viewer in the shoes of the main character, as he becomes friends with the spy, but must carefully walk a tightrope during his visits to Moscow. One mistake will doom both of them to prison, or worse. Intelligent film dramas like this seem rare these days, and I highly recommend this one.
3 people found this helpful
JRReviewed in the United States on September 14, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Historical spy movie
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Excellent spy movie based on the true story.
Hensa9Reviewed in the United States on August 22, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Must See!
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This very intense true-life movie gives us a glimpse of the espionage world. Stellar cast, directing, and production that did its utmost to bring a historical event back to life again.
2 people found this helpful
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