The Courier, rated PG-13
This excellent film, based on true events, features a strong acting performance from Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) as Greville Wynne, a British salesman who was asked to help his country and the U.S. by obtaining secrets from a willing Soviet Union accomplice during the Cold War in the time leading up to what would become known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. The film is directed by Dominic Cooke, and written by Tom O’Connor (The Hitman’s Bodyguard).
In 1960, Wynne, an ordinary salesman, is contacted by MI6 Agent Dick Franks, played by Angus Wright (The Iron Lady), and CIA Agent Emily Donovan, played by two-time Golden Globe winner Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), to be a spy. Under the guise of doing business in Moscow, Wynne is to obtain intelligence about a nuclear missile attack that’s being plotted from Oleg Penkovsky, a colonel in GRU, the main intelligence agency of the Soviet Union. Penkovsky, played by Merab Ninidze, is concerned about a possible nuclear war and also wants to defect from the Soviet Union.
Wynne realizes that this is very dangerous, but he agrees to the mission. We see him introduce himself in a meeting of business people, including Penkovsky, saying that he is there to open a door to the top manufacturers in the West.
Under these dangerous conditions, Wynne makes several trips to Moscow and begins a friendship with Penkovsky, including going to the ballet. They both want to do everything possible to prevent the nuclear weapon attack. Wynne also wants to do what he can to help Penkovsky and his family to defect.
Of course, Wynne cannot share with his wife Sheila, played by Jessica Buckley, what he’s really doing in Moscow. She begins seeing changes in him. He is more concerned about physical fitness than he’s ever been, and is more aggressive in bed. She believes that he is having an affair, as he did once before. She asks him to stop going to Moscow.
The film is rated PG-13 for some brief adult language, a brief bedroom scene (nothing is shown), and male nudity that is not portrayed in a sexual manner. Themes in the film include espionage, danger, sacrifice, friendship and marriage.
The Courier is a well-made film based on true events, that features a good cast. The film is driven by the acting performances of its two lead characters. I’d recommend this film for ages 16 and above.