Our Kind of Traitor
by Liam Gaugham | Collider | July 10, 2021
Spy movies remain a popular genre thanks to the continued success of the James Bond and Mission: Impossible franchises. Argo and Zero Dark Thirty emerged as awards contenders that provided a grittier look at modern intelligence, and action-comedies like The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and the Kingsman franchise have offered more subversive takes. However, there’s no shortage of great spy movies from the past decade that haven’t found an audience yet, and deserve more attention from film fans.
Check out these top-tier espionage thrillers from the past decade you may have missed.
Our Kind of Traitor
Our Kind of Traitor brings out the best of John le Carré’s nuanced approach to international espionage through the perspective of an ordinary man caught in over his head (in a premise similar to Alfred Hitchcock classics like Saboteur or North by Northwest). This point of view serves as an audience surrogate for entry into complex material, and Ewan McGregor is phenomenal in the role of university professor Perry Mackendrick, who is tasked with negotiating the surrender of a quirky Russian mobster known only as “The Prince” (Stellan Skarsgård). The agreement develops at the worst possible time for Perry, who is approached during an attempt to rekindle his marriage to his wife Gail (Naomie Harris) following an infidelity.
The friction within their relationship gives Perry a reason to befriend the boisterous Russian, and Skarsgård humanizes a character who is quickly revealed to be just a pawn in a larger money laundering scheme. Like Perry, The Prince is willing to take great personal risks in order to protect his family, resulting in a rare, sentimental le Carré adaptation. It’s an undercover thriller without any clear cut heroes or villains, as even the antagonistic MI6 agent Hector (Damian Lewis) has a personal tragedy that motivates him to block Perry’s peaceful solutions.
Read the rest of the original article at Collider