Benedict Cumberbatch's best performance to date, which makes this is one of the best-ever acting performances. His physical transformation in the film is startling, and testimony to his commitment to his craft. This role should garner award nominations across the spectrum of such ceremonies for Benedict, and if he does not win an Oscar, it may be the last time I watch the Academy Awards. The Courier is one of the finest espionage films ever made. No spy film is better at emotionally connecting the viewer with the lead character. The Director maintains a refreshingly low-key atmosphere in scenes, befitting the "trade-craft" of espionage that thrives on innocuous and concealing behavior (rather than the overly dramatic big moments too often leaned upon in blockbuster spy films). None of that nonsense would actually occur as spies would bring too much attention to themselves - a sure way of having a short career and brief lifespan. This is a spotlight film role carried by Benedict, but a film of this immense achievement does not occur without similarly great performances by the supporting cast. Merab Ninidze hits one over the Berlin Wall and deserves recognition for his remarkable supporting role performance. Rachel Brosnahan was spot-on as well, and is clearly on a roll after her deserved critical praise for 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'. Tom O'Conner's screenplay is brilliant as is Dominic Cooke's directing, and Gareth Scales' editing which somehow brings this fascinating true story to film in under two hours. The Courier has me once again ('Spotlight' being the first in 2015) breaking my long standing rule of not putting a film on the Top 100 All Time Greatest list within a year of its release.
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Cold War spy Greville Wynne and his Russian source try to put an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
May 1, 2021