The Courier

Director: Dominic Cooke
Year Released: 2020
Rating: 2.0

Both the CIA (embodied by Rachel Brosnahan) and Britain's own MI6 (Angus Wright) recruit businessman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) to try to gain entry to the Soviet Union and collect information from Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze), a colonel working for military intelligence who wants to defect ... and live in Montana (really?).  While it claims to be "based on a true story," it somehow doesn't feel as urgent or tense as it needed to be - compare/contrast with Spielberg's Bridge of Spies - and fails to properly 'convey' the seriousness of the Cuban Missile Crisis and only becoming moderately harrowing when Cumberbatch is actually in prison and horrifically gaunt (which is where the photography gets becomes a bit 'showy').  Despite the movie having a too-stiff upper lip, Mr. Cumberbatch remains the sole reason to bother with it in the first place: he does quite well in biopics, doesn't he?