tue 13/04/2021

spies

Deutschland 89, Channel 4 review - the Wall comes down, what next?

Joerg and Anna Winger’s gripping drama of East Germany, a loose portrait set over the final decade of that country’s existence, has reached its culmination, and this first episode of Deutschland 89 landed us right in the unpredictable maelstrom of...

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The Same Sky, More4 review - Cold War thriller from both sides of the Berlin wall

“Make contact with the left eye - it is a direct pathway to the emotions. Then make yourself scarce so that the desire in her can grow.” This fine flirting advice comes from a Stasi officer to his students, preparing them for a honey-trap mission to...

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The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles below is well worth your attention.Enola Holmes ★★★★ Millie Bobby Brown gives the patriarchy what-for in...

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Putin: A Russian Spy Story, Channel 4 review - inside the mind of a man without a face

Director Nick Green’s new three-parter follows on the heels of his A Dangerous Dynasty: House of Assad and comparisons are sure to be made between his two subjects. Though the finer degrees of political power-play – and the sheer quantity of...

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The Haystack, Hampstead Theatre review - a chilling surveillance state thriller

With counter-terrorism an urgent concern – and specifically how best to find, track and use the data of suspected threats, without sacrificing our privacy and civil liberties – it’s excellent timing for a meaty drama about the surveillance state....

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John le Carré: Agent Running in the Field review - fake news, Brexit and Cold war echoes

That John le Carré! It turns out the agent isn’t so much running in the field as playing badminton. The master of the spy novel, of the foibles fantasies and sadnesses of our imperfect world – with the occasional excursion to excoriate Big Pharma...

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The Capture, Episode 5, BBC One review - the man who knew too much

Five episodes ago, BBC One's The Capture set off at a cracking pace with the apparent abduction and murder of barrister Hannah Roberts by army lance-corporal Shaun Emery. With Roberts’s help, Emery had been acquitted of killing a Taliban fighter in...

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Killing Eve, Series 2, BBC One review - the award-winning show returns

At the end of the first series, MI6 spy Eve (Sandra Oh) stabs psychopathic assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer) in the stomach as they’re together on the bed in Villanelle’s gorgeous Paris flat ("chic as shit" according to Eve). “I really liked you! It...

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Summer of Rockets, BBC Two review - pride and prejudice in 1950s Britain

Hallelujah! At last the BBC have commissioned a Stephen Poliakoff series that makes you want to come back for episode two (and hopefully all six), thanks to a powerful cast making the most of some perceptively-written roles.His most recent efforts,...

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Deep State, Series 2, Fox review - covert conspiracies in Africa

Last year’s first season of Deep State featured cloak and dagger exploitations of chaos in the Middle East by the capitalist West and its intelligence services. Judging by its opening episode, this second iteration is about to do something similar,...

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Red Joan review - Judi Dench can't lift lumbering espionage drama

The decades-long stage relationship between Judi Dench and Trevor Nunn translates to surprisingly little with Red Joan. This is veteran theatre director Nunn's first film since Twelfth Night in 1996. Top-billed in a supporting role, Dench brings her...

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The Rubenstein Kiss, Southwark Playhouse review - slick spy drama doesn't quite come together

It's an ideal time to revive James Phillips's debut The Rubenstein Kiss. Since it won the John Whiting Award for new writing in 2005 its story, of ideological differences tearing a family apart, has only become more relevant. Joe Harmston directs a...

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