wed 21/08/2019

spies

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.Animals ★★★★ Emma Jane Unsworth's novel becomes a riotous and unruly...

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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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Traitors, Channel 4 review - Cold War thriller fails to reach room temperature

It’s 1945 and World War Two is nearly over. Somewhere in England, Fiona Symonds (“Feef” to her friends) is training to be a spy and be dropped behind enemy lines. Her training involves such amusements as being woken in the night by having a bucket...

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Mrs Wilson finale, BBC One review - stranger than fiction

As the priest said, "Understanding comes first, then forgiveness". Thus the rather enjoyable (if slightly overstretched) Mrs Wilson came to a not exactly happy, but certainly forgiving, ending. Ruth Wilson held the screen over three episodes of this...

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The Little Drummer Girl, BBC One, series finale review - Le Carré drama comes to the boil at last

Was The Little Drummer Girl commissioned by algorithm? Those who liked The Night Manager might reasonably have been supposed to enjoy another le Carré adaptation. The two dramas had DNA in common. Both steered away from the Cold War, and told of a...

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Mrs Wilson, BBC One review - real-life secrets and lies

In which the titular Mrs Wilson is played by her real-life granddaughter Ruth Wilson, in an intriguing tale of subterfuge both personal and professional. The curtain rose over suburban west London in the 1960s, where Alison Wilson was married to...

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The Little Drummer Girl, BBC One, review - latest Le Carré just passes audition

When after six novels John Le Carré turned away from the Cold War, he turned towards another simmering post-war conflict, between Israel and Islam. The Little Drummer Girl was published in 1983, and filmed a year later with Diane Keaton and Klaus...

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Berlin Station, More 4 review - spooks in Euroland

It’s eight years since Richard Armitage’s character Lucas North died in Spooks, but now Armitage is back undercover as CIA agent Daniel Miller in Berlin Station. Mind you, it’s already been touch and go – Miller was shot in in Berlin’s Potzdamer...

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