sat 20/04/2019

spies

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...

Read more...

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.América ★★★★ A heart-warming document of love across the...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

Pack of Lies, Menier Chocolate Factory review - suburban spy story

We do love our spy stories, don't we? The idea of betrayal, both political and personal, seems to be a strong part of our national identity. And so is telling stories based on real events. Playwright Hugh Whitemore, who died in July, based his Pack...

Read more...

The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco, ITV review - the ludicrous in search of the preposterous

Belatedly picking up from where series 2 of The Bletchley Circle left off in 2014, this comeback version has a go at transporting a couple of the original characters to the Californian West Coast, where they embroil themselves in the hunt for that...

Read more...

Frank Gardner: Ultimatum review - topical terrorism

The journalist Frank Gardner has turned to fiction to illuminate with imagination the world that he knows inside out from years of reporting. His biographical trajectory, from scholar of the Middle East and the Arab world, through BBC correspondent...

Read more...
Subscribe to spies