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The Courier(2021)

7.11 h 52 min2021X-RayHDRUHD12
THE COURIER is a true-life spy thriller, the story of an unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) recruited into one of the greatest international conflicts in history.
Dominic Cooke
Benedict CumberbatchMerab NinidzeRachel Brosnahan
English [CC]
Audio Languages
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.

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Supporting actors
Jessie BuckleyAngus Wright
Ben BrowningRory AitkenBen PughAdam Ackland
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagenuditysexual contentsmokingviolence
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
Available to watch on supported devices


4.4 out of 5 stars

2051 global ratings

  1. 59% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 26% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 9% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

AnyaReviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 December 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Superb Cold War Drama,
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Based on facts, well researched and delivered as it should.
Raw and honest portrayal of realism of the USSR way of life and the serious threat of the Cuban conflict and looming WWIII.

I watched it through a magnifying glass of my childhood memories and can honestly say this to be an excellent rendition of the times.

Benedict C.will probably be nominated for an Oscar but all the supporting actors carried out a stellar performance.

9.75/10 from me.
11 people found this helpful
macabee200Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 01 March 2022
1.0 out of 5 stars
Makes me worry about movies today
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The 1950s era of spies has been extensively documented John Le Carre went into forensic detail about the period, including descriptions of spy craft—as did writers like John Forsythe. Throughout everything these authors did their research. Yes, they wrote fantastical thrillers. But the facts underlying the fiction were cast iron. Some of their novels were almost how to guides on how to be a spy, and serve almost as historical documents about the era.

This movie? Well, it's "based on a true story". That's such a nonsense term. My mate Dave went into space where he herded space cows. That's based on a true story. I mean, I do have a mate called Dave and he works on a farm. But the rest is just "based on a true story".

And what's so upsetting and even insulting about this movie is that it's based on a well documented period yet it plays incredibly fast and loose with the reality and truth of the situation.

Did the UK really have trade with Soviet Russia in the 1950s? A little, yes, and the reasons are fascinating. Churchill said "The more trade there is through the Iron Curtain [...] the greater is the counterpoise to purely military calculations". Wouldn't it have been awesome if this movie could reference that, and use it as a springboard? But no. This movie's just too dumb for that level of understanding.

Did businessmen really move freely between the UK and USSR without raising an iota of suspicion? Was Khrushchev a monomaniac set on destroying the west? Was the Cold War just about nuclear weapons? Did the UK and US really join forces to recruit spies, as if they worked for a single agency?

This is the shaky ground on which this movie is built – and you've only to prod and poke a little for it all to come tumbling down.

What you have in this movie is Poundland Le Carre.

I'm so tired of seeing Benedict Cumberbatch in movies like this. He's a great actor. He acts so well here. But this movie wastes his abilities, and he should know better. It's at the stage now where I think twice about watching a movie he's in.
5 people found this helpful
Adam K.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 November 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Cold War Heats Up
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It won't change anyone's life, but this neat little spy thriller was enjoyable and, for me, Bandersnatch Cumberband turns in a far better performance here than in the acclaimed "Power of the Dog". There, he's all pose and posture, whereas here he's fully committed, and the change in him through the course of the film is drastic and disturbing. Jessie Buckley, at first seemingly consigned to a minor role as a 1960s wife and mother, absolutely bloody shines, capturing the cut-glass poise that eventually fractures and she's marvelous. It's a far better film than it has any right to be, and captures the Cold War tensions beautifully.
4 people found this helpful
BenReviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 December 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Brilliant film adaption of Penkovsky and Greville Wynne
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Really good film adaption based on Cold War history in build and and deescalation of nuclear Cuban missile crisis, film is very surreal and holds no bars on consequences of Penkovsky actions in preventing nuclear attack and sadly paying the ultimate price,

Benedict adaption of Greville is very real even going to lengths to lose weight in gulag imprisonment scene

Really good film and underestimated worth watching
4 people found this helpful
dudeymanReviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 January 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
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really good movie about real life event. just one thing. Krushchov was not a war munger in fact he despised it because of his experience in WW2 losing alot of men under his command i understand unlike our modern day western politians who seem set on causing harm all over the world in places that have a differnt vision of living to theirs. Krushovs was just angry and felt insecure about the US having nukes near russias border so felt the US should feel what thats like and iot worked. both countrys took thier missiles out of both countrys
2 people found this helpful
G.G.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 01 February 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great to know the inside story!
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Read all about this event whilst it was hot news. The newspapers told the story on an innocent business man arrested for spying just so he could be used as a pawn for the Russians to swap for one of their genuine spies. I remember seeing before and after photos of Greville Wynn in the newspaper and a spell in the Russian prison certainly aged him.
3 people found this helpful
Noelle HallReviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 January 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
A True Spy Story
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In the 1960s Greville Wynn was a businessman who sold products all over the world. MI5 recruited him to link up with Oleg Penkovsky a high ranking Russian official who had offered to pass information to the West. This film is the story of the relationship the two men built against the background of the Cold War. Penkovsky is shown as fearful that Khrushchev will launch a nuclear strike from Cuba. The information he passes to Wynn is shown as preventing this. The story is probably somewhat fictionalised but it shows the harsh reality of Soviet life the natural fear of anyone acting against the state. Oleg and Greville are both betrayed and caught and subjected to dreadful conditions in prison but Wynn is eventually repatriated while Penkovsky is shot. All performances are very fine and we are left relived that the USSR finally ended but wondering what the future holds.
One person found this helpful
wölfingReviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 January 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
A frightening evocation of an era not so long ago
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I well remember when the principal fear was that of annihilation in a nuclear war, and how imminent that seemed in the Bay of Pigs incident. Many analogies can be drawn with present circumstances: the hostility of the West and its complete U-turns on assurances made, the brinkmanship of Putin, an ice-cold calculator where Khrushchev seemed an impetuous hothead. The suffering of Godfrey Wynne, an honest man deceived and blackmailed by British and American security forces, at the hands of Soviet brutality is honestly shown. A real nail-biter and an edge-of-seat experience.
One person found this helpful
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