fri 20/07/2018

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.Adrift  ★★★★★ Oceanic epic of love, storms and survivalCity of...

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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...

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Describe the Night, Hampstead Theatre review - epic take on the mythology of Putin

Five years ago, when New York playwright Rajiv Joseph started on his fantasy disquisition on truth, lies and the recent history of Russia, no one was talking about a new Cold War and trump was still a thing you did in a game of cards. Now, at the...

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Homeland, Series 7 Finale, Channel 4 review - Russian roulette

In a manner uncannily reminiscent of last year’s Season 6, this latest edition of Homeland spent at least half the series trying to get warmed up for the dash to the tape over the final furlongs. Viewers finding themselves slipping into a catatonic...

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Red Sparrow review - from Russia with lust

As it turns out, the slashed-to-the-hip Versace dress with which Jennifer Lawrence provoked controversy (synthetic or otherwise) on a freezing London rooftop was an accurate barometer of what to expect from Red Sparrow. It has the nostalgic...

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Mick Herron: London Rules review - hypnotically fascinating, absolutely contemporary

London Rules – explicitly cover your arse – is the fifth in the most remarkable and mesmerising series of novels, set mostly and explicitly in London, to have appeared in years. It is hypnotically fascinating, absolutely contemporary, cynical and...

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McMafia, BBC One review - James Norton looks promising in a murky le Carré world

It’s not the first time that James Norton has kicked off BBC One’s New Year primetime celebrations in Russian style. Two years ago, he was costumed up as the courageous Prince Andrei, in illustrious ensemble company for Andrew Davies and Tom Harper’...

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Cell Mates, Hampstead Theatre review - intriguing yet opaque

The play that famously got away when one of its stars (quite literally) jumped ship is back. In 1995, Stephen Fry abandoned the West End premiere of Simon Gray's espionage drama Cell Mates, leaving co-star Rik Mayall in the lurch and prompting Gray...

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Storyville: Toffs, Queers and Traitors, BBC Four review - the spy who was a scamp

“There is something odd, I suppose, about anyone who betrays their country.” It’s an excellent opening line, particularly when delivered in director George Carey’s nicely querulous narrative voice, for Toffs, Queers and Traitors (BBC Four). He...

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John le Carré: A Legacy of Spies review - the master in twilight mood

Over his long career – 23 novels, memoirs, his painfully believable narratives adapted into extraordinary films (10 for the big screen) and for television – John le Carré has created a world that has gripped readers and viewers alike. He has...

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Coming soon: trailers to the next big films

Summer's here, which can only mean Hollywood blockbusters. But it's not all Spider-Man, talking apes and World War Two with platoons of thespians fighting on the beaches. There's comedy, a saucy menage-à-trois, a film about golf and even a ghost...

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Atomic Blonde review - ferocious female action franchise

Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” plays as Charlize Theron’s Lorraine Broughton makes her entrance. She’s the last Cold War super-spy, a female Bond sent to Berlin as the Wall crumbles. “Killer Queen”, prominent on early trailers, would have...

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