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Our Kind of Traitor


Stars: Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgard, Damian Lewis, Naomie Harris, Jeremy Northam, Khalid Abdalla, Mark Gatiss, Saskia Reeves

Director: Susanna White

This adequate but otherwise largely undistinguished espionage thriller largely resembles a made-for-television movie. And, since Channel 4 is among the credited production companies, that is probably its proper (and ultimate) home.

It’s unfortunate too, that Our Kind of Traitor was released while the brilliant BBC television miniseries version of The Night Manager was still fresh in viewers’ memories.

Here Hossein Amini’s adaptation of le Carre’s novel finds college professor Ewan McGregor holidaying in Marrakesh with his wife Naomie Harris in an attempt to heal the wounds left by his affair with a student.

McGregor is befriended by Russian oligarch Stellan Skarsgard and only later finds his new pal needs his help to escape the Russian mobsters for whom he has been laundering their ill-gotten gains.

While there are no bad performances, there are no outstanding ones either, apart from Skarsgard whose larger-than-life villain, complete with a Russian(?) accent that wanders from scene to scene, is enjoyable.

Alan Frank

UK/France 2016. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour.
102 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 15 Sep 2016

DVD review