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Yalla At The Movies: Our Kind Of Traitor

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At the moment Ewan McGregor’s reluctant hero tells his barrister wife (Naomie Harris), “You defend people you don’t know”,  Our Kind Of Traitor finds its top gear and pushes on as a thriller should, leaving the audience satisfied, but likely wanting a little bit more.

It’s by no means a masterpiece, but this John Le Carré yarn ticks all the boxes for an enjoyable night at the cinema, with a plot that doesn’t require too much thought, but nonetheless holds your interest. It’s assisted by strong performances throughout, especially from Stellan Skarsgård, playing a Russian mafia man wanting out of the game.

Skarsgård’s Dima meets Perry (McGregor) and Gail (Harris) in Morocco and sets in motion a scramble to get the Russian’s family out of harm’s way.

Some touches feel forced, if not outright pretentious – the British spy played by Damien Lewis has dialogue unnecessarily garnished with snippets of Polish philosophy, and attempts to draw parallels between tennis and the numerous duels playing out only just work.

Director Susanna White is also happy to throw cinematic clichés into the overall atmosphere of the film, relying a little too much on views obscured by reflections, buildings or opaque glass – we get it, it’s a spy movie, the events are meant to be murky.

Ultimately, it’s a little too linear, and the artsy direction feels in place to hide the story’s lack of depth rather than supplement the tension, of which there is just enough to hold the viewer’s interest.

3.5 / 5

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