Movies that are dark, in theme and production, aren’t really “my thing” or at least not regularly. But sometimes, when they’re inspired by a true story with a stellar case, such as The Courier, I will give them their two hours.

The Courier (2020) Film Review

Working as a business and sales man in 1960s London, Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) works hard to expand through travel. The one place he’s looking to travel to is possibly Russia, and CIA agent Rachel Donovan (Rachel Brosnahan) knows this. She, along with MI6 recruits Greville to use him as a go-between with a Russian looking to pass on information.

Together, and through time, Greville and Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) uncover a few secrets, all with the hope they save lives… even when their own look to be in danger.

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‘THE COURIER’: A DARK BUT INSPIRING REAL-LIFE DRAMA. Benedict Cumberbatch stars in this 2020 drama. All text is © Rissi JC

I really do like this film despite its dark themes and story. It doesn’t have a happy path to its conclusion, but in some weird way, the film is also incredibly inspiring. It’s a message of hope and also one of hardships. There’s a lot in life we want to take the “easy pass” on and not fight for something different because it’s “hard.” Or maybe because we feel alone. Just because something is hard or doesn’t seem the way to inspire change, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still try. This film challenges the part of us that believes a single action cannot change anything.

“…we are only two people. But this is how things change” – The Courier


Additionally to its message is the brilliant cast. Of course, Cumberbatch is one of my favorite British talents (speaking to his acting) and I love him in things like Doctor Strange and of course, Sherlock. He again plays a wonderful role here, though I think this is the first time I’ve seen him as less brilliant and more ordinary. The rest of the cast is equally good and includes Jessie Buckley (The Last Post) and Anton Lesser.

According to the writer, Greville’s biography has been called into question, so I don’t know how accurate it (never read or heard of it) or this script is. However, as a piece of cinematic art, this film is good. It’s got the usual British feel in its production and quality. This means that in addition to its message, this is all around, a really strong film to watch if you don’t mind some darkness.

You can find The Courier digitally on Amazon Video; at publication it’s with Prime.


‘THE COURIER’: A DARK BUT INSPIRING REAL-LIFE DRAMA. Benedict Cumberbatch stars in this 2020 drama. All text is © Rissi JC

Content: There’s one sex scene, but it doesn’t go beyond kissing and the man lying the woman down, with him lying on top. They remain clothed before it skips to them lying in bed together. There’s profanity including normal uses like sh*t, h*ll, etc. and one use of the F-word. There’s a shot of backside male nudity. There’s some tense moments and some troubling scenes of people being tortured. The film is PG-13.

Photos: 42 / Film Nation Entertainment / Lionsgate / Roadside Attractions / SunnyMarch                   

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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