The 10 Best Political Thrillers Of The 21st-Century (So Far) BY ANTHONY CLIFTON
The Courier' (2020) While it also falls into the spy film genre, The Courier is set right in the heart of a major political conflict. Based on a true story, the film is about a British businessman who is recruited by the Secret Service to covertly communicate with a Soviet officer on the brink of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Headlined by Benedict Cumberbatch as the Englishman Greville Wynne and Georgian actor Merab Ninidze as Russian source Oleg Penkovsky, The Courier is continually gripping and well-made, painting vivid pictures of both 1960s London and Russia. The film is lifted past its at times dry subject because it puts ample care into the relationship between its characters, making it one of the newest but finest additions to the political thriller film canon
Benedict Cumberbatch stars in this drama based on the true story surrounding Greville Wynne, a British businessman who was recruited by the Secret Intelligence Service to carry messages to and from the Soviet Union during the Cold War. As Wynne works with a Russian spy to get information out, it puts his life and freedom in danger.
Cumberbatch is phenomenal in the central role, while particular plaudits also have to go to Jessie Buckley for her small but impactful role as Wynne's wife Sheila. It may not be up there with the very best spy thrillers, but it remains tense throughout, and you'll find yourself shocked by the real history surrounding Wynne's life.
It's been over a decade since Jane Campion last released a feature film – although she did create acclaimed TV series Top of the Lake in that time – and The Power of the Dog is a brilliant return to moviemaking for the former Oscar winner. Equal parts Western and psychological thriller, the film is based on Thomas Savage's 1967 novel of the same name, and deftly delves into issues including toxic masculinity and repressed homosexuality.
This is an impeccably crafted film, complete with a superb Jonny Greenwood score and a terrific cast – including a career-best turn from Benedict Cumberbatch as brutish rancher Phil Burbank and equally accomplished performances from Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons. The film bagged a hatful of Oscar nominations, and don't be too surprised to see some involved walking away with a golden statuette.