A holiday in Morocco doesn’t seem to be working to re-spark the romance between mild-mannered professor Perry (Ewan McGregor) and high-powered lawyer Gail (Naomie Harris)—but maybe a little international intrigue will do the trick? Perhaps it’s implausible that Russian mobster Dima (Stellan Skarsgård) would recruit Perry to act as go-between for him with MI6—Dima wants to defect with info about shady financial dealings—but it’s just plausible enough to carry off the ensuing trans-European spy shenanigans. The fantastic cast—also featuring Damian Lewis as a slippery MI6 agent—makes this worth your time, or at least almost. If you loved the recent, fabulous TV adaptation of John le Carré’s The Night Manager … well, you probably won’t love this one quite as much. Director Susanna White makes a valiant effort at imparting an air of the cinematic to a story (also based on a le Carré book) that feels as if it belongs on the small screen. But the inescapable comparison with Manager underscores how much better Traitor would be given more time to develop its characters across a longer storytelling form.
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