Beirut

In Cinemas Now

Beirut, 1982: The Paris of the Middle East was burning.

Jon Hamm is a former U.S. diplomat and negotiator returning to Beirut to save a former colleague in this political thriller. Co-stars Rosamund Pike and Breaking Bad's Dean Norris. Brad Anderson (The Machinist) directs a screenplay by Tony Gilroy (Rogue One and Bourne writer, director of Michael Clayton).

"Mason Skiles (Hamm), a top U.S. diplomat, left Lebanon in the 1970s after a tragic incident. Ten years later, the CIA calls him back to a war-torn Beirut with a mission only he can accomplish. Meanwhile, a CIA field agent who is working undercover at the American embassy is tasked with keeping Skiles alive and ensuring that the mission is a success. Without knowing who is on his side and with lives on the line, Skiles must outmaneuver everyone to expose the truth." (Sundance Film Festival)

Trailers

Directed by

Written by

Drama, Thriller

110mins

Rating: MA15+ Strong violence

USA

Vanity Fair

press

Mostly the film trades in an agreeably old-school form of cinematic espionage intrigue.

Hollywood Reporter

press

A period political thriller whose motivations remain timely.

The Guardian (UK)

press

Like any good spy tale, there's the wounded man in the center, and [Jon] Hamm (mostly bouncing off his CIA handler Rosamund Pike) has got the hollow hero thing down after seven seasons of Mad Men.

Variety (USA)

press

Mostly the film trades in an agreeably old-school form of cinematic espionage intrigue.

Rolling Stone

press

Jon Hamm adds movie-star class and a world-weary Don Draper touch to this mediocre spy thriller containing plot twists you may think are reductive of the Muslim world. You're not wrong.

Los Angeles Times

press

Gilroy is a master at laying out a twisty plot, and Anderson directs with the kind of verve that enables almost all the twists to hit us with the force of surprise.

New York Times

press

The absence of Arab voices beyond those of the terrorists further flattens a movie that never fully takes satisfying shape.

Fails to deliver

Directed by Brad Anderson from a screenplay by Tony Gilroy, Beirut has great pedigree, but fails to deliver as either a highly charged political thriller, or a slow-burn spy caper.

John Hamm plays an alcoholic diplomat dragged back to the city that destroyed his family. As the complex plot and Middle East machinations unfold, it’s pretty hard to care much.

Compared to the likes of Gilroy’s Michael Clayton and Bourne movie scripts, it’s a well-made but pretty dull affair that relies almost entirely on its lead actor’s charisma.

Mildly entertaining, but ultimately too detached and dull to make a lasting impression.