If you love thrillers but are sick of predicting the outcome before it transpires, this one is for you. Both the book and the movie have shocking turns in their plot that will make you gasp out loud.
When old lovers and CIA agents Henry Pelham (Chris Pine) and Celia Harrison (Thandiwe Newton) meet for dinner eight years after a horrific tragedy, the secrets they’ve kept are dragged into the light with exquisite pacing. Olen Steinhauer wrote the screenplay, adapted from his best-selling novel All the Old Knives. While he does switch around some scenes and make some minor edits, the novel and the film align perfectly. One edit we particularly enjoyed was the tweaks to Celia’s character, making her more sympathetic toward Henry and less didactic about the joys of parenthood.
We wonder if Steinhauer relished the opportunity to make these minor improvements.
This film is essentially a two-person show and casting was essential, and boy, was it nailed! The chemistry between the actors is palpable, and Thandiwe Newton is particularly superb in this one. They absorb us in their story, which unveils some of the terrible things our government inadvertently causes, including creating terrorists and the difficulties of being a civil servant.
It’s never an easy job, and inevitably, their work lives will bleed over into their personal lives – often causing permanent damage.
Book adaptations are always challenging, but when they succeed as All the Old Knives does, nothing is more satisfying for book-lovers and film buffs alike!
ALL THE OLD KNIVES will be available in theaters
and on Prime Video on April 8th, 2022.
It has a running time of 101 minutes and is rated R.
When the CIA discovers one of its agents leaked information that cost more than 100 people their lives, veteran operative Henry Pelham (Chris Pine) is assigned to root out the mole from among his former officemates at the agency’s Vienna station. His investigation takes him from Austria to England to California, where he is reunited with his one-time colleague and ex-lover Celia Harrison (Thandiwe Newton). The pair are forced to blur the lines between profession and passion in this riveting tale of global espionage, moral ambiguity, and deadly betrayal. Directed by acclaimed Danish director Janus Metz and written by Olen Steinhauer, the film also stars Laurence Fishburne and Jonathan Pryce.
Directed By: Janus Metz
Written By: Olen Steinhauer
Produced By: Matt Jackson, Mark Gordon, Steve Schwartz, Paula Mae Schwartz, Nick Wechsler
Executive Producers: Kate Churchill, Drew Comins, Zev Foreman, Richard Hewitt, Joanne Lee, Nick Meyer, Chris Pine
Cast: Chris Pine, Thandiwe Newton, Laurence Fishburne, and Jonathan Pryce