Combustible Celluloid
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With: Chris Pine, Thandiwe Newton, Laurence Fishburne, Jonathan Pryce, Orli Shuka, Jonjo O’Neill, Ahd, Corey Johnson, David Dawson, Gala Gordon, Oscar Coleman, David Bedella
Written by: Olen Steinhauer, based on his book
Directed by: Janus Metz
MPAA Rating: R for sexuality/nudity, violence and language
Running Time: 101
Date: 04/08/2022

All the Old Knives (2022)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Double Dagger

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Based on a novel by Olen Steinhauer and directed by Janus Metz (Borg vs. McEnroe), All the Old Knives has all the old genre chestnuts, mostly revolving around a mole in the organization and hushed, secret meetings. Eight years ago, an airline hijacking ended in tragedy, but now new intel suggests that there was someone on the inside, helping the terrorists. Vick Wallinger (Laurence Fishburne) sends his best man, Henry Pelham (Chris Pine), to speak with Celia Harrison (Thandiwe Newton). Celia and Henry were formerly lovers, but after the incident, she suddenly left, fled to Carmel, and started a new life. She also had access to the phone that was used to contact the terrorists. A great deal of the movie is framed by a quiet dinner had by Henry and Celia, as they carefully navigate the conversation through the landmines of their past, and a potential crime. Metz keeps the tone hushed and soft, with delicately drifting light playing through the restaurant. Leapfrogging timelines and strong storytelling build suspense far better than explosions could have.

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