14 August 2014 10:01 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The old saying about knowing the notes but not the song could hardly find a more fitting filmic representation than “The November Man,” which runs through spy-movie cliches with such dogged obligation that it often plays like a YouTube compilation of scenes from older, better thrillers, generating little overall tension and only occasionally approaching basic coherence. Starring Pierce Brosnan as a very roughly sketched aging spook, this scatterbrained Roger Donaldson pic will have to count on audiences’ lingering ’90s Bond nostalgia to make much headway in late August release.

The basic plot of “The November Man,” adapted from the seventh book in Bill Granger’s 1980s Peter Devereaux series, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but that isn’t necessarily a fatal flaw in a thriller. What does matter is that none of the characters do, either. Brosnan’s protagonist, Devereaux, a retired CIA veteran called back in for one last job, »

- Andrew Barker

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