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MI-5 (2015)

Spooks: The Greater Good (original title)
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When a terrorist escapes custody during a routine handover, Will Holloway must team with disgraced MI5 Intelligence Chief Harry Pearce to track him down before an imminent terrorist attack on London.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Vass
June Keaton
Geoffrey Streatfeild ...
Philip Emerson
Matthew Walker ...
Prison Van Officer
Adem Qasim
Francis Warrender
Geraldine Maltby
Ed Lansbury
Luke Harris ...
Hamza Ahmadi


MI5 personnel are caught up in a traffic jam in London while escorting the CIA's most wanted terrorist to an arranged CIA handover point, when he is suddenly rescued by armed men on motorbikes. Harry Pearce, the head of Counter-Terrorism at MI5 is blamed for the terrorist escaping. Especially as Harry disappeared shortly after the incident. An ex-agent, Will Holloway, and protégé of Harry's is recalled by MI5 to assist in finding and bringing Harry in. However Harry has disappeared for a reason. Certain that there is a traitor in a senior position in MI5, he enlists the somewhat reluctant Will to help him in uncovering the rat or rats concerned. Written by Woodland Outlaw

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Loyalty is treason


Action | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 December 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

MI-5  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Neither Kit Harington, nor Jennifer Ehle had appeared in the TV series MI-5 (2002), from where the film originates. See more »


When Will Holloway is rescued in Moscow, he gets into a Tesla Model S. When the car pulls away, the sounds of urgent engine revving and gear changes are heard. The Tesla Model S is a fully electric car and hence makes no such sounds. See more »


[first lines]
Robert Vass: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with - R. If you can't get it, you do a forfeit.
June Keaton: Rain?
See more »

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User Reviews

Exciting spy thriller
27 March 2016 | by (US) – See all my reviews

British MI5 is transporting something or someone to hand it over to the CIA. The cargo is Adem Qasim, a Muslim terrorist. The transport gets stuck in traffic. The chopper watching over is sent elsewhere. Suddenly guys on motorcycles and guns arrive. To avoid the death of innocents, all those folks on the road, the guy in charge of the operation, Harry, decides they should just hand over Qasim peacefully even though agent June was ready to defend their position but she was told by her partner not go for her gun. After the terrorists leave, she runs after them, another agent is killed, and the bad guys escape.

That means Harry will have to sacrifice his job and he ends up committing suicide, or does he? Meanwhile a decommissioned former agent in Russia is summoned against his will to help find Harry. Turns out this kid, Will, was removed by Harry from MI5, his father was MI5 as well and Harry's partner, but died under mysterious circumstances.

Sure enough, Harry contacts Will. He wants his help. Earlier we learned that Harry continued to go after Qasim and had an agent in the terror network. But Qasim found out and killed her but he also let Harry know that MI5 is compromised. Harry wants to know the name of the mole and offers Qasim to turn over his wife who is being held by the FSB.

Meanwhile MI5 is terrified that the CIA will take them over(?), which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. And it's not like there's some meaningful difference between these two governments when it comes to "security." At some NATO shindig, one of Qasim's guys blows himself up killing a government-MI5 liaison.

Harry sets up an exciting meet with Will at London Heathrow, while MI5 is monitoring Will and trying to hunt Harry. But Harry sure is something else, easily outwitting everyone.

Eventually Will realizes that MI5 is indeed compromised and he goes somewhat rogue as Harry goes ahead with the offer to exchange Qasim's wife for information. When that fails, Harry has one more offer for Qasim who's actually about to release 15 bombs all over London. But the new offer is more enticing and also a very bold surprise move by Harry. All along the lesson for Will and the newer agents is that you can make good choices or better choices. And some choices aren't without sacrifice.

MI-5 is a pretty exciting intelligence thriller. The story is convoluted but very rich and interesting. There is no shortage of twists and turns and surprises and all loose ends are tied in the end. Of course all this requires that Harry function in god-mode being able to predict everything with accuracy and have everything go his way. The whole meet at the airport was excellent. There are a lots of aerial views of London which is a city well-suited for those images. Some scenes also take place in Berlin and Moscow.

The problem for me was the lack of a central character. Here the duties are split between Harry, who is in the shadows pulling the strings, and Will who can't make up his mind whether he's going to trust Harry or turn him in to MI5. I'm not familiar with the TV series but I take it the casting of Firth was mandatory. A shame because he's better suited as a desk agent than some superagent on the field. Otherwise MI-5 is very strong, no-nonsense thriller.

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