The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) Poster

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Really wish there was a second and third movie
elin-9579413 June 2019
I love this movie so much. The first time I watched it with a friend, we jumped back in the movie so many times to rewatch all our favourite parts over and over again. I've watched it a couple of times, and I still like it so so much. I've always liked spy movies. Growing up watching Bond. This movie is fun and clever and it's just a great movie. I might just go and rewatch it right now actually.

Yes, I know this review is stupid positive. But when you find a movie that you can enjoy without finding any big mistakes or things you get annoyed about, you just have to feel happy.
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"When you hear something that sounds like a gunshot, drive."
Zbigniew_Krycsiwiki29 February 2016
Never watched the show, so can't compare the two, or whether or not this is a faithful adaptation of it or not, but I loved this film. It perfectly rides the fine line between straight 1960s spy movie throwback, and satire of one.

Villain is pure 1960s vamp/ femme fatale, Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer's chemistry alone makes this worth watching. Hammer's twitch as his anger reaches boiling point is a great bit of detail. Cavill really reminded me of Roger Moore's Bond, specifically from The Spy Who Loved Me. He has a suave, "Trust me, I know what I'm doing" attitude throughout.

Several scenes creatively have the action taking place in the background, while the focus is on the foreground. A perfect example, and maybe my favourite scene in the film, is Cavill sitting in a truck, basically picnicking, with a large sandwich and bottle of Chianti, while boat chase is playing out in front of him, reflected on the windscreen.

The film is rated PG13, but it doesn't look watered down to get that rating, ... Henchman's electrocution torture scene was both graphic and simultaneously funny- another case of the action playing out in the background, while Cavill and Hammer debate the fate while in the next room.

The plot is a bit of a mess, especially toward the end, but a great cast, sharp dialogue, and great attention to detail, and good action makes this a winner
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Well worth the 1hr 56 minutes I spent in the theater
gillian-felix14 May 2017
This movie was well worth the 1hr 56 minutes I spent in the theater. I was completely entertained from the opening till the end. The characters were very likable, Armie and Henry had great chemistry, with each other and with the female lead played by Alicia Vikander.

I loved the snappy exchange between both actors, each had classic lines which worked with their character's personalities. The action kept me on my toes, the car chases were done with vintage cars which was nice to see.

Obviously, the cars were from the '60s to correspond with the movie's time-line, as were the fashion worn by both ladies; funky earrings and eyelashes for days. Despite the time line in the movie, the women were portrayed in a very dominant role, at times upstaging the men, but not in a bad way.

I loved the comedic element of the movie and so did the audience that sat in the nearly half empty theater. One of the lines that had us laughing was when Henry's character described Armie's character as barely human, he referred to him as "it" saying things like you should have seen "it run," and "it ripped off the trunk of a car."

While Henry delivered his comedic lines with swoon-worthy swagger, Armie did a very good Russian accent, with little quirks like a horrible but non-threatening temper.

I loved everything thing about this movie, the way it was shot, the tone, the story line, everything. I hope they continue the franchise there is still so much about these guys and girl that I want to learn more about.
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Underrated, extremely fun, and cool movie
charafernando24 April 2017
From the soundtrack, to the settings, costumes, characters, and action, the man from UNCLE is an exciting and classy action movie. It takes the bond formula and recreates it through Guy Richie's unmistakable lens.

I honestly think Napoleon Solo (one of the main characters, an American Spy) was a perfect role for Henry Cavill, who knocked it out of the park... an Archer-esque, suave, witty charmer/womanizer. The same can be said of Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander's characters

This is a witty, lighthearted, and funny movie and seriously underrated. It is definitely a go-to relax and enjoy movie for me
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SpankyWardOnAmazonPrime27 November 2020
Great film, can't lose cast, what the heck is the hold up?! It's a franchise waiting to happen.
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Man of Cool...
Chalice_Of_Evil12 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Towards the end of the movie, Henry Cavill's Napoleon Solo asks, "How's THAT for entertainment?" (when teaching the movie's villain a lesson about monologuing), and my answer regarding this movie would have to echo Waverly's "very good", as this film manages to out-Bond the last two actual Bond films. While it might be the unpopular opinion, I in fact enjoyed Guy Ritchie's two Sherlock Holmes films and so decided to give this a chance, knowing nothing about the original TV series this movie was based on and going in with no preconceived notions. One thing that sets it apart from other recent spy thrillers is it staying set in the 60s time period and not being "modernised". From the opening "spy jazz" music, it sets the tone for what will be a fun ride. Ritchie's unique directing style fits perfectly with this slick/stylish film and he proves once again to have the right touch when it comes to blending humor with serious moments (one example being in the most morbidly amusing torture sequence I've seen since Bond's in Casino Royale). Whilst there are "talky" moments and occasions where the camera lingers on a shot for a solid moment, which those with impatience may grow restless during, there's also action (but not such that it's overkill) mixed with humour, some emotional beats and even the odd sexy moment. It all combines extremely well.

Interestingly, as has been noted elsewhere, the main cast aren't using their own accents for their roles, with Brit Henry Cavill playing the American Napoleon Solo, American Armie Hammer playing Russian Illya Kuryakin and Swede Alicia Vikander as German Gaby Teller. Cavill, who I found dull/a bore in Man of Steel (then again, I felt that way about the film as a whole save for Antje Traue's Faora), is far better utilised as the suave/cool Solo here (which now brings the tally of cool movie characters by the name of 'Solo' to TWO - the other being...hmm, let's think...). He oozes charm, confidence, elegance - all those words that make up the definition of 'suave' - and has some great reactions. One scene I particularly liked was him just chilling, with a sandwich and bottle of vino in a truck he commandeered, as his newly assigned partner was attempting to escape some baddies in a boat. Just when you think Solo's almost heartless, he shows he's become quite attached to the Russian with anger management issues and does something nice for him (when they're not exchanging spy bugs or ramming each other through toilet stalls Casino Royale-style). As expected, they spend the majority of the film begrudgingly working alongside each other, bantering/arguing and showing each other up. Illya might be almost superhuman in strength and have the fancy fence-cutting tools, but Solo has the expertise breaking into vaults undetected...almost. Armie Hammer's better served here partnered with Cavill than he was with Depp in The Lone Ranger. The two play well off each other and have a nice fun dynamic. It also must be noted (since everyone's pointed it out regarding Tom Cruise in M:I 5) that while this film has a lot of stunts, both Cavill and Hammer took part in them, with the latter apparently giving his stunt double "hardly a chance to do anything because he's out there doing it all by himself".

2015 seems the year of the Awesome Swedes, as Alicia Vikander joins M:I 5's Rebecca Ferguson in making quite the memorable impression on screen. Apart from some rough-and-tumble with Illya, Vikander's Gaby sadly doesn't get to kick as much butt as the aforementioned Ferguson, but still proves hard to look away from when she's on screen (partly because she's dressed in eye-catching 60s fashion - which, along with the film's score/use of songs, goes a long way to creating the right 'mood' for the film - but also because she's awesome in other ways). Her character, a mechanic at the start of the film, soon finds herself in the thick of the action during a great chase scene featuring her at the wheel, with Solo in the back seat and the then unknown to them Illya in hot pursuit (a fantastic sequence, with the directing, music, acting all flowing together seamlessly...and manual window winders used for great comedic effect). Vikander has interesting/fun dynamics with Cavill and Hammer, showing some different sides to her character (one instance being in an amusing dance sequence) whilst also proving smart/helpful and that there's a bit more to her than you might first expect. This trio of characters are a large part of what makes the film as good as it is. Elizabeth Debicki plays the icy cold Victoria to the best of her ability, although there's not that much going on with her that one wouldn't already suspect. Hugh Grant and Jared Harris are both good in their small parts. Playing Gaby's Uncle Rudi, Sylvester Groth is quite memorable in his role.

While in his Sherlock Holmes movies Ritchie showed us in slow detail what Sherlock was going to do to his opponents (so we could actually *see* it/make sense of it before everything sped back up and he moved in a blur), it's sort of the opposite here, where we flashback to things we might've missed, little details and such, that are later filled in for us and thus make sense. The use of split screen is also something he seems quite fond of, walking the line between being used effectively and overuse. It proves an extra flourish to an already very stylised film. I enjoyed this origin film of sorts for the team made up of our three main characters - who hopefully we'll get to see more of in a sequel, as this ended up being a pleasantly surprising addition to the spy film genre. For extra background info about the characters, as well as to learn what the acronym U.N.C.L.E. stands for, make sure to watch the stylish end credits.
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Better than expected
glasspersephone16 August 2015
When I saw better than expected, I knew it would be good. But it was better than good, it was great.

Very witty, sexy movie. Take the humour of Sherlock (with Robert Downey Jr. & Jude law) and stick it in a bond movie- then you have The man from U.N.C.L.E. - I like bond movies, but I LOVED the man from uncle. It doesn't get boring, or drop at any point.

If you've read anything negative from critics Don't listen to what critics have to say, they don't like any kind of movie if it's not based on a true story.

It's certainly worth the price of admission, you'll be glad you saw it. I'm honestly hoping a second will be made.
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grnwoman16 August 2015
As a long-time fan of the original series who has watched rights disputes, and cast and director changes over the years, I viewed the pre-release publicity with high hopes and low expectations. But in the end, the film itself was a wonderful surprise! Witty, light-hearted without being a spoof and dramatic without being heavy-handed. The two main characters were updated from what was allowable in 60s television to satisfying and engaging modern versions of their original incarnations, and the attendant allies and villains were all one could want. The film was very much what the series could have been were it being done now, in the era of Game of Thrones and Mad Men. I've been twice and will be going again, as well as buying the DVD. Open Channel D; this film is more than I dared hope for!
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At this rate I'll have to see all of Ritchie's films
socrates9914 August 2015
Remembering the TV show, just barely, I remember I liked Illya a little better than Napoleon. That hasn't changed in this far better version. This movie is a joy and I either smiled or laughed through the whole thing. There is no way they're not making a sequel.

Guy Ritchie's direction is assured and far more clever and entertaining than his current rivals. And his eye for casting, assuming it was his doing, is impeccable. I particularly appreciated Alicia Vikander who was dreamy enough in Ex Machina. Here she does a little dance in one scene that went indelibly into my do not erase memory.

Cavill and Hammer make an unexpectedly good team. And though I was a little partial to Hammer's performance, Cavill has a flair for comedy that I haven't known about. Oddly enough, Hugh Grant who appears briefly, is a proved asset but seems a little out of place.

All in all though this is a fun movie and not to be missed.
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The Man from UNCLE is a spy comedy that Hammers out a Cavill-cade of Hugh-gely satisfying laughs
adogcalledstray13 August 2015
When I first saw the previews for Guy Ritche's latest film, "The Man from UNCLE" – a remake of the series of the same name – I decided to approach it fresh. So I avoided watching any of the adventures of Robert Vaughn's Napoleon Solo and David McCallum's Ilya Kuryakin.

I mean, to do otherwise just would not be fair, since my exposure to the original is limited to pop culture references. Why catch up to a show from decades ago only to rip apart the new one? Why give myself false nostalgia?

That said, I cannot tell you whether this is a faithful recreation of the original, a tasteful homage, or perhaps a complete bastardization.

However, I can say that, as a Guy Ritchie action-comedy, it works. The jabs at fictional representations of espionage are delivered with near perfect timing. Even the languishing takes meant to ridicule the tropes, stereotypes and clichés we have all come to see in every action spy thriller do not feel drawn out. All of Ritchie's trademarks are also there, from the diagetic sound that shifts to almost non-diagetic levels as the on screen action becomes a musical montage – a music video if you will – right down to the ubiquitous tongue in cheek, deadpan humour.

While I am sure the more eagle-eyed of viewers could play a game of "spot the anachronism" (that tube frame 4x4 in the previews, for instance), I would actually fault this movie as being too period. They seem to have cherry picked all the things people imagine as from the era. The result is that the clothes are just too chic, the set pieces too on the nose.

Then again, I guess that is the point: You are meant to fall in love with the aesthetics of that period as interpreted by Oliver Scholl's production design, and as captured by John Mathieson's cinematography. The fashion, the accessories... even the cars. Especially the cars! How could any depiction of the glamour of the sixties be complete without one Jaguar E Type? Also, watch out for the cameo of a $38 million Ferrari.

Even with the attention to detail "Mad Men" put into shattering any preconceived notions of the so-called swinging sixties, as well as CNN's "The Sixties" television documentary series' unflinching look at the social turmoil of those times, somehow I still wish I could have lived back then.

Or at least escape into the movie universe they have created.

Because in our world where terrorist groups are committing heinous acts of barbarity that would put any of UNCLE's supervillain enemies to shame, where spy thrillers like "Homeland" had to up the ante because reality is scarier than the fictional world they have created, where the James Bond 007 franchise lost its playfulness long ago and just keeps getting grittier and grittier, and where Donald Trump is the most popular US republican presidential aspirant, the Cold War and its Mutually Assured Destruction definitely seem worth pining for. I mean what is the mere threat of a few megatons of thermonuclear annihilation compared to the Donald?

The movie is cast satisfyingly well enough, with Armie Hammer's Ilya Kuryakin projecting a cold lethality that may have been a bit much. Luckily, this is a bickering buddy movie, where Henry Cavill's Napoleon Solo balances things out with borderline insufferable calm smoothness. For something with a bunch of Brits speaking in American accents, I am a bit surprised they toned down Gaby Teller's accent whenever the character speaks English – I'm sure the Swedish Alicia Vikander could lay an affectation of an East Berliner real thick.

In all, "The Man from UNCLE" is an enjoyable comedy and an escapist fare which just happens to be seemingly set in our past. I even rank it as a solid tale of espionage, with the end reminding me of Roger Moore as Bond, yelling to General Gogol, "That's détente comrade. I don't have it. You don't have it."
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I can't stop watching it
michalkolan13 May 2017
I have seen this movie probably 15 times already and I think it's one of the best in recent years.

Acting - 100%, story line - 95%, music - 100%, humor - 100%.

This move has all the necessary elements combined together in a way it flows flawlessly from the beginning to the end.

I can't wait to see its sequel. Well done Guy Ritchie.
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Could not always follow the plot but this is a hip, stylish film with handsome stars
inkblot1119 October 2019
In the early sixties, Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) goes to rescue a beautiful damsel Gaby (Alicia Vikander) from East Berlin. She's an auto mechanic and doesn't really find that Napoleon is the greatest rescuer, as they are in immediate peril from a Russian, Ilya Kuriakin (Armie Hammer). After a great chase scene, the new duo get away to Italy, where they hope to find Gaby's long lost papa. All too soon, it becomes clear that the papa is helping an evil woman, Victoria, and her gang develop a nuclear weapon for nefarious purposes. Unexpectedly, Ilya joins forces with them and Gaby poses as Ilya's fiancee. In truth, the two like what they see in the other. With setbacks along the way, the trio eventually find a moment to turn the tables on the bad, bad lady. Will they be successful? My plot summary for this film is woeful, for I had trouble following the storyline. However, it didn't matter a smidgen as the action and stars and cool-factor made up for everything. Cavill and Hammer are great as the new daring duo and Vikander's breathy, matchless voice and beauty are always welcome. And, wow, does she look good in Mary Quant! All of the scenery is yummy and the special effects quite thrilling. If you heard this film is not up to snuff, you heard WRONG!
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Great movie!
debrabgreer19 August 2015
I am a fan of the original TV show and also a fan of Henry Cavill and Guy Ritchie. I have been looking forward to this movie for quite some time and am pleased to report that it was as good as I had hoped it would be.

I prefer being entertained at the cinema rather than being shocked. I like leaving the theater refreshed rather than depressed. This movie was perfect for me. It was fun and witty. There was no inappropriate language or gratuitous sex (only what you see in the trailer). The only disturbing (very brief) scene helped establish the villains as evil and fanatic.

This movie pays homage to the decade of my youth and brought back memories of the history and style of the times but will still be enjoyable to the younger audience who are not familiar with said history, style, or TV show.

I think Henry Cavill is a talented actor, and I found his performance excellent. It was his job to establish Napoleon Solo as a suave and lighthearted cad who is nevertheless an intelligent and capable crook turned CIA agent. He got the job done! This movie certainly shows he can play a variety of roles. Armie Hammer is so funny in "Mirror, Mirror" that his performance as a dedicated and austere career spy was a delightful surprise. Hugh Grant and his brand of humor really added to the movie. Alisha and Elizabeth are great in their roles and play them with relish.

I loved the retro spy gadgets. Certainly enough action to satisfy me. Too many funny scenes to name them all or without spoiling. Just go watch the movie and see for yourself. Enjoy!
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Combination of Action and Banter
BigGuy11 August 2015
I just saw a sneak preview of this movie and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will have to preface this review by saying that I have not seen the original show, so I can't say whether this paid appropriate homage to the original, or if it is a bastardization.

The opening sequence chase scene featured heavily in the previews, but surprisingly the trailer did not ruin the scene. It actually came across even more crisp and clever in the theater and was a great beginning for the movie. It perfectly sets the tone of the two spy characters and establishes their respectful rivalry.

The movie isn't wall-to-wall action, but there are enough action scenes to keep the pace lively. There is also a second chase scene towards the end of the movie that is perhaps even better than the opening scene's chase.

I think the real strength of the movie is the comedic element. The banter is quite snappy and a few of the lines I couldn't hear because of the laughter filling the theater. In particular Henry Cavill delivered as the slick cool spy Solo.

Armie Hammer also delivered as the Russian counterpart, Illya. In many ways he plays the straight man to Cavill's comedian, which is actually the harder part to play. It was also apparently the harder part to direct and/or film since a few of his scenes came across as a bit clichéd.

The third part of the group is Gaby, played by Alicia Vikander. The part she played is the most uneven of the group. To an extent it seemed like they couldn't quite figure out her role, so she ended up being a bit of a third wheel. That being said, she didn't detract from the movie, and serves as another foil for the two main characters.

As long as I'm mentioning actors/actresses, I have to say that Hugh Grant did a superb job in a relatively minor role. Also Elizabeth Debicki did an excellent job as the female villain.

Since this is a period piece, I think it's important to point out that they went through a lot of effort to get things right. Fortunately for me, they did such a good job that it, that it didn't feel like I was being beaten over the head with the 60's. There were a number of iconic outfits, but overall it was subtle enough that I wasn't jarred out of the movie, which says a lot about the great job they did.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and would recommend it for anyone who enjoys spy movies, or action/comedies. Also, if you've seen the trailer and thought it showed promise, then you should definitely see the movie, because the trailer doesn't show all (or even most) of the good parts, but gives a good sampling.
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The Man from C.O.O.L.
brendandevere19 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I had heard of the 60's television show "The Man from UNCLE", but like most of us under the age of 60, never got the chance to see an episode. I know, I know, there have been countless re-runs, it just never grabbed my attention. All I could go on were the words from my wise mother who stated, "I used to watch that show when I was a kid back in the 60's. It starred.....oh what's his name.....Robert Vaughan." She couldn't remember the other actor that starred along side Vaughan but I was guessing she was just thrilled to have something from her childhood reborn into the 21st Century.

Let me start by saying, this is a good movie. The star of the show is undoubtedly the director, Guy Ritchie and like most film buffs, was more curious than excited about U.N.C.L.E.'s arrival. I was curious to see what Ritchie could do with a television program that has been dead and buried for over fifty years. Was he going to modernise it for the 21st century? Was it going to be a serious take on the lighted-hearted spy genre? Who was going to be in it? I am really glad I am getting the chance to review one of Guy Ritchie's films because I am a fan. I enjoyed Sherlock Holmes and his gritty London underground films but was I going to enjoy this. He seems to be the go to director when Hollywood needs a relic dug up and brought back to life.

Guy Ritchie's trademark is everywhere on this film, from the stylish sets, to the retro fashion. The catchy score, the swagger, and the witty banter, all are part of the Guy Ritchie experience. His ability to take the audience back to the 1960's was a master stroke and will keep UNCLE unique when compared to the many other spy franchises that hit our cinema screens all too often. Ritchie was able to find the right balance of subtle amusement, keeping true to the television show, without making it into an obvious comedic sketch. It was an entertaining, fun ride that engrossed the audience from start to finish with enough action to keep the doubters glued to the screen.

We are introduced to the two protagonists, CIA agent, Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB operative, Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer), who team up against their wishes to foil the attempts of a mysterious organisation to produce and profit from nuclear weapons. Set to the backdrop of the Cold War, the two secret agents must rely on the daughter of a German Scientist, Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander) to infiltrate the organisation. But is she more than just a mechanic? The three stars are evenly matched throughout the film, each getting their chance to shine in the spotlight but if there is a standout performance it would have to be Ms Vikander who dazzles in a mesmerizing array of 1960's fashion. She looks the part and plays the part perfectly of a seemingly innocent and sweet young woman tangled up in the world of espionage.

Guy Ritchie has taken a gamble on his two leading men with both heavily criticised in recent big budget roles but it pays off as Cavill and Hammer look comfortable in their roles with neither outshining the other. The two agents continually strive for superiority, mimicking their own countries need for supremacy in the volatile world of the 1960's. Hammer's short tempered psychopath is perfectly balanced to the cool, slick ladies man of Cavill. Elisabeth Debicki is chilling and cold as the she-devil villain and the big goof, Hugh Grant is used to perfection by Ritchie who gives him a nice cameo. Grant adds a bit of star recognition to the film but comes across as rather likable with well timed appearances.

This is a film to be enjoyed for what it is.....a fun ride. Taking it too seriously will damage the experience.
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Very entertaining
bladesandflame16 August 2015
I went into the movie for my birthday, being a young woman my twin and I were initially attracted by the 2 leading male actors who were captivating & handsome- but is that enough to make a movie watchable to a certain degree? No. But this movie beat my expectations. I had already read some online reviews by critics but to be honest I don't know what movie they had went to see since the reviews were overwhelmingly negative but it couldn't have been 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'. It was a witty, and smart movie where each actor didn't outshine one another. I personally do not trust critics since they tend to like boring movies like 'The Lincoln Lawyer' that put me to sleep. It's almost as if the movie was too witty for them & the quips and snarky comments went over their daft heads and left a sour taste in their mouths.

I recommend this movie to anyone if you liked the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock movies then you will thoroughly enjoy this. My only wish is that it was a little longer but that doesn't detract from the quality of the movie.
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Ritchie's Best Since Lock, Stock
Is it possible I loved this so much purely because I didn't expect to even like it? Yep. Do I care? Nope. Ritchie's best since Lock, Stock…, it's cooler than a suited cucumber with superspy skills. Funny, exciting and genuine breath of fresh air, & far better than the last Bond or Bourne movies, so why wasn't it a huge hit?!
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Just brilliant- please make a second
adoedens31 July 2020
Just watched it for the 5th or 6th time. Still brilliant. Please make another
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I want a sequel
armyofrichard21 January 2021
Highly entertaining. This should have been released at a different time to avoid same genre movies and would have appealed to a wider audience. Definitely needs a sequel.
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The Man From U.N.C.L.E. – A Delicious Slice of 60's Pastiche Pie
BRagunton13 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I had not watched the original series 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' since I was a child, and I had only seen a made for TV movie which brought back both Robert Vaughn and David McCallum reprising their roles from the series over thirty years ago. This put me in an odd position of having grown up in the 60's, but not really remembering much of this series thereby allowing me a somewhat fresh take on the film.

For those who know less about the series and the movie than I did, an American CIA agent, Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) has been tasked to extract a young woman, Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), from East Germany. However he is being shadowed by a KGB operative, Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) who also has orders to not let the woman be taken, all because of her missing father, Udo Teller, a German scientist who has the knowledge on how to build an Atomic Bomb. Through unforeseen circumstances we see both Solo and Kuryakin paired up to help young Gaby rescue her father. There it is, your basic spy/espionage flick.

Guy Ritchie (director and co-screenwriter) had decided to craft an origin story for this movie, given that the TV series never gave any background information on either Solo or Kuryakin, let alone how they came together and started working for the organization known only as U.N.C.L.E. Cavill looks as if he were born to play the part of Solo. Aside from having a physique that beautifully fills out his tailored suits (no doubt due in part to his work in 'Man Of Steel'), he shows a delightful dry sense of humor and expression. As Solo he continually exudes an almost annoying sense of confidence bordering on arrogance, but he always pulls it off because he's devilishly charming, even when the odds are obviously stacked against him. Hammer, on the other hand, is clearly the straight man. He's clearly designed to act the role of this Russian character in a stoic, possibly cliché manner. Perhaps this is merely meant to play towards the 60's sense of how Russians were portrayed in the American cinema of that day. In any case, Hammer pulled it off quite well which worked beautifully against Cavill's almost cavalier performance.

However, the real star of this movie is Guy Ritchie. He went out of his way to craft a film that looked like it could have easily come out of the 60's, starting with a very stylized opening credit scene that looked like it could have come from any movie of that time, to the very atmospheric music which was beautifully composed by Daniel Pemberton whose previous work was primarily in television. Here he gives us music for every scene that perfectly matches, not only the setting, but also that unique era. Lastly, the production values of this movie are not to be believed. It's not easy to totally capture a period of time, but it was done with perfection. From the sets, costumes and props, I truly felt like I had been transported back to a time long past, but thanks to this film, clearly not forgotten.

This movie is filled with action sequences that, again, pay homage to the cinema of that time. Cuts and split screens play a part in helping to tell multiple points of view at the same time which seamlessly advances the story. There are also twists and surprises, some immediately revealed, others through well-timed flashbacks, which keeps the audience totally engaged. The humor, for the most part, is wonderfully dry, but there was one scene, beautifully acted by Sylvester Groth as Rudi Teller that starts off quite funny and then ends up in the land of hysterics. Under normal circumstances this scene would be deadly serious, but through Groth's acting, as well as Cavill's and Hammer's, we were given something that had the entire audience quite literally howling with laughter.

If there is one flaw is that it plays a little loose with an actual historical character, but aside from that this was a pure gem. Solid acting on everyone's part and perfectly crafted by Ritchie and fellow screenwriter Lionel Wigram. If I had to sum it up, I would say that 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' is "60's Cinema Geek Porn."
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"The Man from U.N.C.L.E." brings back characteristics of old spy movies
Evan_Wheatley11 April 2017
In the midst of the dark and gritty movies that have characterized the 2000s, it's nice to see Superman and the Lone Ranger team up for a 1960s spy throwback.

Napolean Solo (Henry Cavill) is a suave, carefree thief turned spy, tasked with extracting Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander) from East Berlin for the CIA. During the escape, Solo and Teller evade KGB agent Illya Kuryakin and report back to Solo's superiors, only to find out that the KGB and CIA have reluctantly teamed up. Solo and Kuryakin are forced to work together to stop a wealthy couple from using Teller's father to build their own nuclear weapon.

"The Man from U.N.C.L.E." brings nothing new to the table in terms of its structure. Two good guys with conflicting personalities are forced to work together to take down the bad guys. Add in some classic spy elements and a pinch of action, and you've got yourself a nice summer blockbuster.

Guy Ritchie's stylistic direction coupled with Cavill and Hammer's on screen chemistry make up for the film's lack of substance. Referring to each other as 'cowboy,' and 'The Red Peril,' the two leads humorously characterize the stereotypical depiction of 1960s American and Russian spies. Hammer's subdued, hardened persona compliments the James Bond-like charm of Cavill. Vikander delivers a solid performance as well. There's more to her character than meets the eye. Delicate yet strong-willed, she adds a nice dynamic to the trio.

While the plot is one of the film's weaker aspects, Ritchie executes the few twists and turns it takes well, even if some of them are predictable. He does this primarily through showing small parts of a scene, leading you to think that a situation plays out one way, when it actually played out much differently, revealed later when the entire scene is shown. Ritchie uses this technique a few times in the movie, and while this may become tiresome for some viewers, I thought it was interesting, and it kept me on my toes throughout the film's runtime.

"The Man from U.N.C.L.E" hearkens back to the beats of older spy movies. The characters do not take themselves too seriously. Solo causes women to swoon left and right as he cracks jokes about Kuryakin's Russian traits. Teller slowly breaks down Kuryakin's hard demeanor, and he manages to crack a few jokes of his own. The opening action scene matches this tone and sets the stage for a perfect action throwback.

As the story progresses however, there are moments where the film takes itself too seriously and the action is filmed differently to appeal to a modern audience. These infrequent tone shifts clash with the overall feel the movie is trying to convey, and this detracted from my enjoyment of the film.

That being said, Ritchie does know how to create tension during the more serious moments, and transfers the emotions his characters are feeling to the viewer, primarily those of Kuryakin. In one particular scene, the feeling of betrayal is evident in the dimly lit close-ups of his face. The ominous ringing of church bells paired with silent shots of him tearing up a room out of rage is unsettling and conveys the anger of Kuryakin effectively to the audience.

"The Man from U.N.C.L.E" is not an Oscar contender. It is not the next cinematic masterpiece that you should rush out to see. The film serves its purpose as a sleek and fun action movie, and I had a blast watching it.
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Not Bourne, not Bond, but a new code name. Rather a good one
russellingreviews13 August 2015
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - Not Bourne, not Bond, but a new code name. Rather a good one - 3.75 stars

Does anyone remember The Man from U.N.C.L.E. television show?

Walking into the cinema... Skepticism abounds with this film. Less than reliable lead actors, a story based on an ambiguous television series, and those accents, but it has Guy Ritchie at the helm. This could lead to another level of skepticism, but I am willing to go into the screening with a low level of optimism. Oh, Mr. Ritchie do not let this optimism, albeit small, be misplaced!

Overall Rating: 3.75 stars Cinematic value: 4 stars Big questions value: 2.5 stars

The Man from U.N.C.L.E (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement) is most likely not a television show that people will remember from their childhood or have even experienced in reruns. Besides taking the title and the basic concept of the show, this espionage excursion does provide a fresh take on the spy game. Placed on the backdrop of the cold war and the 1960's, director Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) incorporates a style of film making that is less Bourne and more retro-Bond. Well-dressed, clichéd agents with well-timed dialogue that takes front stage over action. Not that there is not action, but the action that is provided is more stylised and methodical. The central characters of the latest Ritchie production are CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer). Two agents who must put aside their national loyalties to work together to bring down a criminal organisation that is profiting from the burgeoning nuclear weapons market. Adding a link between these two agents is the sensual and fiery Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), who provides the means of finding the well-connected arms dealers. This origins-type spy story has a different pacing, action and spirit that counteracts the current tradition in foreign agent adventures.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. does force a shift in cinematic expectations. Ritchie seems to take on the mantra, 'Everything that is old is new again' by providing something new within a retro-style packaging. Fans of this director will see his fingerprints all over the film, while being conscious of fresh techniques in his direction. He utilises some of his trademarks to provide his touches to lighting, well-timed dialogue and subtle sexuality that complements the action. One pleasant surprise is his ability to get strong performances out of Cavill and Hammer. The nature of the story develops around their bizarre partnership and their reliance on each other's special agent skills, which also seems to be the case with the actor's performances, too. On their own, these actors are one dimensional and potentially boring, but together they present a uniformity that is quite enjoyable to watch on the big screen. Their relationship takes time to build, but in the end it does deliver. The true adhesive that brings these two agents together and provides the elemental connection for their performances is Alicia Vikander (Ex-machina). An up and coming force in Hollywood, she delivers the sensuality and feminine spark that perfectly complements this combative bunch of agents. In the end, the biggest challenge for this film will be to manage the audience's expectations. If the viewer expects Bourne or even the recent incarnation of Bond, they will be disappointed. But, if they go into the theatre looking for a fresh take on a well-worn espionage storyline, they will be pleasantly surprised and will find themselves looking forward to the next instalment of these undercover agents.

In the realm of espionage theatre, the considerations to discuss war, national loyalties and the atrocities of mankind are extremely obvious. Loving our neighbour is an idea that can be seen in many of the world's religions and philosophies, but a radical notion that was introduced by Jesus was to not only to love our neighbours, but to love our enemies. Honestly, it has to be one of the most confronting concepts in the Bible and one of the hardest to implement. Individually it is challenging, but how about on the global scale? Without unintentionally waving a 'make peace, not war' sign around, loving your enemy opposed to going to war has its appeal. Also, not to misrepresent Jesus as being merely meek and mild, the concept of loving your enemies might be one worth considering, for ourselves and for global politics. Leaving the cinema... You might be able to gather that this reviewer is a Guy Ritchie fan, but regardless of being a fan, this film was refreshingly different in the realm of spy films and out and out fun. A small side note: one thing that was missing from this Guy Ritchie film was extensive foul language, but the story was not lacking because of this was omitted. This is one spy film worth seeing in theatres this year.

Reel Dialogue: What are some of the bigger questions to consider from this film? 1. Where is real hope found? (Deuteronomy 31:6, Romans 5:2-5) 2. Can we love our enemies? (Luke 6:27, Romans 12:19-21) 3. Why is it so hard to trust other people? (Proverbs 6:12-16, Romans 3:10-18)

Written by Russell Matthews based on a five star rating system @ Russelling Reviews #russellingreviews #themanfromuncle #guyritchie
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'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' is Enjoyable Fun on many levels.
bryank-0484412 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The latest Hollywood remake to hit theaters is the hit TV show from the mid-60's 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.', which lasted four seasons and was partially developed by Ian Fleming just as the James Bond franchise was taking off. If you were alive during the mid-60s, you would have known that this 'U.N.C.L.E.' television series was one of the best things on TV at the time, as it centered on an American spy and a Russian spy, working together to take out the bad guys in a very 007 kind of way.

Cut to present day and we have director Guy Ritchie ('Snatch', 'Sherlock Holmes I & II'), delivering his version of the television show for the big screen. It's a rather enjoyable and fun film to watch, however it never can find a steady beat nor plant its roots in a cohesive manner like the last couple 'Mission Impossible' films have done. Even though the film runs just under two hours, it feels longer than 120 minutes, which is a problem Ritchie has had in the past with his 'Sherlock' films.

The American spy in question is Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill), who is a suave womanizer and also excellent at his job, who has been tasked or shall I say forced by his boss (Jared Harris) to find Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), a beautiful auto mechanic whose long lost father was a former nazi who might be helping the wrong people develop a nuclear warhead. Set in the 60s as well, Solo uses these vintage gadgets and cars to get around Europe, which is sure fun to watch as he finds Gaby, only to have Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer), the Russian spy with psychotic episodes that cause him to wreak havoc on anyone and anything near him, try and capture Gaby for himself and his boss, which ensues in a fairly excellent car chase that is similar to something we would have seen in 'Sin City'.

This sets the stage for Kuryakin and Solo to one up another and "cordially" meet, as their bosses force them to set aside their differences and work together on finding the people who are hiring Gaby's father to make the the nuclear weapon. The people in question can stand aside the best of the Bond villains as well, as they each have their one unique fashion statement or "skill" that sets them above the rest. This all sounds like quite the fun movie, right? Like I said before, this film is enjoyable, but there are some pacing and character problems to deal with in between the good moments.

There are a few slow scenes that seemed like they could have been left on the cutting room floor, mostly with Gaby's character, who really is only there to be beautiful, which is unfortunate, because her character could have done so much more. Then there is the relationship and banter with both Solo and Kuryakin, which is mostly top notch, however Kuryakin's character is the more introverted character here and tends to stick to only business, when his character shouldn't 100% of the time.

Cavill, who also plays 'Superman', does a great job of balancing the two personalities and is quite the comic relief most of the time with his dry wit and quips centered at Kuryakin. I only wish Armie Hammer had more to work with here, but when the two spies start insulting one another, it makes for good entertainment. Ritchie does a decent job with his iconic direction here as well, as he sets up the action sequences with a '24' style split screen on crack, complete with fun titles, zooms, and twists of the camera. It's classic Guy Ritchie filmmaking, along with a killer soundtrack. I don't think 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' will be able to compete with 'Mission Impossible 5' financially or critically, but it's still enjoyable fun to see these two on screen. So much so, that I hope to see them again, which is of course Warner Bros.'s goal to make this a franchise. That being said, I don't see that happening any time soon.

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A Smart Comedy-Thriller a Throwback to the 1960's Setting and Culture: Sort of Bond Meets Bourne
classicalsteve22 August 2015
Unlike the recent James Bonds films where 007 uses cell phones, laptops and the world wide web (the days of the lethal ballpoint pen are over), the recent film "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." relies on the sensibilities of 1960's thriller films and televisions shows as its setting and culture. Not only are the cars and the old-style phones from a bygone era present, secret agents kiss the hands of beautiful but wicked heiresses, the managers of hotels offer complimentary champagne to their guests in lavish rooms, and everyone dresses as if they just had a shopping spree, spending $1000's at Neiman Marcus. There are even a few split-screen sequences. This was the way these kinds of action films and shows were presented from circa 1956 to 1969 before the counter-culture dismissed them as being elitist. During the era, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Sean Connery, and Diana Rigg often starred in these light-hearted entertainments which often combined action and comedy, and now three new actors have taken the reigns to offer us a recap of these films with higher budgets and high definition.

Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill ), a dapper Sean Connery-type whose character we learn at the story's beginning had broken some serious international laws is the American's star agent among their counter-intelligence/espionage syndicate. Instead of allowing his talents to waste away in prison, the counter-espionage division has drafted him into their organization. At least he's no longer behind bars. His missions involve rescuing dissidents from the so-called "Eastern Block" controlled by the USSR after World War II. At his disposal are fast cars, automatic weapons, and sarcastic wit, all used equally.

Solo's current assignment is to "liberate" Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), an auto mechanic residing in East Berlin, East Germany. The organization wants her rescued, not because the counter-intelligence organization is benevolent and wish her to be "free" in the west, but because she's the daughter of a German nuclear scientist who turned during World War II but has now disappeared. He's possibly working for a criminal syndicate who wants to sell nuclear weapons to the highest bidder, run by a sexually alluring but no-holds-barred baddie name Victoria Vinciguerra. (She could easily date Hans Gruber, the baddie from the first "Die Hard" film.) After a chase in which Gaby and Solo confront and escape from a KGB operative who would give the Terminator a run for his money, Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer), Gaby and Solo are given an assignment in Rome and paired with another operative. Much to their dismay it's also Illya Kuryakin, the KGB agent who tried to stop Gaby's defection by chasing on foot a car going 45 mph. Turns out the Soviets are just as fearful of this underground syndicate as the Americans, and Kuryakin has been assigned to partner with Gaby and Solo. Which is one of the points of this film: this film has a lot of unexpected twists and turns, this one being the first of many. At times, to show us what's really going on, the film has short flashbacks where a previously unseen nuance is revealed. As this device isn't used too often, strangely it works.

So the three go to Rome with Kuryakin posing as Gaby's fiancé and Solo assigned to find out about Victoria. Many of the devices, settings, and scenarios used in the films and shows of the late 1950's to 1960's are present: the daytime social gathering, in this case an auto race, the lavish hotels, where Gaby and Illya pretend to be a couple in love, and the American agent causing a bit of romantic interest from the evil but alluring woman who runs her crime organization like a dicta-tress. She wears draping silk and chiffon while planning her next Lex-Luther-like endeavor. However, as intriguing as Victoria is, Gaby, on the "good" side, is even more enchanting. Vikander plays Gaby with the vulnerable appeal of an Audrey Hepburn along with the European strength and sexuality of a Sophia Loren, and a little bit of Diana Rigg thrown in for good measure. Even her hairdo is a throwback to the era with a little bit on the top with soft waves cascading down her shoulders. Her personality and demeanor may be closest to Joanne Linville who played the Romulan Commander in the Star Trek episode "The Enterprise Incident" which originally aired in 1968.

Overall, a pure fun and escapist film. There are some moments where while one very dramatic action sequence is occurring, something else, often more mundane but amusing, is happening at the forefront. There are a lot of in-jokes about the films and sensibilities of the action films and shows which were popular several decades ago. An unexpected chemistry evolves from the three leads, Cavill, Vikander and Hammer. What makes it work is they are all somewhat different which makes their interactions interesting and compelling. Solo is the Bond-type who doesn't take things too seriously while engaging in his missions contrasted with Illya whose temper easily flairs when he feels he's being insulted, clenching his fists like a Soviet henchman. Gaby's character lies somewhere between the two, serious but not easily enthralled with the American or the Russian. The three are essentially reluctant bedfellows in a dangerous game, until an interesting twist reveals one of the three may not be "on the level".
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Among the best action/comedy movies in years
Omid_M5 April 2021
I'm not a Guy Ritchie fan but I have watched this three times now and I must say this is a criminally underrated movie which would appeal to anyone with a knack for appreciating action films. I It is definitely better than a lot of acclaimed more serious action movies. IMO it's in the same league as best James Bond movies. I especially admire its comedy tone and the fantastic roster of interesting characters which is a missing feature in a lot of similar movies. Equally noteworthy is the music and awesome soundtracks which fit well to the style and theme of the story. If you're in the mood don't hesitate to watch this amazing action/comedy even if it's for a second time.
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