Mason Skiles had a great life as a diplomat in Beirut. He and his wife, Nadia, live in a beautiful house and have been mentoring a thirteen year-old Palestinian boy named Karim. The opening scene is a party that the Stiles are hosting for other dignitaries. Karim is helping out serving the guests. When a CIA friend of Mason, Cal, comes to the party he is interested only in taking Karim in for questioning about an older brother Mason doesn't know about. What happens that night changes Mason's life forever, along several others at the party...
Screenwriter Tony Gilroy built his fictional script around facts on the ground including the 1984 kidnapping of CIA Station Chief William Buckley. "For me, that was very much the model for what would happen if a high-level CIA officer were kidnapped," Gilroy said. "Buckley's body actually turned up just as I was finishing the script and there was a lot of reporting about that case that I drew on. It was all very garish and gothic and horrifying and dramatic." See more »
Alice returns to an apartment in which Cal has been staying that is said to be in a very unsafe area of the city. It is not realistic that a CIA operative in Beirut with responsibilities for supervising all Middle East operations would be domiciled in a very unsafe sector of any city in which his station was located. See more »
One reviewer indicated this was not filmed in Beirut and the city wasn't in the condition as depicted. Not ever having been there I won't dispute but the images of the damages and treatment of individuals were horrifying and set the tone for the film. But, terrorist activities in the area has been well documented since recorded history. Jon Hamm was exceptional in the development of his character and Rosemary Pike may have been somewhat miscast but she managed her character fairly well. What was most disturbing was the probability of sacrificing one to maintain a precarious "peace" in the Region. And, of course, there is the issue of corruption by a U.S. official in another country (go figure). All in all it is a complex story with something of an unlikely conclusion but it was still extremely entertaining.
22 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this