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Caught in the crossfires of civil war, CIA operatives must send a former U.S. diplomat to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind.


Brad Anderson


Tony Gilroy
1,186 ( 178)
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Hamm ... Mason Skiles
Jay Potter ... Congressman
Khalid Benchagra Khalid Benchagra ... Nadim (as Khalid Benchegra)
Ania Josse Ania Josse ... Partygoer #1
Angus John Crisford Pritchard-Gordon Angus John Crisford Pritchard-Gordon ... Partygoer #2
Yoav Sadian Yoav Sadian ... Karim (13 Years Old) (as Yoav Sadian Rosenberg)
Leïla Bekhti ... Nadia Skiles
Kate Fleetwood ... Alice Riley
Mark Pellegrino ... Cal Riley
Abdesselam Bounouacha Abdesselam Bounouacha ... Partygoer #3 (as Abdesselam Abounouacha)
Colin Stinton ... Mr. Jones
Mustapha Touki Mustapha Touki ... Gunman
Youssef El Hibaqui Youssef El Hibaqui ... Gunman (as Youssef El Hibaoui)
Aziz Attougui Aziz Attougui ... Gunman
Hichame Ouraqa Hichame Ouraqa ... Abu Rajal (as Hicham Ouraqa)


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...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Beirut: 1982. The Paris of the Middle East Was Burning.


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and a brief nude image | See all certifications »





English | Arabic

Release Date:

11 April 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High Wire Act See more »

Filming Locations:

Tangier, Morocco See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,734,497, 15 April 2018, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,019,226, 14 June 2018

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,586,621, 14 June 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


As CIA agent Donald Gaines, actor Dean Norris, acclaimed for his SAG Award-winning performance as Hank in 'Breaking Bad', appeared in 'Beirut' nearly unrecognizable in a toupee and thick glasses. "We didn't want people to go, 'Oh, that's the guy from 'Breaking Bad'," director Brad Anderson said. Norris sees his character as someone who represents a hardball approach to international problem solving. "You need both the carrot and stick," Norris said. "You hope Mason can make diplomacy work but you always need somebody like Gaines so you have the heavy hand of the CIA backing it up." See more »


Several of the vehicles are from the wrong era, specifically a Cadillac limousine in the 1972 scenes, and a Jeep Wrangler in the 1982 scenes. See more »


Referenced in Beirut: Sandy Crowder (2018) See more »


Written by Oum (as Oum El Ghait Benessahraoui)
Performed by Oum
Courtesy of The Music Development Company
See more »

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User Reviews

Unfocussed (literally), Jittery (literally), Dark (literally), Talky (Endlessly); No Suspense; No Surprises; but it's got Jon Hamm
16 April 2018 | by wgingerySee all my reviews

"Beirut" is less a movie than a Community College Course: "Haggling 909: How to Bargain like a Middle-Easterner, Professor Hamm, 2hrs, daily, $15."

Not surprisingly for a professional negotiator, Skiles (Hamm) keeps talking and talking, and everyone else talks and talks: all the explaining, providing unnecessary backstory, and bloviating slow the plot down, getting in the way of the story, until you just want to scream at them to "Shut the F up a second!" Film is 80% visual, 20% auditory. The audience wants to see, not hear. So when you present the audience with long, elaborate speeches, it loses interest; the eye becomes bored and leaves the screen.

Prof. Hamm has an assistant (Pike) whose main worry seems to be that he'll be late for the faculty tea. From time to time, a few adjunct professors drop by from the State Dept and local national intel branches to illustrate a sampling of Middle-Eastern techniques. No one worth caring about, though.

Another source of annoyance and visual confusion is the hand-held photography:: constantly wavering, shifting focus; grainy, dark; often it's impossible to see anything, much less make out peoples' expressions; cutting between long-range shots and in-your-face close-ups. "What's your point, man? What the F am I supposed to see?"

To top it all off, there is the sound track: the never-silent drone of Middle-Eastern-sounding pap constantly nudging you that the action on the screen is suspenseful, when it is in reality predictable and mediocre .

Finally, step back a moment for a word or two about story telling: stop wasting the audience's time: the whole first 20 minutes are unnecessary. Get on with it! You do not keep the audience's interest by giving it information, but by WITHHOLDING information, except that which is absolutely necessary for comprehension.

If the point is to explain Skiles' initial state of mind, one minute with Hamm/Skiles slumped over a drink in the bar is more than sufficient; whereas, for the purpose of establishing a motive, a brief dream-flashback (slow motion? saturated colors?) could have vividly delineated the gulf between his past and his present.

The right way to begin:

Scene 1: The labor negotiating scene.

Scene 2: Skiles slumped over a drink at the bar. The operative approaches him and pitches the caper. Skiles declines the offer.

Scene 3: Skiles returns to his rooms, falls into bed in a drunken stupor. Midway in the night, his sleep is interrupted by a vivid flashback-dream. He wakes, calls the op back and accepts the assignment.

Bingo! The story is under way, flying.

Summary: Shallow people doing predictable things: what a waste! But it has Jon Hamm.

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