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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.

Director:

Brad Anderson

Writer:

Tony Gilroy
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Popularity
1,008 ( 53)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Arabic

Release Date:

11 April 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High Wire Act See more »

Filming Locations:

Tangier, Morocco See more »

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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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Against the backdrop of a politically dysfunctional Lebanon, screenwriter Tony Gilroy strived to develop the interior psychology of his hero in the manner of master spy novelist John le Carré. "His books were extraordinary, although they didn't always make for good movies because they were so hard to condense," Gilroy said. "I was highly motivated by the idea of designing a le Carré type film that could be put in a two-hour frame. And then the idea of a character like Mason [Jon Hamm], who's faced with great disappointment, that's very much a John le Carré thing." See more »

Goofs

Mason Skiles (Jon Hamm) warns that the operation may "go sideways." The movie is set in 1982 but this phrase wasn't commonly used until the early 2000's. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of 'Beirut' (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

All Out of Love
Written by Clive Davis & Graham Russell
Performed by Zineb Srairi, Yasser Dway & Noureddine Tsouli
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User Reviews

Be smart. See it.
17 April 2018 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"I was a child during the Lebanese civil war, and I remember Israeli bombardments. So growing up, my view of Israel was completely negative. I'm not coming from a neutral place, but with time, I've had to re-examine my thinking." Ziad Doueiri (Lebanese director)

In the early '80's, Lebanon, and specifically Beirut, was a cauldron of conflicts that involved the interests of the US, the PLO, Israel, Syria, and Druze Militias. Director Brad Anderson and writer Tony Gilroy, reminding us of his fine work with Michael Clayton, carefully steer us through the city's growing rubble to chronicle the negotiations for a CIA spy to be exchanged for a rebel leader. Think The Year of Living Dangerously, Argo, and John le Carre for similar suspense.

Mason Skiles (Jon Hamm), a former US diplomat and current drunk, is called in as a skilled negotiator to bring back his friend, CIA agent Cal Riley (Mark Pellegrino), in a prisoner exchange. Hamm is particularly effective as a martini-soaked Cold War survivor whose role stateside after Lebanon as a labor negotiator has ennui written all over him.

Yet, this gig is fraught with danger because no one is a fool, and the smart players are too canny to be conned by a smooth talker like Mason. He has the good fortune to have his back guarded by cultural attaché Sandy Crowder (Rosamund Pike), an operative with multiple motives but a good bet to save the day.

Although little hope resides yet for a peace between Arabs and Israelis, the film succeeds in fleshing out the multiple points of view that have kept the Mideast a stew of ambitions and hatred. In the end, the film Beirut is an espionage thriller featuring an unBond, avowedly alcoholic hero. In that regard, it offers nothing new in this genre, just good action suspense and a modicum of insight.

The pace of this frenetic thriller set in the Lebanese Civil War is quick and smart with just enough character development to satisfy the harshest critics and enough turns in the negotiations to keep discerning audiences attentive and engaged. Be smart: see it.


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