The Angel (2018) Poster


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Good movie, poor details, inaccurate events
hesham-abboud29 December 2018
I have always been fascinated about the 1973 war. Here in Egypt it's considered one of the greatest war and a huge victory. I read a lot about this period in Egyptian history, especially the books wrote by President Sadat himself and the army generals at that time. Also my dad was an army officer so I was able to ask and know a very specific and detailed info.

But this is the first time to watch and see the story being told by the other side. Considering that the director and the majority of the cast are from Israel, I expected nothing less than what I saw.

The movie as a movie despite the true events is good. From acting, to story line, to script to makeup, they're fairly good. The locations and decorations however were absolutely stupid, and I mean those in Egypt and in Libya. Those decorations were done over 300 years ago and a small research on the internet could reveal how they actually look like.

As for the events, which is the big question here, are they really true or not? It's yes and no. The main flow of the events was accurate, I mean yes Nasser blocked naval trade in front of Israel in 67, Israel responded and we. Egypt, lost our air force in 6 hours and lost the whole war on all sides after 6 days. Yes Sadat wanted diplomatic approaches. Yes we went to war in 1973.

But what's not accurate, for example, the way the movie portrayed president Sadat. Also that scene when 3 of his officials resigned and called them traitors that was absolutely nonsense. They, among another ministers, were arrested and imprisoned for a whole different reason. The idea of applying the Shepard guy story was totally not Ashraf Marwan's idea. If there's anything true about Sadat in this movie it was the line when he said "He's completely unpredictable".

The last speech by Sadat is originally in Arabic, presenting it in English was complete foolishness. The speech lasted about 15 minutes and worth to be watched alone.

One last thing, I understand why the director used a cast mainly from Israel, but the accent they spoke was very stupid. Also Libya's flag was wrong, don't know how they missed it along side the Egyptian flag.
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So many plot holes
Claudia-Jean26 September 2018
Subject: 10/10; Film execution: 3/10

Ashraf Marwan is so-called the greatest asset for Israel as a spy in the 20th century. The film, however, failed to address the two central questions and thereby did not get viewers engaged emotionally.

The questions are (1) who Ashraf Marwan was (i.e. what brought him up to such a high ranking position even after his father-in-law President Nasser passed away); and (2) what his motivation as a spy was (i.e. why his patriot drive forces were not fulfilled within the Egyptian Presidential Office.) The biggest problem for me is the true reason why Marwan leaked critical information about war prep from his country to the enemy. The film seemingly described him like a peacemaker, but the leak served for only Israel's interests and caused damages on Egypt's side, from my viewpoint.

In order to fully illustrate the true story of Marwan, the film should've more deeply told about prolonged political tensions and dynamics between the Arab League and Israel, and more importantly described how Marwan made moves under the situation. Without explaining political efforts made by both sides, Marwan in this film looks merely like a betrayal idiot desperately in need of money.

Rather, the producers allocated more time to focus on soap opera-ish family matters and personal relationship between Marwan and his handler from the Israel Mossad. Such unstructured screenwriting and directing are everywhere in this film and derailed me from the main theme. So while watching I was frequently forced to google the Yom Kippur War in the 1970s as well as key players. And then I learned that the film ruined the original novel written by a political science professor. Although I only skimmed the novel, it is very informative yet intriguing and easy to understand in a politically neutral way.

This film could've been better if directed by someone else and made as a TV mini series, not a 2-hour film. Poor acting - which some other reviewers have already pointed out - is not mainly due to lack of acting skills or low budget, but inevitable due to shallow cheesy screenwriting with multiple plot holes. Still it may be worthwhile for those who are interested in but not so familiar with the history of the Middle East. At least for me it became a good start to further research for myself.
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Confusing history, confusing movie!
peter-376-76111330 September 2018
Passable spy thriller ... but the conclusions drawn by the film are highly questionable, as any reading of the real-life events indicate. Who the protagonist was actually spying for, & what his motives were ... who knows? It's a bit annoying when a film purporting to be based on real life makes a huge leap into unsubstantiated speculation like this.
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Old-fashioned melodramatic spy thriller about (1973) Israel-Egypt war
akcenat16 September 2018
The Angel movie, is the Israeli side of the story that follows Ashraf Marwan (son-in-law of late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser) as an Egyptian arms dealer/diplomat/spy who also worked for Mossad before/during the Yom Kippur war in 1973. Still, to this day, it is not confirmed what he did or didn't do is true. Film, nevertheless, have good-looking production which offers a stylish but a slow-paced spy story that gains momentum just before movie climax. The performances of the cast are OK. As a result, this is not a bad film, but it's little bit flat and too long for my taste. 6+/10.
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Great story, well told...ignore the bad reviews with an agenda!
pellenbogen16 September 2018
This is really an excellent film with none of the gratuitous violence that is typical of too many espionage thrillers. This is a true, old fashion 1970s spy story during an extraordinary period of history. I was totally unaware of this story before I saw this film. It's well acted and not over produced, and unless your an Arabic speaker it doesn't matter how authentic the idioms are.
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Excellent Espionage Nail-Biter
LeonardKniffel7 November 2020
Why do some IMDB reviewers insist that "historical inaccuracies" can sink a movie? This is an excellent espionage spy thriller based on historical events in Egypt and Israel in 1973. The plot is nuances and complicated and fictionalized but these challenges make viewers watch carefully as events unfolds. A serious look at how one man can become a hero to two nations endlessly at each other's throats.
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Based on true story buy who knows the truth?
mhs-9904223 September 2018
Some reviewers question did this really happen. Well on April 4, 1973 "Two Arabs made an unsuccessful attempt to attack passengers of an El Al plane at the Rome airport. They were arrested but later released and sent to Lebanon." This quote is from the New York Times article "Few Arab Terrorists Are Punished for Hijackings and Killings" published on Dec 20, 1973. There is also a Time article that reviews what is documented in history and what is the movie makers creative license.

I enjoyed the movie. Watch it with some popcorn.
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A movie about Egypt, without a single native Egyptian.
MplusA9216 October 2018
This movie probably had one of the toughest cast, due to its multinational cast that needed to fit in a movie about middle eastern people, and unfortunately the whole cast wasn't successful here, except for "Ashraf" and "Mona".

Movie wise, it's a good movie with a good sequence of events, good shots of old London and Egypt, good music and coloration, but it has a lot of bad points.

First problem is with the cast, i have the feeling that they got confused or they tried to apply two points of view, they tried to get actors who look close to the real characters, but they ignored working on the accent of the people, so what's the point of getting a foreign actors and make them speak silly Arabic ?! No need to mention how funny and difficult it was to watch the movie while listening to that weird accents.

The other problem is, the makers also got confused here between making it as documentary or a cinematic movie, the connection between real events and told events is not supported by any solid proof.

Story wise, the things get worse, it's very easy to google all the information mentioned in the movie and make sure that most of them are wrong, so putting some false information in a movie don't make them true.

Finally, it's an average spy movie, no gadgets here or special spy tools used, just a simple spy story between two countries in a war, pre-war and post-war period, you can easily get bored here if Egypt - Israel conflict is not your interest, and no much thrill here.
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The fascinating tale of Ashraf Marwan
crazyvets14 September 2018
As an Israeli who wasn't yet born at the time of this event, i'v heard the name Ashraf Marwan a few times but this movie relieved to me the extended story of his part in the kipur war in 1973. it's fascinating and hard to believe he had such a master plan that actually worked to perfection, although controversial in both side's eyes. he was definitely way ahead of everyone he dealt with between 1970 and 1973, even though he was a very small player on the surface, his actions had a very big impact on both country's history.
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islameltiar15 September 2018
The Arabic language was not right and was not Egyptian one, so we could use Egyptian actors or just keep it all in English, for the actors, I think they are really nice and good. for the story, It was amazing, I'm an Egyptian young man and I didn't read about Ashraf Marwan, and I was shocked by how intelligent he was and the final part was like O.O so I think it's a very good movie for you If you are interested about this part of history for this part of Earth, the middle east
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Dull film
fmwongmd17 September 2018
Directing and acting very predictable and dull. History undramatized
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Could have been much better
raz-shuki20 September 2018
While the story of Ashraf Marwan is undoubtedly a fascinating one and deserves to have a movie made about it, I feel that this one misses the mark by quite a bit. I'm not referring to the trivial anachronisms and goofs (like the wrong Arabic accents, or KC and the Sunshine Band song played before its time) which have already been pointed out in other reviews, but to much more substantial historical inaccuracies and omissions. Main examples: 1) I could find no record of the botched attempt on the El Al plane in Rome which opens the movie, much less that Marwan personally smuggled the (sabotaged) weapons for it or was nearby when the Italian police closed in... seems like an incredibly risky thing to do for an Egyptian presidential aide 2) The movie's ending presents 2 false alarms of an imminent Egyptian invasion as a premeditated plan thought up to lull Israel into complacency. In fact there was only 1 false alarm (in May 1973) and Sadat postponed it due to a Syrian request, not because of some masterful plan of deception. 3) If Marwan really thought a no-win outcome for a war would be the best guarantee for peace, how was he so sure that warning Israel ahead of time would achieve that? Maybe his betrayal of information would be the one to tip the balance and ensure an Israeli victory, preventing the exact outcome he wanted to achieve. Which brings us to the main one: 4) No real explanation or hint on why Marwan would spy for the Israelis. Seems it was done for money. To say it was all part of grand master plan to level the playing field and bring peace to the Middle Easy seems a bit hard to believe. Other than that: it was suspenseful, the 70s atmosphere was largely credible, so overall it was not a waste of time to me.
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Wonderful thriller!!
pahurkarrahul1 May 2020
This film how Ashraf marwana prevented war between Israel and Egypt. Must see!!
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Forced English usage reduced its authenticity
atultaneja22 September 2018
The plot was good, not sure how much of it was in line with the actual story. Actors did justice to their role. However the screenplay could've been a lot better. In a nutshell, it didn't go all nine yards but it's definitely a good one time watch
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Total let down
akchfmay15 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Just watched "The Angel" on Netflix... all I can say is; what a monumental waste 😞

The movie overall is mediocre, I'd give it 3.5 out of 10 .. riddled with mistakes!
  • Almost nobody (except for a guy in one scene next to Sami Sharaf) knows how to speak Egyptian Arabic.
  • Actually the entire script is so obviously written in another language and translated completely out of context, words that are seldom used in the spoken Egyptian dialect were everywhere in this movie
  • The guy playing Nasser, other than the grey hairs at the temple, practically no resemblance
  • Sadat's makup could've been better, for crying out loud at least make him darker, plug a pipe in his hand in all scenes, stick on his iconic thick glasses and just listen to him talk once in any of his speeches! He had a unique way of talking! Study the character
  • Score: some of the soundtrack, especially when Marwan panics is not even remotely Egyptian but more Arab (possibly Morrocan?)
  • Embarrassing mistakes such as the Egyptian modern flag with the eagle instead of the hawk, come on guys my 7 year old kid won't make that mistake. Also bearded Egyptian security forces?! That's a BIG no no in the army and the police, I think you have Egypt mixed with India there.
  • Incorrect news broadcasts, incorrect references to Israel in Arab media (ALWAYS referred to as the "Zionist entity" and never as Israel)
  • Some outlandish scenes like Ashraf daring to disagree with Nasser in front of foreign dignitaries.. Nasser never tolerated the slightest disagreements - it's a known fact that he used to always stay quiet in meetings until everyone speaks their mind - which used to rattle them because he wouldn't give any clues as to what his decision is - then when he gives his command nobody dares utter a word.
  • Weird character names, "Babak" the Egyptian high ranking official?seriously?
  • Also the Amazonian guards for Colonel Gaddafi were formed in the 1980's not the early 1970's!
  • The fact that throughout the movie in Cairo, London and Rome he had no protection whatsoever baffles me - even after hooded thugs attack his wife and only son in his villa in Cairo .. I may not know Marwan but I understand positions of power in Egypt, someone that close and with direct access to the president would not be unguarded.
  • I honestly found it irritating that Sadat addressed Saad El Din El Shazly (also no resemblance and looked far older than his real counterpart) as "Lewa" (General) not as "Fareek" Colonel General, FYI the guy was Chief of Staff of the entire Egyptian armed forces in '73!

However there are a few good things in the movie to watch:
  • Clothes, cars, outside scenes in 1970's London and Rome all good
  • The actor Marwan Kenzari did a decent job, particularly in revealing the true motives of the character towards the end of the movie.
  • Also the head of Mossad did a good job but his character wasn't defined as well as any of the Egyptian characters.
  • The symbolism of Aesop's fable "The boy who cried wolf" was particularly great, I enjoyed that

Overall, honestly could've been better so easily just by checking Google! A wonderful story wasted.
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great film
Anastasia9715 September 2018
I hope all the haters that posted negatives reviews of this film would look into themselves and realize they are just haters great film, leaves some hope for humanity
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Must watch Spy movie
maneshkumar-4798621 April 2020
Ashraf Marwan, the Egyptian Spy managed to save Israel, in the runup to the Yom Kippur war & was able to save hundreds of lives. The history that was recreated on silver screen. Good work 👍
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fady_aziz8614 September 2018
The trailer was so much better than the movie itself as if I was watching a trailer from another movie, The acting wasn't so bad (not terrible I mean) but the overall production was so cheap, the characters look nothing like the real ones, very weird and funny accent didn't like the movie at all!
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Could be better
moustafashabanzakaria20 April 2020
Nice film nice director nice acting nice soundtracks every thing is great except some points : Sadat dont drink alcohol Arab actors are very bad at egyptian language Could be better with some more scenes an details and action Nice movie with no biased thinking about both sides Waiting for more movies about october war like this
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A Very Watchable espionage
egela-juventus15 September 2018
Surprisingly A Very Good Movie in That Genre by Netflix , I Started The movie with no High Hopes At All. But Seeing The Solid Structure Set By The Writer David Arata Who Has Previously Earned My Respect with " Children Of Men & Spy Game", I Really Got Engaged in The Movie. Notably The Use Of peccable Arabic Accent , characterization of Famous figures As Sadat& Nasser could have been an Turn Off for me , but The moderate Reasonable juggling of the Director between Drama and History of Such a Tense Period in The middle East History is efficacious. As An Egyptian , I Know The movie might get a backlash by Fellows' Accusations of Being untrue and historically inaccurate , But I Think film served both Sides Justice by Showing Them Trying To reach for peace in every Step. Even If I Really Believed that the Asharf Mawran Just Sold His Country for Money.
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Confusing but you'll be rewarded if you watch till the end
phd_travel25 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This true story is stranger than fiction and confusing along the way. You have to pay attention or you will lose track of who is spying on who. But if you watch till the end things will be explained and you will realise you watched a really good true story about the goings on surrounding the Yom Kippur War. Just wish they explained things earlier. Spent too much time wondering what was going on.
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There is an effort to please everyone, didn't work out as planned
yaya11997725 September 2018
The movie came with anticipation to see how the makers will handle such a critical character. Portrayal in the trail and the hype before it's showing lead to higher expectations than what the movie actually delivered. Can't talk much about the story with out giving away spoilers , but it is really difficult to build up a character with so much contradictions. But that was needed, maybe, to please everyone. Israelis will see some great man who helped them. Egyptians will keep pride in a selfless man who saved lives and won them a war with a major trick. People otherwise will see a clever man who who played everyone with experience. Well what I saw was a really non coherent acts by a character that didn't have time on screen to develop. With a way too rushed an ending that took much of the little enjoyment of the art f cinema. The acting was good as it must have been hard to find actors able to speak Egyptian arabic willing to participate, I assume. Photography and outdoors scene were my favorite parts of the film along with the costumes even more than the decor.

Over watchable movie till the end. But non enjoyable.
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Waste of a good budget!
rlasheen16 September 2018
Very poor casting (except with some physical resemblance for a few actors to the characters they play) the acting is contrived, speech is terrible with no evidence of dialect coaching (sticking to English would have made a better movie). But probably being aimed at a non Arabic speaking audience (mostly Israeli by the look of it, accurate Arabic dialect was not important). The director made some odd and mostly non consistent choices with regards to using historic footage vs. having the scenes re-enacted.

There were many anachronisms and the choice of certain, very Moroccan looking, locations was quite dubious (as opposed to using neutral locations, which would have been more consistent with Cairo).

Overall, a missed opportunity to make use of a really rich story.
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not a single history fact of 1973
msamy-8716915 September 2018
I saw this and i read the book so i am disappointed he could make the film better it is only 20 % of what in the original book and the acting is so poor this is not Anwar el sadat at all the egyptian president not his character nor his voice , rhisi s kidda a law budget movie when the crew not wIll PAYED IDIDT LIKE IT
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A ton of inaccuracies in a supposedly historical movie
asea1009-150-95203320 September 2018
The totally butchered spoken Egyptian in the movie, lack of resemblance with facts in issues such as uniforms, music, incidents, the nonsensical bearded Egyptian military which perhaps existed last in the 19th century (as if they didn't know), etc...let alone how history is being spinned to serve as a propaganda tool in various capacities, in addition to bad performance and lack of depth in most characters, all that deducts much from the joy of watching/appreciating a movie. Then some reviewers, who give the high scores, are accusing those who are critical of being anti-semitic and haters. So, because this is an -Israeli- movie, we should pretend it's accurate while it is far from that?! How is it a point of view that only comes from haters when even Egyptians can't understand the supposedly Egyptian spoken in the movie, or when referring to any of the numerous inaccuracies filling this production? Well, I'm not ani-semit, sorry about that. So, instead of accusations please do give an answer with regards to the inaccuracies, the fact they didn't use Egyptian actors while hollywood has quite a few on various levels, like Rami Malek, Mido Hamada, etc?... Or arab actors who can mimic Egyptian pretty well, like Fares Fares? In short it is not an enjoyable movie if you happen to know what it's about, or it's historic or cultural backgrounds, because then the numerous inaccuracies would just keep hitting you in the face. You may find it watchable otherwise, but then you'd be allowing yourself to learn these inaccuracies as facts from a "true" story, in other words some people call that brain-wash.
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