In Theaters Now

Cold War spy Greville Wynne and his Russian source try to put an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis.


Dominic Cooke


Tom O'Connor
18 ( 62)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Vladimir Chuprikov Vladimir Chuprikov ... Nikita Khrushchev
Merab Ninidze ... Oleg Penkovsky
James Schofield ... Cox
Fred Haig Fred Haig ... Lee
Emma Penzina Emma Penzina ... Nina
Mariya Mironova Mariya Mironova ... Vera (as Maria Mironova)
Rachel Brosnahan ... Emily Donovan
Anton Lesser ... Bertrand
Angus Wright ... Dickie Franks
Benedict Cumberbatch ... Greville Wynne
David Bark-Jones David Bark-Jones ... Golf Exec (as David Bark Jones)
Miles Richardson ... Golf Exec
Keir Hills ... Andrew Wynne
Jessie Buckley ... Sheila
Zeljko Ivanek ... CIA Boss


In the shadow of the Cold War a letter from Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) an agency of the Soviet Union received by M16 stating the concern of Penkovsky about world safety and his anxiety about a nuclear war, So Emily Donovan (Rachel Brosnahan) a CIA Agent reached out to MI6 Agent Dickie Franks (Angus Wright) , who recruited British salesman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) to be their spy. Written by Saif Alaa

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, partial nudity, brief strong language, and smoking throughout | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Released on Greville Wynne's birthday of March 19. He was born in 1919 and died on February 28,1990. See more »


During his first meeting with the Western agents, Col. Penkovsky pulls a Soviet document out of a briefcase he didn't bring to the meeting. See more »


Oleg Penkovsky: I'm sorry it has to be you. But Greville, it has to be you.
See more »


References The Hunt for Red October (1990) See more »


Russian Romance
Written and performed by James Morgan and Juliette Pochin
Published by Faber Music
Licensed courtesy of Morgan Pochin Music Productions
See more »

User Reviews

So Glad Hollywood didn't ruin this.
18 April 2021 | by andrewrye-06535See all my reviews

The story has been well covered by others and I don't like repeating what's already been said.

The cinematography is nothing short of excellent. Moscow's overbearing and brooding atmosphere of the cold war is captured through the depiction of the brutalist architecture and ever present 'observers'. I loved the feeling of always being on guard whenever the Russian scenes were shown. England by contrast was grey and rainy and cold. Even though the last of summer is departing us I felt the wet chill when the characters ventured out in wet and cold streets of London.

I was happy that the movie was actually centered on the character of Greville Wynne and not the actual spying side of things. This indeed is where the real story is. He was the courier (the Title may give you a hint) and so the action and thrills other reviewers complain isn't there, didn't happen for this character. Unfortunately Hollywood all too often panders to these people who can't separate fact and fiction and have ruined so many 'based on true stories'. But this was an absolute gem to watch.

I always felt that Greville may have been somewhat naive in accepting this role and the end seems to bear that out. But as a courier, this was probably what saved him. Benedict Cumberbatch does his usual subtle brilliance and is well supported through out. I did feel that it could have been tighter and I am curious that the exchange and reasons behind it weren't included when the Government officials said he wasn't enough to swap for an important spy. Curious and it would have helped to round out the story. I also would have liked to know more about what business Greville Wynne actually did?

So a 7 from me, well acted, great scenery but a bit loose in some areas. More please!

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Release Date:

19 March 2021 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ironbark See more »

Filming Locations:

Prague, Czech Republic See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,885,829, 21 March 2021

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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