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Exclusive Clip: Benedict Cumberbatch's Greville Wynne Is In Danger In The Courier

What do you get when you combine one part drama, one part true story (that doesn't lie to you), and one part spy-thriller, then throw one of the world's most beloved English actors into the mix? You get The Courier, director Dominic Cooke's historical spy drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Greville Wynne, a mild-mannered British businessman who covertly partnered with Russian operative Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) to aid MI6 in bringing the Cuban Missile Crisis to an end. 

Ahead of the film's release on video-on-demand platforms tomorrow, April 16, and in advance of its U.K. debut on May 17, Looper is thrilled to share an exclusive clip from The Courier

The clip sees Cumberbatch's Greville Wynne aboard a plane when suddenly, a group of Russian military officials approaches him. Aleksandr Kotjakovs' character says something in Russian, but Wynne admits that he doesn't understand. A man seated behind Wynne translates the remark from Russian to English, then pulls out his identification and confirms that Wynne needs to get off the plane and follow them. Once they've deplaned, one of the Russians strikes Wynne in the stomach, and they all throw him into the back of a black van. 

The Courier has captivated critics

Though this clip is just 36 seconds of the entire 115-minute-long movie, it perfectly captures the thrilling tension that's felt throughout. And that's just one of many things critics have loved about The Courier, which is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with an 87 percent critical approval rating. 

Wenlei Ma of News.com.au had high praise for the flick, writing in her review, "The Courier has the benefit of its extraordinary true story to ground the action while director Dominic Cooke adeptly captures the intensity of early 1960s Cold War espionage. [...] [It] taps into the tension and paranoia of its Cold War setting with the power plays between the U.S. and the U.K., and the constant threat of discovery in the USSR. Looking over your shoulder for KGB tails becomes second nature." Ma aptly described the film as "skilled, suspenseful, and propulsive."

Over at The Sydney Morning Herald, critic Sandra Hall applauded the cast of The Courier — which includes Emmy-winning actress Rachel Brosnahan as CIA officer Emily Donovan and Jessie Buckley as Greville's wife Sheila Wynne — and noted that the film's action feels as if it's "being hit by alternating bouts of claustrophobia and agoraphobia."

Looper's own Larry Carroll wrote that The Courier brings Wynne's story to "tense, vivid life," and that the film "feels like the best '70s spy movie made five decades too late." He concluded, "By the time The Courier is over, you'll be amazed by the journey, reminded of how fine an actor Cumberbatch is, and appreciative of real-life hero Greville Wynne, who may have saved us all."

Suffice to say, The Courier isn't a film to miss. It's set for release on video on demand tomorrow, April 16. The Courier will later debut in U.K. theaters on May 17.