Sunday 8 May 2022

REVIEW: All the Old Knives (2022) Starring Chris Pine and Thandiwe Newton

Review by Jon Donnis
You know what 2022 needs? A good old fashioned American spy thriller, well luckily for you we have one in All the Old Knives, based on Olen Steinhauer's 2015 novel of the same name it stars Chris Pine as Henry Pelham and Thandiwe Newton as Celia Harrison-Favreau. Throw in Laurence Fishburne as Vick Wallinger, Jonathan Pryce as Bill Compton and David Dawson as Owen Lassiter and you have a pretty decent recognisable cast.

The film starts in early 2020 as CIA Officer Henry Pelham is told by his boss Vick Wallinger, that the CIA has reopened the case of a 2012 terrorist plane hijack, the Turkish Alliance 127 which ended in tragedy. It is believed that there was a leak from Vienna Station, where Henry Pelham and Vick Wallinger work. Pelham is sent to meet with a former colleague and lover in Celia Harrison-Favreau. They meet at a restaurant and discuss the events of 2012.

What follows is a story told through flashbacks, and flashbacks within flashbacks. Sadly there isn't a great deal of action, as the film is dialog heavy.

The twist I saw a mile off, but many wont.

Thandiwe (don't call me Thandie) Newton plays her part well, and Chris Pine is ok. The problem is the film is a bit slow, when it really should be an all-out action adventure.

The Good
Thandiwe Newton gives a strong performance.

The Bad
It is all a bit dull. I know it is a character driven film, but when you have a fair number of credible actors, you just want a bit more. I imagine your upper class critics who work at the likes of The Guardian or the New York Times will love this, but for your average Joe, I expect you might be left a bit underwhelmed.

The film is ok, way too long at 1h 40m, shave off 20 minutes and the film would be an easier watch.

I score All the Old Knives an ok 5/10
Out now on Amazon at