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Drama - Terrorism

Beirut (2018)

Elevator Pitch.

Mason Skiles a former diplomat, now a labour arbitrator in New England, gets a call to give a lecture in Lebanon, where ten years earlier events had resulted in the death of his wife and the termination of his career. He is aware that the reason for the visit may not be the lecture, and sure enough, when he arrives he finds he is to negotiate the release of his friend Cal, a CIA operative who is being held by an obscure terrorist group. As things progress the reasons for his choice as negotiator become clear but who can he trust?


Good times in Lebanon when Mason is a diplomat, gritty times back in the city seemingly at war with itself. There are shoot-outs, car bombs and a lot of stumbling about in dark streets for the hero, while the Americans in the embassy plot his downfall. He is, they say, an alcoholic after all. Negotiations with the Israelis, the terorists holding Cal and the PLO, resulting in almost constant tension. A female CIA operative is on his side, but not in his bed, so no nudity or sex but a lot of drinking.

A View Tony Gilroy wrote the Bourne trilogy so, as one critic said, he could have done this with his eyes closed. I like my heroes to have special skills and Mason has one, as a negotiator, so he gets a lot of smart dialogue. This is a political thriller well worth the ticket price as long as you don’t expect romance.
Duration 1h 49m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story An original screenplay, riffing of actual events in Lebanon in the 1980s.
Director Brad Anderson
Writers/Script Tony Gilroy
Starring John Hamm, Leila Bekhti, Kate Fleetwood, Mark Pellegrino, Shea Whigham, Rosamund Pike, Dean Norris
Additional Info Most of the IMDb trivia items are stuff from the studio. What do they do, get interns to write them? But in it all I was able to detect that Tony Gilroy had written the script in 1992, at a time when it was considered too hot to handle.


About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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