In The Courier, Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumbermatch) is a salesman. Recruited as a spy, he is to report developments in the Soviet Union. He provides intelligence that will help stop the Cuban Missile Crisis. Benedict Cumbermatch is brilliant as the dignified and witty Wynne. If you liked The Courier, you will love these 9 movies like The Courier.
9 Tense Gripping Movies like The Courier
1 The Imitation Game (2014)
Here you have Benedict Cumberbatch play Alan Turing, a mathematical genius. He enlists to try to crack the German enigma code. Doing so can potentially end World War II. But, Alan’s unconventional methods, personality and manners present an enormous challenge to his superiors and his team. But, does his sheer genius prevail in the end? A sub-plot focuses on Alan’s homosexual sexual orientation, a tendency that is punishable by law in those times.
Keira Knightley plays Alan’s love interest and the rest of the supporting cast is brilliant. Just like The Courier, the movie is tense, mysterious and gripping. It does have a sad undertone to it though. If that won’t ruin your movie watching experience, we definitely recommend this at the top of our list of movies to watch after The Courier.
2 Spy Game (2001)
Robert Redford and Brad Pitt sizzle in Spy Game. Redford plays Nathan Muir, a CIA spy on the verge of retirement. Nathan suddenly gets news that Bishop (Brad Pitt), his protégé, has been arrested for espionage in China.
What follows is Nathan using his finely honed skills as a spy and diplomat to free Bishop. The plot also concurrently showcases how Redford took Bishop under his wing, training him to be the accomplished spy that he is today.
A great spy movie. Even if you are not into spy movies, you will appreciate this movie for the sheer brilliance with the acting.
3 Bridge of Spies (2015)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, this masterpiece of a movie stars Tom Hanks in the lead. Hanks plays James B. Donovan. Recruited to defend an arrested Soviet Spy, James also needs to facilitate a trade where the spy is exchanged for a captured American spy plane pilot locked up in Russia.
What makes this movie interesting is the fact that Hanks is an insurance lawyer dragged into this mess. But, he takes it on with gusto and American pride. The acting is brilliant, as we have all come to expect from Tom Hanks. You will appreciate the thoughtful and poignant cinematography as well. Thomas Newman composes the music for this movie, providing just enough notes to add intrigue and otherwise let the characters and the plot speak for themselves. A brilliant spy movie that is a league higher than The Courier.
4 Argo (2012)
6 Americans are stranded in Tehran, during an hostage crisis in 1979. With very little time on their hands, an extraction specialist (Ben Affleck) comes up with a creative rescue plan. The plan is to make the Americans pose as members of a Canadian film crew. Can the six Americans pull of their disguised roles or will they blow their cover. A very tense watch that will have you on the edge of your seats.
5 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
It’s the height of the cold war. Gary Oldman plays George Smiley, a veteran spy. Called out of retirement, his mission is to find a mole within the ranks of British Intelligence MI6. This is a hardcore spy movie that is not recommended for the casual movie watcher. A little history about the cold war will allow you to understand this movie far better than a layman. The plot is complex and will require all of your mental acuity. But, if you ‘get’ the movie, you will appreciate its sheer brilliance. The supporting cast features a long list of stars in John Hurt, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch and a few other illustrious names.
6 Sergio (2020)
Sergio is a very underrated movie about the pressure and dilemmas faced by Diplomats in high places. Wagner Moura plays Sergio Vieira de Mello, a high ranking UN Diplomat. Caught in the aftermath of the US Invasion of Iraq, Sergio is a victim of a bomb blast, with a building literally coming down on him. Can he make it out alive? It is a test of his physicality, his mental strength and also his diplomatic skills.
7 Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
May 2011, the month in which Osama Bin Laden was finally killed by a specialist Navy S.E.A.L team. But, only a decade long hunt facilitated the killing of the world’s most wanted terrorist. Zero Dark Thirty is a poignant chronicle of this hunt, shown largely from the perspective of Maya (Jessica Chastain). She is a CIA operative who uses extreme duress to extract critical information about Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts.
8 Syriana (2005)
Syriana is a tense movie that shows how the oil business in the Middle East is influenced by America’s politics . Features George Clooney, Matt Damon and Amanda Peet in leading roles. Not quite a spy movie. But, you will appreciate the sheer power of diplomats after watching this movie. Just like in The Courier, the plot is tense and gripping.
9 Fair Game (2010)
A journalist writes an op-ed piece about how the Bust Administration manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to invade Iraq. But, to retaliate, the CIA unbelievably reveals the identity of the journalist’s wife, a former covert CIA operative. What follows is a brilliant performance by Naomi Watts (the exposed CIA operative). A movie that also features Sean Penn and Sonya Davison in lead roles. An high-strung emotional spy thriller.