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Laramie Movie Scope:
The November Man

Old school spycraft

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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August 30, 2014 -- Pierce Brosnan, who used to play James Bond, plays a tougher, grittier, darker spy this time around as Peter Devereaux, a retired CIA operative brought back for a special mission in Russia. His rescue mission goes bad due to some back-stabbing and double-dealing, and Devereaux is just the man to get to the bottom of it.

Devereaux got the nickname “The November Man” from the trail of bodies he left in his wake during missions, and he lives up to that name in this film as he mows down anyone who gets in his way. He's not the only killer around, though, as he goes up against a CIA marksman, David Mason (played by Luke Bracey of “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”) and a deadly Russian assassin (Amila Terzimehic).

Devereaux has to figure out why a whole string of people are being targeted for assassination, including Alice Fournier (Olga Kurylenko of “Oblivion”) a pretty woman who works with political refugees. There is an interesting dynamic between Devereaux and Mason. Devereaux thinks that Mason is a killer who can still be salvaged, and Mason wants to prove himself to Devereaux. Devereaux keeps testing Mason and giving him hints about what is going on, even while Mason is pursuing Devereaux with orders to kill him.

It is a very dangerous game, but Devereaux seems to take it a bit lightly. There is a scene earlier in the film when it appears at least one of these two men is going to shoot the other, and that threat remains through most of the film.

There is also an interesting dynamic between Alice and Devereaux as they hide and run from the CIA and Russian authorities. The plot twists and turns before we find out who is moving the chess pieces behind the scenes in this deadly political game. There are some false leads and hints to throw the audience off the trail of the real villains in this piece. In this film, there are some people who are definitely not who they appear to be.

The pace of the film is fast and it generates a lot of tension. The acting is solid, led by Brosnan, who handles this role with aplomb. Turning in a strong supporting performance is veteran actor Bill Smitrovich (“Ted”) who plays CIA section chief Hanley. In this film the world is depicted in a very cynical, depressing way. The CIA is depicted as an essentially lawless agency that has gone rogue.

This is a very violent film with a high body count and a lot of blood, which accounts for the “R” rating, along with some sexual content. This is a spy thriller with a very dark tone. This film rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2014 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)