Our Kind of Traitor is the perfect type of indie thriller; one that combines the intensity and realism of a spy film with the incredulous nature of an adventure film. The line between political thriller and international action-adventure is a hard one, but the film is well-balanced enough and has a fairly intelligent plot that also allows for a surprising amount of character depth. Between the excellent cast, intelligent plot, and tense direction, Our Kind of Traitor is a fun thriller with great payoff.
British poetry professor Perry (Ewan McGregor) and his wife Gail (Naomie Harris) are on vacation in Morocco, trying to save their marriage. When Perry befriends a member of the Russian mafia (Stellan Skarsguard), the couple is drawn into a conspiracy that involves the British government. McGregor is pitch-perfect here; is subtlety and weariness gives depth to the character, and serves as a reminder of McGregor’s status as one of the best actors in the buisness.
In addition, Skarsguard adds a whimsy ridiculousness to the film, and Harris adds an emotional range surprising for a rather underutilized character. Damien Lewis also gives a great performance, and his characters progression is one of the film’s many examples of how development can further a film. Our Kind of Traitor is an old-fashioned spy thriller, a genuinely effective conspiracy film with an excellent cast to guide it. Grade: B+