Page Eight

Watch Page Eight

"New Century. New Rules."
  • TV-PG
  • 2011
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 6.8  (18,188)

Page Eight is a 2011 British spy thriller directed by David Hare and starring Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz and Tom Hughes. The movie is set in the MI5 intelligence agency and essentially revolves around long-time officer Johnny Worricker, played by Nighy, who is struggling to make sense of the political intrigue he finds himself wrapped up in.

The story is set during a time of political turmoil in the UK, with those in power facing challenging questions about the country's involvement in Iraq. Against this backdrop, Worricker is tasked with investigating a seemingly innocuous document titled Page Eight, which uncovers damning evidence about a false casus belli being made for the Iraq War. As he tries to uncover the truth and navigate complex political landscapes, Worricker must contend with betrayal, conspiracy and his own personal demons.

Bill Nighy's portrayal of Worricker is captivating, with his witty one-liners and clipped British accent lending a sense of gravitas to the character. Weisz is equally impressive as the grieving widow of one of Worricker's colleagues, who is embroiled in the investigation and begins to form a personal connection with the officer. There's also standout performances from Tom Hughes as Worricker's young protégé, as well as Michael Gambon, Ewen Bremner and Ralph Fiennes.

The movie is beautifully shot, with stunning landscapes and the dimly-lit interiors of London offices contrasting with the bright lights of after-work drinks. The camera frequently lingers on characters' faces, allowing the audience to see every flicker of emotion as they navigate the high-stress world of intelligence gathering.

While the plot may be convoluted at times, the movie never loses its sense of urgency. There are plenty of tense moments where Worricker must navigate treacherous waters while remaining true to his principles. A particular standout is a scene where he confronts a high-ranking politician in a hotel room, using his wit and subtle threats to extract the information he needs.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the movie is its exploration of the intersection between politics and intelligence gathering. Hare, who also wrote the screenplay, was reportedly inspired by his own experiences working in British politics, and the movie offers a nuanced take on the messy and often contradictory nature of power.

The movie also manages to avoid many of the cliches of the spy thriller genre. There are no car chases or gadgets to speak of, and the action is often understated, relying on tension and character interactions to keep the audience engaged. This approach may not be to everyone's tastes, but it certainly makes for a refreshing change of pace.

Overall, Page Eight is a well-crafted, intelligent thriller with a standout cast and beautiful cinematography. Its exploration of the murky world of intelligence gathering feels timely and relevant, and the movie manages to keep its sense of urgency and tension throughout. Fans of the genre will not be disappointed.

Page Eight
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (18,188)