BY LAUREN BRADSHAW
Special for the Farmville Herald
ALL THE OLD KNIVES is a sexy, slow-burn spy thriller that’s a lot like the genre movies made popular in the 1970s. Unfortunately, studios don’t really make those “smaller” movies these days, so I’m glad that a streamer like Amazon Prime put their money behind this one. I especially love that Amazon chose to take a chance on such a cerebral, twist-filled film that will have you guessing your theories throughout the film…and will have you paying close attention at the start.
Written by Olen Steinhauer, the film follows Henry (Chris Pine) and Celia (Thandiwe Newton), two CIA officers (and former lovers) stationed in Vienna, Austria. The two inevitably separate after failing to prevent the hijacking of a plane by terrorists, which results in the deaths of more than a hundred people, including Americans. Nearly a decade later, new information comes to light indicating that the CIA may have had a mole within its ranks who provided intelligence to the hijackers and enabled the deadly operation. Armed with this new information, Henry tracks down his former lover to try to figure out once and for all what went wrong and identify the person (or people) responsible.
The plot moves deftly from a claustrophobic, tense dinner scene between Henry and Celia in the present to flashback scenes of the events leading up to the hijacking. And most importantly, Pine and Newton’s chemistry is off! the! charts!, an important element in a film like this that relies so heavily on the relationship between the main characters and plays directly into their motivations. Whether they’re glaring at each other across the table or indulging in some of the hottest scenes I’ve seen on screen this year, this is a couple that will make you feel things. As “Chris Pine is the best Chris in Hollywood”, I’ve never seen him in such a sexy role, so get ready.
ALL THE OLD KNIVES is definitely not a movie you should skip if you’re looking to turn off your brain for the night. From time jumps to surprising plot twists, you’ll want to save this one for when you want to feel invested and completely immersed in a thriller that revels in the slowly building tension. Otherwise, you will very quickly get lost and not appreciate the film for what it is. You can find this movie streaming on Amazon Prime now or at your local theaters!
My opinion: B.