Beirut is an intelligent, tightly constructed, and entertaining espionage movie, written with his usual brand of economical and propulsive storytelling by top-dog screenwriter Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, The Bourne Trilogy, Dolores Claiborne, The Devil’s Advocate, Proof of Life), and directed with a sturdy hand by eclectic helmer Brad Anderson (Next Stop Wonderland, The Machinist). Jon Hamm turned in a super-sweaty and super-intense performance as a former U.S. diplomat who ventures into the titular city during the Lebanese Civil War in an effort to rescue a friend and colleague from a terrorist organization, with personal demons from his past bubbling to the surface. Co-starring Rosamund Pike, Dean Norris, Shea Whigham (love this guy!), Larry Pine, and Mark Pellegrino, this movie benefits from its well-chosen Morocco locations, and gritty cinematography by Bjorn Charpentier.
Review by Nick Clement