The November Man

Putin haters will get a bang out of this hard-charging spy thriller, adapted from a novel by Bill Granger. An embittered former CIA agent (Pierce Brosnan) goes rogue to protect a Chechen woman (Olga Kurylenko) who knows more about the Russian president-elect than is generally deemed healthy; hot on the ex-spy’s trail is the young buck he once mentored (Luke Bracey). Brosnan may be too old to play James Bond anymore, but for my money he’s the best silver-fox action hero out there (and much more tolerable than mopey Liam Neeson). Director Roger Donaldson has had his ups (The Bank Job) and downs (The Recruit) over the past few years; the script for this lodges somewhere in the middle, though he compensates for its lack of distinction through sheer velocity and nimble negotiation of its hairpin turns.