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Our Kind of Traitor: Blu-ray + Digital HD Review

Our Kind of Traitor (2016) movie poster Our Kind of Traitor

Theatrical Release: July 1, 2016 / Running Time: 108 Minutes / Rating: R

Director: Susanna White / Writers: John le Carré (novel), Hossein Amini (screenplay)

Cast: Ewan McGregor (Perry McKendrick), Stellan Skarsgård (Dima), Damian Lewis (Hector), Naomie Harris (Gail McKendrick), Jeremy Northam (Aubrey Longrigg), Khalid Abdalla (Luke), Mark Gatiss (Billy Matlock), Saskia Reeves (Tamara), Alicia von Rittberg (Natasha), Alec Utgoff (Niki), Mark Stanley (Ollie), Grigoriy Dobrygin (The Prince), Marek Oravec (Andrei), Velibor Topic (Emilio del Oro), Jana Perez (Maria)

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Our Kind of Traitor is the tenth film to be adapted from the novels of longtime British writer John le Carré. Others have included The Spy Who Came in from the Cold,
The Constant Gardener, and, more recently, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and A Most Wanted Man. Like the lattermost two, Traitor is a dry thriller that moves us around the world to follow a plot of espionage and strategy.

On vacation in Morocco, British professor Perry McKendrick (Ewan McGregor) and his wife of ten years, Gail (Naomie Harris), a respected lawyer, socialize with Dima (a hammy Stellan Skarsgård), a loudmouth who is associated with the Russian Mafia. To secure a safe exile for his family, Dima gives Perry a memory stick to smuggle into his country. The professor does that, delivering it to MI6 investigator Hector (Damian Lewis), who has all kinds of questions.

The memory stick becomes the foundation of an elaborate effort to get Dima's family to the safety of asylum while bringing down the corrupt people Hector has been looking into.

"Our Kind of Traitor" stars Ewan McGregor as a British professor who gets caught up in a spy game.

I must confess after having watched three respected le Carré adaptations over the past five years, I cannot really see the appeal of these stories, in feature film form at least. I'm not sold on the Jason Bourne and James Bond brand of action-driven spy movie, but my limited exposure to those franchises at least have yielded some entertainment value.
All three of the recent le Carré movies have brought on an oft-insurmountable drowsiness. As someone who values story and characters above all else, you'd think there'd be something here for me, but even exotic locations and some visual ingenuity can't squeeze much intrigue of a plot that never quite hooks us.

Perhaps the industry and moviegoers are sharing my sentiments. After Tinker Tailor grossed a respectable $24 million around Christmas 2011, A Most Wanted Man earned just $17.2 M in the summer of 2014 from the same 800 theaters. This one peaked at 399 theaters in the summer and drew just $3 million and change, not faring too much better in other parts of the world.

A Roadside Attractions theatrical release, Our Kind of Traitor hit Blu-ray and DVD this week from Lionsgate with a digital copy.

Our Kind of Traitor Blu-ray + Digital HD cover art -- click to buy from Amazon.com Blu-ray Disc Details

2.40:1 Widescreen
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (English)
Subtitles: English, English for Hearing Impaired, Spanish
Not Closed Captioned; Extras Not Subtitled
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Suggested Retail Price: $24.99
Single-sided, dual-layered disc (BD-50)
Blue Eco-Friendly Keepcase in Cardboard Slipcover
Also available as DVD + Digital ($19.98 SRP) and on Instant Video

VIDEO and AUDIO

Our Kind of Traitor looks nice on Blu-ray, the 2.40:1 transfer showcasing pleasing compositions without any concerns. The 5.1 DTS-HD master audio soundtrack is also up to snuff.

Susanna White directs a predominantly male cast and crew in "The Making of 'Our Kind of Traitor.'" Naomie Harris is in the movie plenty as Perry's barrister wife, but she also features in multiple deleted scenes.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

Extras begin with "The Making of Our Kind of Traitor" (10:58),
a standard featurette that unfolds with cast and crew talking heads and a little bit of behind-the-scenes footage.

Five deleted scenes (5:27) follow. They're not terribly noteworthy, unless you're a huge Naomie Harris fan.

Two shorter featurettes follow. "The Cast" (3:27) celebrates the actors and considers the characters they play. As you can imagine, "The Story" (3:05) collects some remarks on the plot.

"Also from Lionsgate" repeats the same four disc-opening trailers for Indignation, Mechanic: Resurrection, American Pastoral, A Hologram for the King, and A Most Wanted Man.

The menu loops score and clips. The disc resumes unfinished playback of the film.

An insert supplying the Digital HD with UltraViolet code accompanies the plain gray disc inside the slipcovered, eco-friendly keepcase.

Dima (Stellan Skarsgård) seduces Perry into a friendship by memorizing his credit card number after one glance.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

If you've appreciated other recent adaptations of John le Carré espionage thrillers, maybe Our Kind of Traitor will do something for you. Like the others, though, it lulled me to sleep with its not terribly fascinating plot of international intrigue. With its handful of extras and fine feature presentation, Lionsgate's Blu-ray is satisfactory, but the movie doesn't beg to be seen, let alone owned.

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Related Reviews:
New to Disc: The InfiltratorCentral IntelligenceInto the ForestComplete Unknown
Ewan McGregor: The ImpossibleLast Days in the DesertJane Got a GunThe Men Who Stare at GoatsShallow Grave
Stellan Skarsgard: InsomniaAmistadThe Railway ManThorThor: The Dark WorldAngels & Demons
Written by Hossein Amini: Drive

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Reviewed October 19, 2016.



Text copyright 2016 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 2016 Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions, Studiocanal, Anton Capital Entertainment, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Ink Factory Productions, and Potboiler Productions.
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