All the Old Knives Review

Secrets, score settling, grudge holding, deception and recriminations are, of course, the stuff of international espionage.

In some circumstances they can also be the ingredients of romantic entanglements, especially in the aftermath of complicated liaisons.

All of which is to say international espionage and romantic entanglements both revolve around the essential unknowability of other people.

Such is the aim of “All the Old Knives,” a cerebral thriller with an elegant sensibility directed by Janus Metz from a screenplay by Olen Steinhauer adapting his own novel.

Chris Pine stars as Henry Pelham, a CIA case officer sent to interview his former colleague and clandestine ex-lover Celia Harrison (Thandiwe Newton),

who has left international spycraft behind to start a family in the upscale environs of “Big Little Lies” country in Northern California.

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