Brow Beat

Watch the Stylishly Old-School Trailer for the New Spy Thriller Our Kind of Traitor

Reviewing John Le Carré’s 2010 novel Our Kind of Traitor for the New York Times, novelist Chelsea Cain noted that the book, despite being set in the present day, had “a jaunty midcentury feel”: “Characters go on tennis holiday. Spies sing from ‘La Traviata’ while cooking. Everyone speaks French. … Spies wear berets and fedoras.” The plot, too—involving a mysterious Russian mobster seeking asylum in Britain—harkens back to the Cold War.

It’s fitting that the film adaptation of Our Kind of Traitor, directed by Susanna White and starring Ewan McGregor, looks like an old-fashioned thriller in a new trailer: With the exception of a pivotal flash drive, the trailer is mostly devoid of the trappings of modernity. At one point we even see some enigmatic names and numbers written on a slip of paper rather than typed on a computer—talk about old school!

A long-haired McGregor plays an unsuspecting British teacher who goes on vacation with his wife (Naomie Harris) and meets a Russian money launderer (Stellan Skarsgård attempting a Russian accent with mixed success) who asks the couple to deliver a flash drive to the MI6. Back in England, the couple are met with suspicion by the Secret Service and find themselves drawn into an intelligence plot. Damian Lewis plays an inscrutable intelligence agent stylishly clad in tortoiseshell glasses and ribbed cardigans, and Mark Gatiss—who is accustomed to this sort of intrigue from playing Mycroft Holmes on Sherlock—also makes a brief appearance. Our Kind of Traitor comes out in the UK in May but doesn’t have an official U.S. release date yet.