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Spooks: The Greater Good review

Kit Harington heads up a big-screen continuation of BBC's Spooks. Here's Ryan's review of the tepid thriller, Spooks: The Greater Good...

spooks the greater good plot

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Imagine being an agent for the British Intelligence. You get to wave guns around, slide envelopes under doors, and say cool-sounding things like, “I have to go dark or I won’t get through,” or, “Qasim’s escape was orchestrated by someone at the very top,” or, “It isn’t the pub lunch that’s making you queasy”.

Okay, so that last one doesn’t sound quite so cool, but still: being a secret agent. It must be exciting, even if you wouldn’t necessarily know it from looking at the gloomy expressions of the ones in Spooks: The Greater Good. Mind you, I’d probably look a bit down-in-the-mouth if a dangerous terrorist had somehow slipped out of my custody while being ferried through London. This is the MI5 agent’s epitome of a bad day at the office.

Spooks: The Greater Good is, as you’re probably already aware, a big-screen continuation of the hit drama series of the same name, which ran on the BBC from 2002 to 2011. Like the series, The Greater Good follows MI5’s efforts to keep the population of our capital safe from wild-eyed terrorists, this time led by Qasim (Elyes Gabel), the bad guy who makes his daring escape from the Spooks in the opening reel.

When uncompromising Spooks stalwart Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) goes missing while on Qasim’s trail, fresh-faced recruit Holloway (Kit Harington) is despatched by his superiors to track the operative down. But with the threat of a terrorist attack looming and the facts surrounding Qasim’s escape still murky, Holloway begins to suspect that someone in a position of power may have helped the villain slip through MI5’s fingers.

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Although taking in locations as exotic as Berlin and, er, Kent, Spooks: The Greater Good is largely set in London, and reads like a veritable tourist’s guide of popular destinations. The steel-grey skyline is captured in a series of loving helicopter shots, which give director Baharat Nalluri’s film a welcome hint of gloss. But the vistas can’t quite hide The Greater Good’ s TV roots, with its procession of talking heads and exposition-heavy script.

The cast is quite good, though. Tim McInnerny appears as a stiff-collared MI5 boss. Tuppence Middleton plays a young agent who has her own reasons for retrieving Qasim. But the scenes of intrigue at MI5 headquarters are inert and flatly shot, with the actors’ looks of concern more akin to teenagers awaiting their GCSE results than the care-worn faces of Britain’s last line of defence.

The blandness extends to Kit Harington’s hero, who does a bit of parkour and fires off a pistol shot or two, but never really gets the chance to into his own as a compelling protagonist. Again, the boring cinematography is a part of the problem; the camera needs to let us in on the hero’s innermost thoughts during the dialogue-free moments, to create an air of paranoia and claustrophobia. There’s nothing in Spooks: The Greater Good that can hold a candle to a truly great British spy thriller like, say, The Ipcress File, which managed to bring nail-biting tension to something as low-key as a trip to the library.

The other problem is that The Greater Good ’s makers can’t quite decide who its lead is. Is it Harington, as we’d been led to believe, or is it one of the other cast members who keeps popping up just as you think you’ve seen the last of them? (Hint: it’s the latter.)

Given the film’s big-screen status, The Greater Good doesn’t exactly push the boat out when it comes to stunts, either. One decent corridor fight scene and a bit involving motorbikes aside, The Greater Good is a surprisingly modest affair, and often feels like two episodes of the TV show strapped together rather than something you’d pay to see in your local fleapit.

The modest action scenes wouldn’t matter if the spy bits held up, but really, they don’t. Qasim the Terrorist should be the driving force behind the film, but his antics are repeatedly drowned out by a plot more interested in allegiances. Can Character A be trusted, or are they a double agent? Maybe they’re acting strangely to fool the terrorists, making them a triple agent. There are so many turnabouts like this that it eventually becomes difficult to really care who works for whom any more – especially when the characters who are supposed to be on the side of peace and anti-terrorism seem even more fanatical and unhinged than the bad guys.

None of this is to say that The Greater Good is a terrible film – had it been worse, it may have been more entertaining. Rather, it unfolds with a somewhat beige lack of conviction. I think the characters are all supposed to be behaving in the poker-faced way that we’d imagine responsible people to behave in a crisis, but the result is blandly mechanical than gritty and terse.

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Then again, maybe this is the point of The Greater Good: it pretends to be a hard hitting thriller about people laying their lives on the line to protect the Great British public, but it’s really an unflattering portrait of the kind of madness required to become a spy – the kind of madness that leaves absolutely everyone uncertain of whom they can trust. Can you imagine going to work and being unsure whether the person sitting at the next desk is friendly, secretly wants to kill, you, is just pretending to want to kill you in order to fool the bad guys, or actually, plans to fool the bad guys while killing you anyway?

On second thoughts, maybe being a secret agent isn’t quite so cool after all.

Spooks: The Greater Good is out in UK cinemas on the 8th May.

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Ryan Lambie

Ryan Lambie

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‘spooks: the greater good’: film review.

Peter Firth and 'Game of Thrones' alumnus Kit Harington star in Bharat Nalluri's espionage thriller, a spin-off from the long-running BBC drama shown as 'MI-5' Stateside.

By Neil Young

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The contrasting specters of Jason Bourne and George Smiley hang heavy over Spooks: The Greater Good , which semi-successfully translates the BBC’s hit spy series to the big screen three years after its tenth and final season. While more satisfactory as a Le Carré variant than as a Ludlum clone — thanks largely to the world-weary gravitas of top-billed veteran Peter Firth — there’s only the ghost of a chance of this so-so mid-budgeter fulfilling its mission of sparking a new franchise, especially with Paul Feig ‘s raucously larkish Spy to contend with.

International prospects will depend on audience familiarity with the original show — which at its peak was shown in 60 countries, sometimes under the title MI-5 — while the prominent presence of Kit Harington may draw in some fans of his broodingly vengeful Game of Thrones character Jon Snow. That said, Harington’s debut starring vehicle — Paul W S Anderson ‘s Pompeii — proved less than explosive last year, and Spooks is more revealing of his limitations than his potential. British bookmakers are currently offering 33/1 against Harington becoming the next 007, odds which most punters will have little difficulty resisting.

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Relatively diminutive, slight and with his Thrones locks —  he’s contractually obliged to retain the Snow ‘do — incongruously intact, he makes for a sullenly humorless presence here as hot-headed former MI-5 agent Will Holloway, who gets back in the game when terrorist Adem Qasim ( Elyes Gabel ) escapes captivity and threatens London with a 7/7-style atrocity. While an entirely new creation, Holloway combines elements of two previous Spooks favorites: future Hobbit notable Richard Armitage ‘s Lucas North and Matthew McFadyen ‘s Tom Quinn. From its earliest episodes Spooks (a Brit-speak epithet for spies) was notorious for dispatching key sympathetic characters — including Danny Hunter, the breakthrough part for Selma ‘s David Oyelowo — and North was one of many to meet a sticky end.

But there were exceptions, including McFadyen’s Quinn — who enjoyed a killer cameo in the final episode — and Firth’s Pearce, who uniquely appeared in all 86 episodes and slowly emerged as the show’s main draw. It’s great to see Firth granted a rare leading role at age 61 here — four decades after he earned Tony and Oscar nominations for Broadway and film versions of Equus — as Pearce goes AWOL and underground in the wake of Qasim’s escape, leading his stuffed-shirt superiors to question his loyalties. But it’s also frustrating that he should also have to share the limelight with an undeserving young whippersnapper, especially when Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent (head writers on the last two seasons) could easily have found a way to bring back the charismatic Quinn.

As it is, they struggle to flesh Holloway out into three dimensions — the script is even peppered with derisive, hostage-to-fortune comments about his competence (“Harry was right about one thing: you’re not good enough!”) — and while the character of course comes up trumps in the final reel, that’s more than can be said for the performer or the picture as a whole.

Conceived as a British answer to 24 , but with extra real-world grit and downbeat-classy Tinker Tailor touches, the BAFTA-winning Spooks successfully dramatized security concerns in the wake of 9/11, often touching on dealings between MI-5 personnel and their CIA counterparts during the era of the “special relationship” between George W Bush and Tony Blair. The current Obama / Cameron epoch provides, for good or ill, a less dramatic backdrop — and the recurring sub-plot of thorny US-UK collaborations (“the Americans think MI-5 is a weak link… they withdraw their support, our entire intelligence apparatus will collapse”) never quite comes into focus.

Casting a couple of US actors might have helped — director Nalluri’s previous big-screen outing, Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day (2008), was a US-UK co-production which benefited from having Frances McDormand , Amy Adams and Lee Pace in leading roles. Among support-players here only Jennifer Ehle (as an imperturbable MI-5 bigwig) makes much impact, crisply channeling Meryl Streep via Margaret Sullavan with the snowy tremolo of her icily precise diction.

Nalluri , who handled the first two episodes of the first two Spooks seasons and came back for the very final pair, is ploddingly content to follow the Hollywood-approved template for action/espionage fare, without ever imparting much of his own flavor. Technical contributions likewise seldom threaten to bedazzle: cinematographer Hubert Taczanowski seeks to show off a range of London locales, with copious use of helicopter shots, but his visions of the capital lacks the panache of recent genre notables Welcome to the Punch , Redemption (aka Hummingbird ) or fellow small-screen transplant, The Sweeney .

Nick Love ‘s slam-bang Sweeney — like the Spooks movie — pivoted on the chemistry between a seen-it-all pro and a tearaway youngster, a format whose most sparkling recent iteration is Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman : The Secret Service . Pairing another Firth (no relation) with crackerjack newcomer Taron Edgerton , Kingsman ‘s fizzingly droll chutzpah can’t help but make Spooks: The Greater Good , for all Peter Firth’s ballast, seem dowdily old-school in comparison.

Production companies: Kudos, Shine Cast: Peter Firth, Kit Harington , Jennifer Ehle , Tuppence Middleton, Elyes Gabel , Tim McInnerny , Lara Pulver , David Harewood Director: Bharat Nalluri Screenwriters: Jonathan Brackley , Sam Vincent Producers: Jane Featherstone , Stephen Garrett, Ollie Madden Co-producers: Jane Hooks, Robert Norris Cinematographer: Hubert Taczanowski Production designer: Simon Bowles Costume designer: Colleen Kelsall Editor: Jamie Pearson Composer: Dominic Lewis Casting: Reg Poerscout-Edgerton Sales: Pinewood Pictures, London

No Rating, 104 minutes .

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Kit Harington in Spooks

Spooks: The Greater Good review – TV spy show sprints on to the big screen

The tighter constraints of a feature-film story arc expose the antics of the sneery, ennui-ridden, treachery-obsessed Brits – and it all looks a bit silly

H ere’s a thriller involving a huge amount of talking, sprinting and fighting and more sprinting. People talk tensely to each other – and then they’re off like greyhounds, sprinting in all directions. It’s based on David Wolstencraft’s smash-hit TV show and makes an interesting attempt to weld John le Carré to Homeland : plenty of sneery, ennui-ridden, treachery-obsessed Brits, with sexy new ingredients of surveillance and violence. The subliminal resemblance to Homeland is further achieved by casting David Harewood as a top British spymaster, effectively the equivalent of the American role he once played.

I think Spooks works on television, but the tighter narrative arc of a feature film exposes the absurdities and contrivances. Too often it’s just silly. Peter Firth plays the somewhat preposterous Sir Harry Pearce, an enigmatic intelligence chief who appears to go rogue after making a terrible mistake – now apparently on a mission to discover the Tinker-Tailor-type mole in the upper reaches of the service. Kit Harington is the smoulderingly sexy young agent detailed to “bring him in”. The dastardly terrorist and the final wheeze for foiling him are both highly implausible. However, the opening sequence is good, and Tuppence Middleton does well as the young agent with an edge of steel.

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spooks the greater good plot

Film Review: ‘Spooks: The Greater Good’

A game Kit Harington headlines this strained, superfluous spinoff from the once-popular BBC spy drama.

By Guy Lodge

Film Critic

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'Spooks: The Greater Good' Review: Spy Spinoff is Too Little, Too Late

“Undone by sentimentality,” grumbles a senior secret agent in “Spooks: The Greater Good,” having been foiled when a long-favored rendezvous location proves a trap. He might as well be talking about the film itself. A strained, superfluous spinoff from a globally popular, now-defunct BBC spy drama that was itself something of a nostalgia exercise, Bharat Nalluri’s chrome-colored thriller plays less as an organic extension of the series’ universe than an all-purpose genre piece nominally tailored to fit the “Spooks” franchise — not to mention the star quality of previously unaffiliated leading man Kit Harington . Nearly four years after the show’s exit from TV screens, existing fans may well deem this workaday return too late; for any uninitiated viewers, seeking a British twist on “Bourne” territory, it’s almost certainly too little.

Created by David Wolstencroft — who, perhaps tellingly, has no creative involvement here — “Spooks” was launched in 2002 and ran for an impressive ten seasons, operating as a kind of jauntier transatlantic response to the similarly themed U.S. sensation “24.” It lacked the latter’s beefy production values and structural pizzazz, but won a considerable fanbase by combining high-octane post-9/11 espionage with a line in quippy, distinctly British workplace humor. That balance may have been easier to maintain on the small screen. Blown up to fit the big one, “Spooks: The Greater Good” too often seems tonally non-committal and narratively under-powered, its odd segues into arch office infighting disrupting rather than informing the larger plot — the arc of which could otherwise be contained in a special episode.

With such previous cast members as Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes either unavailable or uninvited to the party, it’s left principally to Peter Firth to forge the connection between series and film. As Sir Harry Pearce, MI5’s terse, tight-jawed head of counter-terrorism, he’s not the most engaging choice of representative for the absent ensemble; allusions to an ex-g.f. killed in the line of duty will register with “Spooks” devotees, but are too cursory to carry much pathos in and of themselves. When, in an extended pre-credit sequence, generically ruthless Middle Eastern terrorist Qasim (Elyes Gabel, sporting a sporadic American accent) escapes from custody under Pearce’s watch, the veteran agent responds by leaving the service and faking his own suicide. No one falls for the ruse, least of all the viewer: “The Greater Good” isn’t letting go of its rusty heritage that casually.

Fresh blood arrives in the form of Harington’s young, globe-trotting agent Will Holloway, a loose cannon (as if there’s any other kind) commissioned by MI5 brass to trace Pearce — on the basis of some dimly explained backstory involving Pearce and Will’s late father that falls outside the show’s history, and doesn’t greatly deepen either character. Plainly recruited to lend some teen appeal to a franchise that skewed older even at the height of its popularity — he must be the screen’s first gentleman spy to sport a hipster man-bun, for starters — the “Game of Thrones” star is actually a brightening presence, though his flushed charm and physical resourcefulness can’t quite induce auds to care about the overall chase. (As for the youth spy vote, kids are likelier to stick with Harington’s “Testament of Youth” co-star Taron Edgerton in “Kingsman: The Secret Service.”)

Still, Harington is a better-used newcomer to the Grid (“Spooks” parlance for the division’s secure offices) than the usually excellent Jennifer Ehle, who’s not just squandered but actively misdirected as an inscrutable MI5 chief. It’s hard to tell whether her croakily mannered line readings are meant to be as amusing as they are, though she’s not aiming for quite the level of fruit-loop eccentricity achieved by the film’s second-most prominent series returnee, Tim McInnerny — whose every utterance laces his suited bureau official with preening, perfumed malevolence. Even when delivered with flair, however, the dialogue itself has little. Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent, both formerly on the series’ writing team, have penned a script heavy on direct, televisual exposition and would-be zingers that seem to trip up on their own phrasing: “Just because your life hasn’t been worth a damn, don’t think for a moment we can’t make it less satisfactory,” says one character, perhaps less threateningly than intended.

Indian-born helmer Nalluri (whose last feature assignment was the markedly different puffball “Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day”) counts on the pic’s travel itinerary to keep it afloat through stretches of standard-issue storytelling: Characters skip briskly back and forth between London, Berlin and Moscow, made somewhat uniform by the consistent silver-blue tint of Hubert Taczanowski’s lensing. Tech contributions across the board are likewise capable but impersonal: Though the script, perhaps taking its cue from “Skyfall,” makes frequent reference to old-school espionage tactics (“Glad you remembered the umbrella drop!”), that retro impulse hasn’t penetrated the film’s formal design. Here, at least, a little sentimentality wouldn’t have gone amiss.

Reviewed at Soho Screening Rooms, London, May 5, 2015. Running time: 102 MIN.

  • Production: (U.K.) A Pinewood Pictures, Isle of Man Films presentation of a Kudos, Shine Pictures production in association with BBC Creative England, Altitude Film Entertainment. (International sales: Altitude, London.) Produced by Ollie Madden, Jane Featherstone, Stephen Garrett. Executive producers, Steve Christian, Ivan Dunleavy, Richard Holmes. Co-producer, Jane Hooks.
  • Crew: Directed by Bharat Nalluri. Screenplay, Sam Vincent, Jonathan Brackley, based on the television series created by David Wolstencroft. Camera (color, widescreen), Hubert Taczanowski; editor, Jamie Pearson; music, Dominic Lewis; music supervisor, Danny Layton; production designer, Simon Bowles; art directors, Andrew Munro, Karl Probert, Justin Warburton-Brown; set decorator, Liz Griffiths; costume designer, Colleen Kelsall; sound, Dan Voigt; supervising sound editor, Simon Chase; re-recording mixers, Brendan Nicholson, Andrew Caller; visual effects supervisor, Sascha Fromeyer; visual effects, LenscareFX; stunt coordinator, Julian Spencer; line producer, Andy Noble; assistant director, Stuart Renfrew; second unit camera, Malcolm Maclean; casting, Reg Poerscout-Edgerton.
  • With: Kit Harington, Peter Firth, Jennifer Ehle, Tim McInnerny, Elyes Gabel, Tuppence Middleton, Eleanor Matsuura, Lara Pulver, David Harewood, Michael Wildman.

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Spooks: The Greater Good Review

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Spooks: The Greater Good Review - IGN Image

Competent, watchable and the slick/gritty aesthetics and ethically murky dilemmas from the TV series are honoured. But contrary to the original series tagline, this MI-5 is a bit too 9-to-5: far too routine and neither big nor smart enough to justify its big screen incarnation, particularly set against such fierce competition. It’s hard to picture the international audience for an ongoing franchise.

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Spooks: The Greater Good

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Spooks: The Greater Good

08 May 2015

104 minutes

Spooks: The Greater Good

From the Hammer Quatermass films of the 1950s through to macho spin-offs like the Callan and Sweeney movies of the 1970s, there was once a strong tradition of bringing British TV hits to the big screen. Outside of comedy, which has yielded everything from On The Buses and Dad’s Army to Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie, the form has tailed off lately... so this film follow-up to the ten-season BBC One post-millennial spy show is at once a pleasant revival of an old tradition and its reinvention for a new age. If it posts decent figures, expect cinema versions of Doctor Who, Sherlock, New Tricks, Downton Abbey, Call The Midwife and EastEnders.

The format of the original series allowed for a high turnover of cast as MI5 agents were introduced, subjected to a season or two of trauma and betrayal then killed off or written out. This means that unlike most TV spin-offs, the Spooks movie can’t rely on the proven appeal of a star cast in their popular roles — among the regulars over the years have been David Oyelowo, Keeley Hawes, Matthew Macfadyen, Shauna Macdonald, Jenny Agutter, Sophia Myles, Richard Armitage and Rupert Penry-Jones, all busy elsewhere these days. By default, the script has to revolve around the sole continuing, surviving character, Peter Firth’s Sir Harry Pearce, who is basically George Smiley with a smartphone.

This might seem like extending the 007 franchise with a movie about M’s day off, but it’s actually the film’s strongest suit. Firth, given a leading role and top billing, flashes the slow-burning charisma he’s had ever since ’70s TV show Here Come The Double Deckers!, while Pearce goes off the grid and improvises trickery and connivance on a hugely complex level to protect Queen and Country at any cost.

The downside is that newcomers have a hard time keeping up. Tim McInnerny (one of a few other performers reprising TV roles here), David Harewood and Jennifer Ehle are solid as backroom warriors, and Tuppence Middleton and Eleanor Matsuura bright sparks as new recruits. However, too much of the film boils down to Kit Harington and Elyes Gabel competing in their failure to sport proper beards. In theory the action-hero protagonist and the terrorist master villain, Harington and Gabel come across as sulky and ineffectual and the labyrinthine plot sidelines their clash in favour of a nebulous, hard-to-care-about conspiracy.

Transfer from small to big screen allows for great use of London locations, with The Shard or the London Eye popping up outside every office window or covert meeting spot and very deft runabouts at Heathrow Airport or on top of the National Theatre. Director Bharat Nalluri, an episodic TV professional whose eclectic film credits include Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day and The Crow: Salvation, stages boardroom confrontations, street escapes, fights and plot twists expertly, but The Greater Good doesn’t quite escape its small-scale origins... with a finale which takes place indoors, as if it were raining that day and they couldn’t play outside.

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Spooks: The Greater Good

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Spooks: the greater good.

2015 Directed by Bharat Nalluri

During a handover to the head of counter-terrorism of MI5, Harry Pearce, a terrorist escapes custody. When Harry disappears soon after, his protégé is tasked with finding out what happened as an impending attack on London looms, and eventually uncovers a deadly conspiracy.

Peter Firth Kit Harington Elyes Gabel Jennifer Ehle Tim McInnerny Tuppence Middleton Eleanor Matsuura David Harewood Lara Pulver Hugh Simon Ronan Summers Elliot Levey Geoffrey Streatfeild Michael Wildman Cosmo Jarvis Amra Mallassi Dominic Garfield Derek Horsham Laura Swift David Wurawa Paul Blackwell Elizabeth Conboy Graham Curry Brian Hanford Jason Thomas Brown Maria Teresa Creasey Luke Harris Amelia Donkor Russell Wilcox Show All… Dario Parlato Natasha Radski Oliver Gilbert Shane Zaza Don Gayle Larissa Kouznetsova Guy Warren-Thomas Max Cavenham

Director Director

Bharat Nalluri

Assistant Directors Asst. Directors

Tom Ackerley Richard Oxford Stuart Renfrew

Producers Producers

Stephen Garrett Ollie Madden Jane Featherstone Jane Hooks

Writers Writers

Jonathan Brackley Sam Vincent

Casting Casting

Reg Poerscout-Edgerton Lillie Jeffrey

Cinematography Cinematography

Hubert Taczanowski

Lighting Lighting

Jonathan Spencer

Production Design Production Design

Simon Bowles

Art Direction Art Direction

Karl Probert Justin Warburton-Brown Andrew Munro Damian Léon Watts

Set Decoration Set Decoration

Liz Griffiths

Visual Effects Visual Effects

Sascha Fromeyer Noga Alon Stein Mervyn New

Title Design Title Design

Matt Curtis

Stunts Stunts

Julian Spencer Gary Arthurs Lucy Cork

Composer Composer

Dominic Lewis

Sound Sound

Andrew Caller Samir Foco Linda Brenon Glen Gathard Jack Stew Brendan Nicholson Simon Chase Ian Voigt

Costume Design Costume Design

Colleen Kelsall

Makeup Makeup

Cate Hall Hannah Edwards Frankie Francis Emilie Yong

Hairstyling Hairstyling

Cate Hall Kate Smith

Creative England BBC Film Isle of Man Film Shine Pictures Pinewood Pictures Kudos

Releases by Date

11 apr 2015, 08 may 2015, 21 may 2015, 19 jun 2015, 23 aug 2015, 16 oct 2015, 04 dec 2015, 30 jan 2016, 17 mar 2016, 18 sep 2015, 09 jul 2016, 09 dec 2015, 09 feb 2016, 19 apr 2016, releases by country.

  • Theatrical 16

Netherlands

  • Physical 12 DVD, Blu ray
  • Physical M/12

South Korea

  • Theatrical 15
  • Theatrical R

104 mins   More at IMDb TMDb Report this page

Popular reviews

megan

Review by megan ★ 1

was kit harrington that broke that he needed to do this

Lisa the Beauty Queen

Review by Lisa the Beauty Queen ★★★½

Never seen this show, but this was alright.

Kit Harington does that face he does, Peter Firth tries and fails to look menacing, and the MI5 fuck up at every single turn, to the point where you start to think, "yeah, maybe the CIA should take over."

Still, pretty fun.

Mos Co

Review by Mos Co ★★½

I've never seen an episode of Spooks on TV, but this film came on after Match of The Day so I watched it. Felt like a long TV episode but it wasn't bad. Terrorists and spies and double crossing and all that.

Andy Summers 🤠

Review by Andy Summers 🤠 ★★★ 2

John Snow apparently moonlights as an MI5 agent when he's not fighting White-Walkers in The North. Although Spooks was a BBC Television show here in the UK, I must admit I never watched a single episode, and I regret that now, because this wasn't bad at all. It didn't look like a stand-alone movie though, more like a bigger budget television special where we were meant to already know who was who and all the backstories that had gone before. That was an issue for me, but I'd soon worked out what was going on despite the complex plotting and double-crosses galore. Kit Harrington's never been a great actor, even in GoT, but he carries the majority of the film alongside Peter Firth and Jennifer Ehle. It's stylish but predictable, and this is no Bond movie by any means, but it wasn't a bad way to spend 104 minutes.

Travis Lytle

Review by Travis Lytle ★★★ 1

Whether it is referred to as "Spooks: The Greater Good" or "MI-5" , the television series-based action outing supplies medium-heat thrills and a moderately successful narrative. Starring Kit Harington as an MI-5 agent embroiled in agency-related skullduggery, the film makes for a mildly appealing experience.

"Spooks: The Greater Good" begins with an MI-5 operation going terribly awry. From that spark, agency players are thrown into conflict as rifts are exposed and terror mounts against London.

The narrative may hold more weight for those familiar with the television program upon which it is based, but the story is solid and features enough geo-political moving parts to intrigue. The production excels during its action-laden stretches or when it allows Harington to stand out, but it sinks into flatness when its drama comes to the fore.

"Spooks: The Greater Good" is an adequate action film. Bolstered by its leading man and the classic beats of its narrative, the film offers mid-level cinematic impact.

izzy

Review by izzy ★★½

what hair product does kit harington use im asking for a friend

Joseph Eastmond

Review by Joseph Eastmond ★

A terrible Mission Impossible wannabe. Heck I'd actually go as far to say it's a wannabe of a Mission Impossible wannabe.

Directing- 6 Acting- 4 Story- 2 Visuals- 8 Soundtrack- 3 23/100 Overall

Thanks for reading my review- Joseph.

JZB

Review by JZB ★★

MI-5 is an underwhelming spy thriller that relies on convenience and stereotypical plot devices, and feels like a quickly made tv film. Peter Firth and Kit Harrington both do fine in their respective roles, but neither are able to elevate the quite bland script. Just take Bond or Mission Impossible without any of the charisma, interesting characters, production value, or overall enjoyment, and you have this film.

Mark Cunliffe 🇵🇸

Review by Mark Cunliffe 🇵🇸 ★★★½ 4

"Do good or do well"

Ah Spooks. I loved Spooks. Or to be clear, I loved the first two seasons of Spooks. Three tops. Created by David Wolstencroft, and using such quality writers as the acclaimed left wing playwright Howard Brenton (though you'd have to look online or some such to find that out, as Spooks revelled in never having any opening or closing credits) Spooks was truly innovative British television...right up until its original stars Matthew Macfadyen, Keeley Hawes and David Oyelowo (whatever happened to him?) departed. The show - also known as MI5 for a US market that delights in the blindingly obvious - ran for ten seasons from 2002 to 2011 but, once the original central characters…

Ryster

Review by Ryster ★★★

Here's the thing with Spooks: The Greater Good, it's a run of the mill spy thriller. In recent years we have gotten so many spy movies that it's become increasingly difficult to surprise the audience without going full blown overboard. From what I've heard the TV show Spooks did a fantastic job in breaking the norm for a few years and earned a big following. It was one of the BBC's most popular shows and being this it's not surprising that it got a movie. I myself never watched the show but it wasn't my time to pick the movie in the house. The Greater Good is decent. It's definitely not bad and it does feel cinematic. I can't compare…

Wilson

Review by Wilson ★★★ 1

The Greater Good, the greater good, the greater good

I don't know if anyone can look at the Spooks surtitle and not think of Hot Fuzz, and one of the biggest disappointments of the film is that when there is a perfect opportunity for Peter Firth's Harry Pearce to respond with the greater good , and he responds with, gravely, "it's my job".

I have never seen any Spooks before. I knew it was a British TV show from the 2000s, but it just never appeared on my radar. I had no reason to watch the film, but I like spy films and it got reasonable reviews, and I have to say I thought it was a reasonable film.

loureviews

Review by loureviews ★★★½ 1

I watched the TV series of Spooks on and off over the years, and this big screen version feels like a feature length episode with slightly better locations. But that's no bad thing.

There's a bad apple within M15 and everything points to it being Harry Pearce (Peter Firth). So he goes renegade with a pretty young chap with daddy baggage to help and hinder him across London and Berlin.

Good chases, shocks, suspense, a shoot out outside the National Theatre and more keep this moving while a cast which includes Tim McInnerny, Jennifer Ehle, David Harewood and Tuppence Middleton make the audience do the leg- and guesswork right to the end.

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2015, Mystery & thriller/Action, 1h 44m

What to know

Critics Consensus

MI-5 (Spooks: The Greater Good) is a stylish, albeit rather perfunctory, adaptation of a spy thriller perhaps best left on the small screen. Read critic reviews

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Mi-5   photos.

A former MI5 agent (Peter Firth) investigates the disappearance of Harry Pearce (Kit Harington) when the operative is blamed for the escape of a ruthless terrorist (Elyes Gabel).

Rating: R (Violence|Some Language)

Genre: Mystery & thriller, Action, Crime, Drama

Original Language: English

Director: Bharat Nalluri

Producer: Ollie Madden , Jane Featherstone , Stephen Garrett

Writer: Sam Vincent , Jonathan Brackley

Release Date (Theaters): Dec 4, 2015  original

Release Date (Streaming): Feb 9, 2016

Runtime: 1h 44m

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Production Co: Kudos Film and Television, Shine Pictures, Pinewood

Aspect Ratio: Scope (2.35:1)

Cast & Crew

Peter Firth

Harry Pearce

Kit Harington

Will Holloway

Jennifer Ehle

Geraldine Maltby

Tim McInnerny

Elyes Gabel

Tuppence Middleton

Eleanor Matsuura

Hannah Santo

Lara Pulver

David Harewood

Michael Wildman

Robert Vass

Bharat Nalluri

Sam Vincent

Screenwriter

Jonathan Brackley

Ollie Madden

Jane Featherstone

Stephen Garrett

Steve Christian

Executive Producer

Ivan Dunleavy

Richard Holmes

News & Interviews for MI-5

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Krampus Is Decent Holiday Horror

Critic Reviews for MI-5

Audience reviews for mi-5.

As most movies based on television series goes, MI-5 is probably better fitted for viewers of the series. I've never seen an episode of MI-5, but I've seen my fair share of spy-action-thrillers, and this one is about as middle of the road as you can get. There isn't anything special about this movie, but there's also nothing blatantly wrong with it either. Set a few years after the end of the series' run, MI-5 picks up as Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) is still the head of section D at MI-5. But when he realizes that someone inside of his team has aided a wanted international terrorist in his escape and he himself is suspected, he decides to take matters into his own hands and recruits one of his former guys, Kit Harrington into proving his innocence. Again, there's nothing really here that's all that original, but if you're looking for a fun little action film to take your mind away from normal life, MI-5 might be one for you. Harrington his very likable, as he always has been. His character here is pretty much Jon Snow in the modern world, but his talent is undeniable. This is especially clear when he's alongside costar, Peter Firth playing Harry, because that's not a particularly likable character. In fact, for most of the film I found myself rooting against him. Which brings up my major issue with the film, the endless plot twists and double crosses. There comes a point in the film when there's been so many different plot changes and reveals that the story becomes irrelevant. The film becomes to reliant on keeping you guessing the next turn, that it forgets to tell its own story. It's nice to see Kit Harrington get a starring role, and even see David Harewood in a feature film, but there's not a whole lot separating this film from anything else we have seen. Perhaps a bigger budget, more rounded villain, and a less convoluted script would make for a better viewing experience. 6.2/10

spooks the greater good plot

A mindless feature length of the great TV series. If you are looking for a less stylish Bond or Mission Impossible blow up then this is the film for you!

Based on the British television series Spooks, MI-5 is an action-packed espionage thriller. When a terrorist escapes while being transferred, counter-terrorist chief Harry Pearce suspects that there's a trader inside MI-5 and goes rogue in order to find them out, and with no one to trust he's forced to seek the help of a burned spy. The politics are kind of hard to follow between MI-5 and the CIA, but the basics boil down to a standard mole hunt. Kit Harington gives a strong performance and the storytelling does a good job at creating suspense and mystery, along with delivering some interesting twists. Entertaining and full of thrills, MI-5 is an exciting action film.

I have never seen the TV series but I enjoyed this espionage thriller. It may not have the Hollywood action you may be expecting but it makes up for in sheer grit and suspense.

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Spooks: The Greater Good | reviews, news & interviews

Spooks: the greater good, first widescreen adventure for harry pearce and his mi5 crew.

spooks the greater good plot

The idea of a movie spin-off from BBC One's spy show Spooks has been lurking with intent ever since the tenth and final series ended in 2011. Finally it's here, helmed by director Bharat Nalluri (who shot the first and last episodes for TV) and with Peter Firth's Sir Harry Pearce at its centre. Where, as the Spookfather-in-chief, he had to be.

Since Spooks stuck unswervingly to its grand tradition of bumping off leading characters – diehards will still be wiping away a tear at memories of Rupert Penry-Jones's Adam Carter, Richard Armitage 's Lucas North and Nicola Walker 's Ruth Evershed – Pearce finds himself surrounded by a bevy of fresh faces, though Tim McInnerny bounces back vigorously as sneery MI5 supremo Sir Oliver Mace. There's the inexperienced but determined June Keaton ( Tuppence Middleton ) and stone-faced agent Hannah Santo (Eleanor Matsuura), while Jennifer Ehle gives herself airs and graces as MI5 grandee Dame Geraldine Maltby. David Harewood (pictured below) , fortified no doubt by his experiences of CIA chicanery in Homeland , steps decisively into the "cynical politician" slot, shamelessly schmoozing the Americans for cash bungs to prop up Britain's security apparatus.

spooks the greater good plot

Making the transition from long-arc TV series to 100-minute feature film is no simple matter, but they've accomplished it with some skill here. From the opening set-piece, an attack by heavily tooled-up motorcyclists on an MI5 motorcade transporting the murderous jihadist Adem Qasim (Elyes Gabel), The Greater Good is boldly and expansively filmic.

Spooks always made a point of exploiting London locations, and here Nalluri cashes in on a bigger budget and a wider screen to deliver some spectacular panoramic views of the metropolis, framed in forbidding greys and steely silvers. One shot where the camera tailgates a jet airliner heading for Docklands airport is heart-stoppingly dramatic. Heathrow Airport, Waterloo Bridge, Brixton and the director's favourite Thames-side beach are all roped in almost like supporting characters (Harington and Peter Firth , pictured below) .

spooks the greater good plot

The one false note is the screenwriters' laboured efforts to "humanise" Qasem, so that he isn't just a merciless fanatic but a man tormented by the incarceration of his wife in Russia, and motivated by humanitarian concerns for victims of Western adventurism in the Middle East. Perhaps ascribing virtuous liberal tendencies to a ruthless terrorist killer is just a hangover from Spooks 's BBC origins. Despite that though, The Greater Good outperforms expectations .

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Spooks: The Greater Good – Review

Director: Bharat Nalluri Starring: Peter Firth, Kit Harrington, Jennifer Ehle, Elyes Gabel

Restrained by a modest budget, Spooks: The Greater Good tries to root itself in the cheaper and more traditional tradecraft of spies, clandestine meetings and double agents being the order of the day. It’s these elements that really work, displaying the edge that Spooks used to serve up on the small screen, and it seems as though the film should have committed to that “authentic” tone throughout. Yet unfortunately there is a drift into the grand territory of Bourne and Bond where it simply cannot step up against the blockbuster competition.

Peter Firth leads with a believable and stoic performance, unsurprising considering he’s now played Harry Pearce for over ten years. His often emotionless demeanour adds an effective air of mystery, even if it makes his work difficult to truly assess on occasion. Kit Harrington has all the wonder-boy trappings of an MI5 heartthrob yet never convincingly displays the necessary charisma or passion that the character demands. The rest of the cast is filled with forgettable characters and distinctly average performances, so it’s a real shame that the Game Of Thrones star wasn’t able to shine through.

The plot trundles along like a Central line carriage, twisting and turning with enough bumpy momentum to retain interest over 100 minutes but never providing enough of an exciting jump to move you to the edge of your seat. Opening on aerial shots of a depressingly wet London, gloomy weather exacerbated by a washed-out colour filter, The Greater Good starts as it means to go on. The cinematography is uninspired and certain scenes drift into a televisual look, not helping with the film’s efforts to be more than an extended episode of Spooks.

Spooks: The Greater Good had the potential to be considerably worse and devotees of the BBC original will find a lot to love with this adequate spin-off. If you never saw the TV series then you’re likely to be less impressed, yet should still find a functional and watchable slice of British spy drama, although it’s ultimately forgettable and unable hold a candle to it’s cinematic contemporaries.

Written by James Excell Tweet your own thoughts and comments to @ExcellBTTM and @Bck2TheMovies !

Spooks: The Greater Good is on wide release in UK Cinemas now.

spooks the greater good plot

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spooks the greater good plot

Spooks: The Greater Good – Review

The transition from stonking hit BBC TV series to feature film is deftly handled with Spooks , meaning the uninitiated can still enjoy full disclosure.

Disappointingly, however, it’s rather like an extended episode, with insufficient oomph to wholly justify the upgrade. Amongst an impressive cast, Harry Pearce (the wonderful Peter Firth) is the lynchpin between series and feature, as the story focuses on his suspicious abscondment.

The otherwise engaging plot’s premise suffers from a comparison to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy , as well as a copy/paste backstory between Pearce and young ex-agent Will Holloway (an earnest Kit Harington).

Spooks ’ pre-exisiting excellence hinders the film somewhat as it struggles to make a cinematic splash;  worth watching if you’re already a fan, or appreciate fast-paced shenanigans and explosions around London.

RATING: 3/5

INFORMATION

CAST: Peter Firth, Kit Harington, Jennifer Ehle, Tuppence Middleton, Elyes Gabel, Tim McInnerny, David Harewood

DIRECTOR: Bharat Nalluri

WRITERS: Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent (screenplay), David Wolstencroft (created by)

SYNOPSIS:  To prevent an imminent terrorist attack on London, decommissioned officer Will Holloway (Harington) must track down disgraced MI5 Intelligence Chief Harry Pearce (Firth).

A preview screening of Spooks: The Greater Good was kindly provided by 20th Century Fox and Grapevine PR.

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Spooks: The Greater Good

When a terrorist escapes custody during a routine handover, Will Holloway must team up with disgraced MI5 intelligence chief Harry Pearce to track him down before an imminent terrorist attack on London.

1 hour, 37 minutes

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Drama to get your pulse racing from across the BBC.

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Subterfuge plots, super sleuths and maverick detectives, versus - criminal masterminds.

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Spooks the Greater Good

Spooks: The Greater Good is a 2015 British spy film, continuing from the British spy series Spooks (known as MI-5 in some countries), which aired on BBC One from 2002 to 2011.

Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent wrote the script for the film, with Bharat Nalluri directing. Peter Firth reprises his role as Harry Pearce , who appeared in all ten series of the programme. Also returning from the TV series are Tim McInnerny as Oliver Mace , Lara Pulver as Erin Watts , Hugh Simon as Malcolm Wynn-Jones , and Geoffrey Streatfeild as Calum Reed . Kit Harington stars as Will Holloway and Tuppence Middleton as June Keaton , new characters in leading roles.

Set several years after the end of the TV series, Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) is still head of the counter-terrorism department (Section D) at MI5 . Harry's team is transporting apprehended terrorist Adem Qasim (Elyes Gabel) through London when the convoy is attacked, allowing Qasim to escape and a CIA operative to be killed. MI5 is humiliated in the press, and relations between British and American intelligence agencies are frayed. Realising that the CIA will demand a scapegoat and that he is soon to be decommissioned from MI5, Harry seemingly commits suicide by jumping off Lambeth Bridge into the Thames.

However, it's quickly revealed Harry is alive and has faked his death so he can investigate his suspicions that Qasim's transport was sabotaged by someone high up in MI5 who is trying to destroy the organisation from the inside. Before Qasim's arrest, Harry had tasked his former section chief, Erin Watts (Lara Pulver), with going undercover inside his terrorist cell, and is quickly able to use her information to track down the fugitive Qasim, who is hiding in the English countryside. Harry does not call in MI5 and instead meets with Qasim to offer him a deal: he will get Qasim "what he wants" if he gives him the MI5 contact who helped him escape. Qasim responds by revealing he discovered Erin was an undercover agent and has taken her hostage. He shoots Erin in the stomach and tries to force Harry to finish her himself lest she die a slow death which will be recorded for her daughter to see. Harry can't bring himself to do it until Erin guides his hand in hers to shoot her and spare her daughter the video. After this, Qasim agrees to Harry's deal.

Meanwhile, Will Holloway (Kit Harington) is picked up in Moscow by MI5 operative Hannah Santo (Eleanor Matsuura) and taken back to meet with a group of senior intelligence figures; MI5 Director General Oliver Mace (Tim McInnerny), JIC Chairman Francis Warrender (David Harewood), MI5 Head of Counter-Intelligence Emerson (Elliot Levey) and MI5 Deputy Director General Geraldine Maltby (Jennifer Ehle). It's revealed Will's father worked with Harry until he was killed in action during a mission in Berlin. Thereafter Harry visited regularly throughout Will's childhood and eventually recruited him as a section D officer. Will worked closely with Harry for several years as his father did, until Harry decommissioned him citing poor performance, leaving Will with a serious grudge. The intelligence officials were not fooled by Harry's death and want Will to find him and bring him in. Will is reluctant at first but is convinced when Mace suggests Harry has information about his father's death he has not revealed.

Harry contacts Will using an old spy trick they once used to exchange information, and then organises a meet with him. Will is accompanied by an MI5 surveillance team, but Harry utilises an elaborate series of misdirections and location changes to leave the team behind and talk to Will alone. Harry reveals his suspicions about a traitor inside MI5 and asks for Will's help. Will refuses to trust Harry, but does start investigating the theory without notifying MI5. He meets with June Keaton (Tuppence Middleton) a section D officer who was involved in the botched prisoner transport, and she joins Will to investigate her partner on that mission: Robert Vass (Michael Wildman) Searching Vass' place they find bank statements indicating a pay-off and, when he arrives home, there is a fight and June kills Vass.

Later that night, the intelligence chiefs are attending an opera with some NATO officials. After the show, a suicide bomber corners JIC Chairman Warrender in the lobby and detonates, killing him alongside several other intelligence figures and military chiefs. Qasim takes credit on the news afterwards, citing it as a targeted attack on the elite rather than the public, but he is privately dissatisfied with the government response so starts to plan an attack on Oxford Circus that will kill hundreds of civilians. Harry reveals to Will that what Qasim wants from him in exchange for the contact who helped him is his wife, who MI5 traded to the FSB. Harry travels to Berlin and uses his connections there to organise a trade with the FSB—information for Qasim's wife, but Will and June intervene and attempt to take Harry back to England. Harry quickly realises June is working against them (having planted the evidence against Vass and killing him before he could deny it) and convinces Will she intends to kill them. They capture June who reveals she has been taking MI5 orders—she is so blindly loyal to the service she has been doing the traitor's work unknowingly. They leave her in Berlin, and meet with the FSB as Harry planned—unfortunately they discover Qasim's wife has died in FSB custody. They take her body and organise a meet with Qasim, claiming she is alive.

Back in the UK, Harry and Will are able to recruit Hannah to their cause, and she pretends to be Qasim's wife. Harry also recruits his old friend, retired analyst Malcolm Wynn-Jones (Hugh Simon) to monitor surveillance during the exchange. However, Qasim's agent is not fooled by Hannah's disguise and the operation is botched. Realising their original plan won't work, Harry goes off comms and, after confirming for Qasim that his wife is dead, makes a new deal with him. Fearing what deal Harry might have made, Will demands Hannah call in SCO19—they arrive, arresting Harry and Will and taking them back to MI5 HQ.

Harry reveals that Qasim has given him the location of his terrorist cell, allowing MI5 to completely neutralise the pending attack and apprehend almost all of Qasim's men. While Mace, Emerson and Maltby are interrogating Harry to discover the other side of the deal, Qasim bursts in to the room with armed men, killing several personnel. To their horror, Harry reveals that for his side of the deal he gave Qasim the knowledge necessary to infiltrate MI5. After Qasim shoots and kills Calum Reed (Geoffrey Streatfield), Mace steps up and insists Qasim kill him and leave the others alone, but after Emerson takes credit for sabotaging the prisoner transport, Qasim kills him instead. While Qasim is distracted, Will works with June to get the upper hand with Qasim's men, and is able to kill them and Qasim, ending the siege. Now aware that Harry was right about there being a traitor, Mace lets him go before the authorities arrive. Will catches up to Harry and demands an explanation—Harry explains it was the only way to stop the attack and kill the traitor, and that although people still died, it was preferable to the hundreds who would have died in the attack.

A week later, Harry meets with Geraldine Maltby at a countryside home where she is playing with her niece. While her niece is outside, Harry tells her that he knows she was the one who sabotaged the prisoner transport and let Qasim escape, Emerson just claimed credit in order to protect her. She intended to destroy MI5's reputation so that it could be quietly absorbed by the Americans, who would then repay her by making her Director General of MI5, replacing Mace. Geraldine refuses to accept any consequences for her actions, so Harry reveals she doesn't have to because he poisoned her lunch hours before, and she has only two hours left to live. Harry then meets with Will on a nearby beach, where he tells him the real reason he decommissioned him wasn't because he wasn't good enough, but to protect him out of respect for his father. Harry then leaves, no longer on the run from the authorities. The movie ends with a photo negative snapshot, a trademark of the TV show.

  • Peter Firth as Harry Pearce
  • Kit Harington as Will Holloway , a former MI5 officer with an estranged relationship with Pearce.
  • Jennifer Ehle as Geraldine Maltby , the Deputy Director-General of MI5.
  • Elyes Gabel as Adem Qasim , a charismatic terrorist leader.
  • Lara Pulver as Erin Watts , a former MI5 Section Chief.
  • Tim McInnerny as Oliver Mace , the Director General of MI5.
  • Hugh Simon as Malcolm Wynn-Jones , a retired MI5 analyst.
  • Eleanor Matsuura as Hannah Santo , an MI5 officer.
  • David Harewood as Francis Warrender , chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee.
  • Tuppence Middleton as June Keaton , an MI5 officer.
  • Geoffrey Streatfield as Calum Reed , an MI5 analyst.
  • Elliot Levey as Emerson , the Head of MI5 Counter Intelligence.
  • Michael Wildman as Robert Vass , an MI5 officer.
  • Cosmo Jarvis as Dani Tasuev
  • Dario Parlato as 'Henchman'
  • 1 Ellie Simm
  • 2 Lucas North
  • 3 Tom Quinn

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'Spooks' movie 'The Greater Good' to shoot in 2014, plot details revealed

Headshot of Simon Reynolds

BBC spy series Spooks will make the leap to the big screen with a movie titled Spooks: The Greater Good .

Peter Firth will reprise his role as MI5 chief Harry Pearce in the film version, which will begin production in early 2014 with original series director Bharat Nalluri behind the camera.

The story revolves around terrorist Adam Qasim escaping MI5 custody during a handover to the head of counterterrorism. When Pearce vanishes, his protégé Will Crombie is tasked with finding out what happened as the clock ticks down to an attack on London.

Spooks: The Greater Good was written by Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent, and will be produced by Kudos's Jane Featherstone and Stephen Garrett and Shine's Ollie Madden.

Spooks , known as MI-5 in the US, ran for 86 episodes from 2002 to 2011. It also spawned a short-lived spinoff, Spooks: Code 9 , in 2008.

Matthew Macfadyen, David Oyelowo, Keeley Hawes, Jenny Agutter, Rupert Penry Jones, Richard Armitage, Sophia Myles and Lara Pulver all featured among the cast over Spooks ' ten series.

Photo gallery - 'Spooks' cast then & now: UKTV: Spooks: The Cast - Then and now

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Spooks: The Greater Good

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Spooks: The Greater Good

  • [Spooks] The Greater Good

Kit Harington

  • Elliot Levey

Tuppence Middleton

  • Elizabeth Conboy

Eleanor Matsuura

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  • "[A] strained, superfluous spinoff from the once-popular BBC spy drama."  Guy Lodge : Variety
  • "'Spooks' addicts will probably be satisfied, but those used to the ambition and mega-budgets of Bourne and Bond may feel shortchanged. (...) Rating: ★★ (out of five)"  Kate Muir : The Times
  • "What matters most (...) are the chases, explosions, bluffs and double crosses, all staged at such a relentless tempo there is no time to notice the cracks in the storyline. (...) Rating: ★★★ (out of five)"  Geoffrey Macnab : The Independent
  • "I think 'Spooks' works on television, but the tighter narrative arc of a feature film exposes the absurdities and contrivances. Too often it’s just silly. (...) Rating: ★★ (out of five)"  Peter Bradshaw : The Guardian
  • "As a film, it feels like a bunch of people pretending to be in a film. As a continuation of the show’s (...) appeal, it has enjoyable moments. (...) Rating: ★★ (out of five)"  Tim Robey : Telegraph

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Spooks: The Greater Good

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  1. Spooks: The Greater Good

    Plot Harry Pearce is head of the counter-terrorism department (Section D) at MI5. Harry's team is transporting terrorist Adem Qasim through London when the convoy is attacked, allowing Qasim to escape and a CIA operative to be killed.

  2. Spooks: The Greater Good review

    The plot is all sub- Tinker Tailor twisty turns, the action full of Bourne -lite shoot-outs and chases, with an emphasis on techy surveillance. It's nonsense, but there's fun to be had in the...

  3. MI-5 (2015)

    Action Drama Thriller When a terrorist escapes custody during a routine handover, Will Holloway must team with disgraced MI5 Intelligence Chief Harry Pearce to track him down before an imminent terrorist attack on London. Director Bharat Nalluri Writers Jonathan Brackley Sam Vincent David Wolstencroft Stars Kit Harington Peter Firth Jennifer Ehle

  4. Spooks: The Greater Good review

    Spooks: The Greater Good is, as you're probably already aware, a big-screen continuation of the hit drama series of the same name, which ran on the BBC from 2002 to 2011. Like the series, The ...

  5. 'Spooks: The Greater Good': Film Review

    May 11, 2015 6:23am The contrasting specters of Jason Bourne and George Smiley hang heavy over Spooks: The Greater Good, which semi-successfully translates the BBC's hit spy series to the big...

  6. Spooks: The Greater Good review

    Peter Bradshaw @PeterBradshaw1 Thu 7 May 2015 17.30 EDT H ere's a thriller involving a huge amount of talking, sprinting and fighting and more sprinting. People talk tensely to each other - and...

  7. Film Review: 'Spooks: The Greater Good'

    When, in an extended pre-credit sequence, generically ruthless Middle Eastern terrorist Qasim (Elyes Gabel, sporting a sporadic American accent) escapes from custody under Pearce's watch, the...

  8. Spooks: The Greater Good Review

    Series mainstay Harry Pearce (Peter Firth), Head of Counter-terrorism, returns, though he's quickly blamed and forced to resign when major terrorist suspect Adem Qasim (Elyes Gabel) is sprung ...

  9. Spooks: The Greater Good Review

    07 May 2015 Running Time: 104 minutes Certificate: 15 Original Title: Spooks: The Greater Good From the Hammer Quatermass films of the 1950s through to macho spin-offs like the Callan and...

  10. Spooks: The Greater Good

    2015 Directed by Bharat Nalluri During a handover to the head of counter-terrorism of MI5, Harry Pearce, a terrorist escapes custody. When Harry disappears soon after, his protégé is tasked with finding out what happened as an impending attack on London looms, and eventually uncovers a deadly conspiracy. Remove Ads Cast Crew Details Genres Releases

  11. Spooks: The Greater Good (2015)

    Overview During a handover to the head of counter-terrorism of MI5, Harry Pearce, a terrorist escapes custody. When Harry disappears soon after, his protégé is tasked with finding out what happened as an impending attack on London looms, and eventually uncovers a deadly conspiracy. Bharat Nalluri Director Jonathan Brackley Writer Sam Vincent Writer

  12. MI-5

    MI-5 (Spooks: The Greater Good) is a stylish, albeit rather perfunctory, ... Which brings up my major issue with the film, the endless plot twists and double crosses. There comes a point in the ...

  13. Spooks: The Greater Good

    Spooks: The Greater Good First widescreen adventure for Harry Pearce and his MI5 crew. by Adam Sweeting Thursday, 07 May 2015. ... Plot-wise, it's a tortuous tale of duplicity and cynicism (Lara Pulver's Erin Watts gets a recall from the TV show, but probably wishes she hadn't). Qasem's terrorist atrocities have put him into heavy rotation on ...

  14. Spooks: The Greater Good

    The plot trundles along like a Central line carriage, twisting and turning with enough bumpy momentum to retain interest over 100 minutes but never providing enough of an exciting jump to move you to the edge of your seat. ... Spooks: The Greater Good is on wide release in UK Cinemas now. Facebook; Prev Article Next Article . About The Author. Sean

  15. Spooks: The Greater Good

    Spooks: The Greater Good is a 2015 British spy film, continuing from the 2002-2011 British television spy series Spooks. Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent wrote the script, with Bharat Nalluri directing. Peter Firth reprises his role as Harry Pearce, who appeared in all ten series of the programme. Also returning from the TV series are Tim McInnerny as Oliver Mace, Lara Pulver as Erin Watts ...

  16. Spooks: The Greater Good

    SYNOPSIS: To prevent an imminent terrorist attack on London, decommissioned officer Will Holloway (Harington) must track down disgraced MI5 Intelligence Chief Harry Pearce (Firth). A preview screening of Spooks: The Greater Good was kindly provided by 20th Century Fox and Grapevine PR.

  17. BBC One

    Spooks: The Greater Good Home This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer When a terrorist escapes custody during a routine handover, Will Holloway must team up with disgraced MI5...

  18. Spooks: The Greater Good

    Spooks: The Greater Good is a 2015 British spy film, continuing from the British spy series Spooks (known as MI-5 in some countries), which aired on BBC One from 2002 to 2011. Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent wrote the script for the film, with Bharat Nalluri directing.

  19. Film Review: 'Spooks: The Greater Good'

    "Undone by sentimentality," grumbles a senior secret agent in "Spooks: The Greater Good," having been foiled when a long-favored rendezvous location proves a trap.He might as well be talking about the film itself. A strained, superfluous spinoff from a globally popular, now-defunct BBC spy drama that was itself something of a nostalgia exercise, Bharat Nalluri's chrome-colored ...

  20. Spooks film shoots in 2014, plot revealed

    Movies Spooks 'Spooks' movie 'The Greater Good' to shoot in 2014, plot details revealed Harry Pearce to take the blame for terrorist escape in Spooks: The Greater Good. By Simon...

  21. Spooks: The Greater Good (2015)

    104 min. Country United Kingdom Director Bharat Nalluri Screenwriter Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent. Original Series: David Wolstencroft Cast Music

  22. Spooks: The Greater Good

    About this movie arrow_forward When charismatic terrorist Adem Qasim (Elyes Gabel) escapes from MI5 custody during a high profile handover, legendary operative Harry Pearce (Peter Firth), Head of...

  23. Spooks (TV series)

    During an undercover operation Helen and Tom were captured by race riot instigator Robert Osborne, played by Kevin McNally, who tortured Helen with a deep fryer in an attempt to make Tom reveal classified information. He refused and she was killed.

  24. Customer Reviews: Spooks: The Greater Good [Blu-ray] [2015 ...

    Showing 1-20 of 65 reviews Complex MI Verified Purchase | Posted 2 months ago. Owned for 1 month when reviewed. This reviewer received promo considerations or sweepstakes entry for writing a review. Typical MI movie but I had a hard time following this one. I would not recommend it.