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Allied review: "Ravishing without being riveting"

Our Verdict

Ravishing without being riveting, this is polished period entertainment in the traditional matinee sense. But Casablanca it ain’t.

Two hot spies meet in an exotic locale for a job, trade cocky banter and end up having hot sex… if it sounds similar to one of Brad Pitt’s previous roles, it initially pretty much is. Like a WW2 Mr & Mrs Smith, Robert Zemeckis’ film trades on the beauty and chemistry of its leads (considerable in both cases) before switching into a sub-le Carre mole drama.

That much is obvious from the it’s-all-in-there trailer, as Canadian airman-spy Max (Pitt) reevaluates his entire existence when his French Resistance wife Marianne (Cotillard), is accused of being a Nazi spy. Could the woman he loves, who’s literally pushed his baby out amid a London air-raid, be working a deep deep cover?

The screenplay by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Locke, Peaky Blinders) competently explores some chewy themes: the complexities of matrimonial and state loyalties; the breaking point of love when tested.

All of which is perfectly diverting when it’s Pitt and Cotillard turning on the charm. Beautifully shot, immaculately costumed and seemingly CG-ed to their most perfect selves, their luminosity and star power lift potentially cheap moments (lustful looks in mirrors, English Patient-style car sex, improbable personal misuse of war-effort equipment) to classy, if glassy, levels.

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The Verdict

3

3 out of 5

Allied

Ravishing without being riveting, this is polished period entertainment in the traditional matinee sense. But Casablanca it ain’t.

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