Allied review: "Ravishing without being riveting"

GamesRadar+ Verdict

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

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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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Editor-in-Chief, Total Film

Jane Crowther is the Editor of Total Film magazine and the Editor-in-Chief of the Film Group here at Future Plc, which covers Total Film, SFX, and numerous TV and women's interest brands. Jane is also the vice-chair of The Critics' Circle and a BAFTA member. You'll find Jane on GamesRadar+ exploring the biggest movies in the world and living up to her reputation as one of the most authoritative voices on film in the industry.