All The Old Knives

Sometimes one special dinner can loosen what’s been crossed and knotted between two people as the air is cleared.  Sometimes. 

But, in THIS tale of espionage, there’s a whole lot of dead bodies tangled up in this candlelit dinner by the sea.  Things are bound to get messy on this dining table as two former lovers - and current spies - face each other again with an aura of suspicion thrown like a fisherman's net over both of them.

"has a solid charm"

All The Old Knives has a sexy cast as Chris Pine goes up against Thandiwe Newton.  It has a solid charm as both characters smolder and do the doublespeak dance.  It also has a great view of Carmel at just the right time of the evening for its central location. With so much going for it already, this thriller arrives with knives sharpened!

Carmel is the perfect place to get to the bottom of a case that should have been solved years ago when the hijacking of a plane ended with the deaths of everyone onboard.  So much for romance!

Now that the CIA - represented here by director Vick Wallinger (Laurence Fishburne) - knows one of its agents leaked information that cost the lives of all onboard the plane, it is up to Henry Pelham (Chris Pine) and his scarf to catch the mole.  Could it be his ex-lover and former operative Celia Harrison (Thandiwe Newton)?  Surely, not! 

But what about her boss (Jonathan Pryce)?All The Old Knives

While this thriller is set around a dinner sequence (how cool?!), there is a lot of build-up to the meeting or should we call it a smoldering reunion of sorts?  Lots of looks are exchanged by this duo as they try to figure out just what the other knows.

Their suspicions targeted at each other stretches from 2012 to 2020, the year this particular case gets reopened, and it has a lot to do with trying to figure out what each of these two operatives are up to.  Both arrive with exit strategies and both have back ups ready to go should they not like the answers to the questions about who knew who and when?  There’s also the whole what was leaked and how which follows, too.  

And that’s where the globetrotting in this movie comes into play.  From Vienna to England and onwards toward Carmel, California, lots of locations are traversed and lots of questions are asked, as well.  Like how do these two actors look so good sitting across from each other in this by the sea restaurant?  

And, yes, for the adults out there who want to settle in with a nice thriller after a couple of glasses of wine, the pair are forced to blur the lines between profession and passion in this riveting tale of global espionage, moral ambiguity and deadly betrayal. 

Directed by acclaimed Danish director Janus Metz and written by Olen Steinhauer, All The Old Knives is now sharpened and showing on Amazon Prime and, trust me, when things get intimate, the small screen is the perfect place for this thriller.

3/5 stars

Film Details

All The Old Knives

MPAA Rating: R for sexuality/nudity, violence and language.
101 mins
: Janus Metz
Olen Steinhauer
Goksin Erdemli; Kasia Madera; Chris Pine
: Thriller
Memorable Movie Quote: "Headquarters believes them. That's what matters."
Theatrical Distributor:
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 8, 2022
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: Two CIA operatives, and former lovers, reunite at idyllic Carmel-by-the-Sea to re-examine a mission eight years ago in Vienna where a fellow agent might have been compromised.


All The Old Knives