Watch on Apple TV

Guy Ritchie's The Covenant (2023) Review

Apr 21, 2023 04:10 PM EST
3 Min Read

If you think Guy Ritchie's The Covenant is simply just another movie about war, you are in for a large and pleasant surprise.

Guy Ritchie's The Covenant (2023) Review

In September 2001 The United States was attacked by terrorists on our own soil.  Thousands of innocent people died. A month later we sent troops to Afghanistan looking for weapons of mass destruction and hoping to free the Afghan people from Taliban rule.  To aid in our search, The United States military employed thousands of Afghans to interpret for the US soldiers.  Labeled as traitors, these interpreters were told they would be given visas to move to America since they would be in danger if they stayed in the Middle East.  

After twenty years, the last of our troops returned home.  Three months later the Taliban regained control of the country and murdered hundreds of their kinsmen who worked as interpreters.  Thousands more went into hiding fearing they would be next. This week Guy Ritchie's The Covenant offers a fictitious glimpse of what life was like for the interpreters.

Sergeant Kinley (Jake Gyllenhaal; Ambulance) and his team had been tasked with locating stores of weapons and makeshift factories building weapons of mass destruction.  When one of the soldiers and the team's interpreter are killed by a bomb hidden in a truck, Kinley needs to find a replacement.  Ahmed (Dar Salim; Game of Thrones) is offered the job.  After proving himself to be a valued member, he is instrumental in helping to locate one of these weapons factories.  However, when the Taliban are tipped off they show up in droves and kill most of Kinley's team while Kinley and Ahmed flee on foot.  While trying to make their way back to the US base, Kinley is injured and Ahmed is forced to carry him by a cart while trying to evade the men hunting them.  

One only has to look back two months to Ritchie's other movie, Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre, to wonder how on Earth two such polar opposite movies could be written and directed by the same person. The former was a somewhat mindless heist story while this latest film is suspenseful, dramatic, and insightful.  The visuals are expansive as he takes sweeping shots from various heights and angles showcasing the harsh, yet beautiful, landscape.  The intense drama and heart-pounding suspense keep the audience engaged while they are praying for Kinley's and Ahmed's return to safety.  Ritchie uses interesting camera angles and POV shots, as he often does, and the result is worth the time and effort he put into filming.

Gyllenhaal is perfectly cast as the wounded sergeant determined to free his rescuer who was left behind in Afghanistan to fend for himself and his family as they run for their lives.  The viewer can sense the anger and frustration mount as Kinley becomes increasingly agitated over the red tape he finds himself entangled in while his fearful friend lives in hiding.  Salim is an excellent partner for Gyllenhaal and, even as they clash over instructions they share a mutual respect for one another.  Surprisingly, though his part in the film is small, Alexander Ludwig's (Vikings) role is memorable.

If you think Guy Ritchie's The Covenant is simply just another movie about war, you are in for a large and pleasant surprise.  While there is plenty of action, there is also a sweet story behind it all.  There is an actual, somewhat true-to-life story presented in such a way that makes it interesting without being overly mushy and sentimental.  Ritchie creates a wonderful balance and, regardless of your views on the war in Afghanistan, offers us something to think about while we dissect and digest the horrors of war and the Taliban.

If you have sworn off Ritchie's films after Operation Fortune, I urge you to reconsider and spend a few hours with a very well-made film - The Covenant.

Grade: B+

Directed By:

MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 123 minutes
Distributed By: MGM Studios

For more information about Guy Ritchie's The Covenant visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Guy Ritchie's The Covenant images are © MGM Studios. All Rights Reserved.


Today's Digital HD DealsView All

WAS: $24.99
NOW: $19.99
Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing
WAS: $29.9
NOW: $24.99
WAS: $29.99
NOW: $24.99

Latest ReviewsView All

Crank Best Buy Exclusive Steelbook
Physical Media: 4K UHD Review
May 29, 2023 EST
80 For Brady
Physical Media: Blu-ray Review
May 04, 2023 EST
Transformers Limited Edition Steelbook 6-Movie Col...
Physical Media: 4K UHD Review
May 30, 2023 EST