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The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

also known as “The Man from UNCLE”
MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for action violence, some suggestive content, and partial nudity.

Reviewed by: Pamela Karpelenia

Moral Rating: Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Spy Crime Action Adventure Comedy
Length: 1 hr. 56 min.
Year of Release: 2015
USA Release: August 14, 2015 (wide—3,450+ theaters)
DVD: November 17, 2015
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Relevant Issues

About spies in the Bible

Proliferation of nuclear weapons

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Featuring Henry CavillNapoleon Solo
Armie HammerIllya Kuryakin
Hugh GrantWaverly
Alicia VikanderGaby Teller
Jared HarrisSanders
Elizabeth Debicki … Victoria Vinciguerra
David Beckham
Ekaterina Zalitko … Pit girl
Christian Berkel
Luca Calvani … Alexander
See all »
Director Guy Ritchie
Producer Davis Entertainment
Warner Bros.
Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures. Trademark logo.
Warner Bros. Pictures
, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company

“Don’t kill your new partner on the first day”

“The Man from U.N.C.L.E” is a stylish spy film with comedic flair. We meet Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill), an American spy sent to find a woman whose estranged father is helping build a nuclear weapon. They are followed by a Russian KGB (Armie Hammer) agent, and, to their surprise, they end up working together to impact the Cold War.

The plot has a familiar spy film storyline, but a more stylized take on the traditional spy movie which can only be attributed to the director Guy Ritchie. Actor Henry Cavill, who we know as Superman does an amazing job of breaking character and taking on this entirely different role. He conveys the dapper spy perfectly. His co-star Armie Hammer, who we know as The Lone Ranger, has a convincing Russian accent to go with great performance as a KGB agent. Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”) is the female lead, and seems out of place with the caliber of acting supplied by her two co-stars. The supporting cast is so precise in their roles, it truly makes the film enjoyable.

The objectionable content, although not gratuitous is a cause for concern. Let’s start with violent fist fights, a gritty car chase and Nazi implied elements of torture with graphic pictures. While no overt sex is shown, it is highly implied, with a woman half naked shown from the back. Alcohol is used frequently. Much of violence is conducive to the plot.

There isn’t much biblical truth to draw from this film. One recurring theme is the importance of following orders and coming to a point where you stand up for what is true and what is right. We, as Christians, are getting a point in our society where the world is telling us to ignore the Bible and the truth of Scripture and just follow orders or political correctness—social pressure.

As for recommendation for this film, I enjoyed the cool feel and look, the intricate plot, and the top shelf acting, so I think it’s worth seeing on the big screen. It is a Hollywood film, with objectionable content, so be aware of that if you decide to view it.

Violence: Heavy to extreme / Language: Moderate—hell (1), damn (2), a** (1), p*ssy (1) / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

Editor’s Note: The “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” TV series ran from 1964 through 1968 on NBC and starred Robert Vaughn, as Napoleon Solo, and David McCallum, as Illya Kuryakin. U.N.C.L.E. was the acronym for their good-guy organization, United Network Command for Law Enforcement. The villains were agents of T.H.R.U.S.H. (Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity).

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—I never saw the TV show, so I have no idea how it compares. Morally, there are two scenes of implied sex; in one a woman is walking away from a bed, and you see her undressed back and in another you hear a woman making noises during sex. There is also an ex-Nazi who starts to torture one of the heroes, although no violence is actually shown. It keeps its PG-13 by implying, but not actually showing, the sex and violence.

Overall, it reminds me of classic 60s spy movies. It has the slower pace and filmmaking style of the era where it’s set. I love classic movies, but I worry the pace might be too slow for a generation used to fast-paced action movies. The movie feels more like a TV show pilot put on film, than a stand-alone feature film.

Still, it’s a good homage to classic 60’s spy movies and shows. I would recommend the movie if that’s what you’re looking for, just leave the kids at home.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Keith Chander, age 37 (USA)
Positive—I was very pleased that “The Man From UNCLE” was not filled with endless violence and incomprehensible dialog. Instead the movie was a character study filmed with 1960s style intrigue. Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer are talented actors who are also quite good looking. This was appreciated by the elderly ladies in the auditorium with me. The fashions and the aura of stylish ennui are captured with remarkable faithfulness.

Mr. Cavill, in particular, reveals good comic timing in his double entendres. There are worse ways of spending a rainy afternoon than watching a film set in la dolce vita era Rome.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Morris, age 51 (USA)
Negative—This film needed serious editing. It started off well enough, but then spent too much time with exposition and a needless dance scene in Illya’s apartment. I did not buy Hammer’s accent. It seemed a little forced. And if he is going to be the action side of the duo, I would like to have seen more action from him. There was a scene in a men’s stall where three tough guys were preventing him from using the mirror. That would have been a good opportunity for a well choreographed fight sequence. Instead, we only hear about the result later in the movie. In short, we get not enough action for an action movie and not enough thrill for a spy thriller.

On the positive side, there was good direction and photography and interesting plot twists, even a good payoff at the end, but it just took too long to get there. Maybe they’ll do better with the implied sequel.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Jeff, age 58 (USA)

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