(US/China - 2016)
Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Written by Steven Knight. Cast: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris, Simon McBurney, Lizzy Caplan, August Diehl, Matthew Goode, Daniel Betts, Camille Cottin, Charlotte Hope, Thierry Fremont, Anton Lesser. (R, 124 mins)
A defiantly old-fashioned throwback to glamorous star vehicles of yesteryear--except when it makes jarring modern concessions in terms of profanity and sexual content--ALLIED is an entertaining if occasionally implausible WWII espionage thriller that's equal parts wartime programmer and Alfred Hitchcock. In 1942, Canadian intelligence officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) parachutes into the French Moroccan desert for a covert mission in Casablanca, which gives you a good idea of what vibes ALLIED gives off in its early-going and throughout its superior first half. His assignment is to pose as a French phosphate engineer and team with Resistance leader Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard), who fled France after she was the sole survivor of a massacre on a compromised outfit. Once she tutors him in making his Quebecois accent sound more Parisian, they're to go undercover as a married couple and blend in with other Nazi sympathizers, with the goal being the assassination of the German ambassador at an upcoming swanky dinner party. Their pretend marriage blossoming into real love during an afternoon desert sandstorm, Max and Marianne relocate to London and marry upon the completion of their mission, settling down into a domesticated existence with a newborn daughter, with family man Max taking a less dangerous office job at British military HQ.