Cleanskin 2012 Movie Scene Sean Bean as Ewan holding a gun to terrorist's head

Cleanskin [2012]

You watched Skyfall, but just can’t get enough of the British Secret Service shenanigans, or you just wanna see a good spy thriller? Cleanskin, starring Sean Bean and Charlotte Rampling, may be right for you, as a sort of poor man’s 007. Although everything about this movie screams mediocrity and straight-to-DVD, it is quite watchable and enjoyable if you like the genre. The script seems realistic enough, exploring an aspect of terrorism that you don’t see often in this genre.

Cleanskin tries to answer the question of how someone decides to actually become a terrorist. Motives, cultural differences and other things come into play but with enough suspense to keep the movie from becoming too boring. Sprinkle this concept with action and enough suspense and you got yourself a great opening thriller for your movie night. The violence is quite graphic since they didn’t have to worry much about censorship.

Ewan is a British Secret Service agent, and as you probably suspected he is trying to stop Muslim extremists. After he fails a very important mission, Ewan teams up with Mark, a talented but very quiet operative. Two of them must stop a vicious terrorist that goes by the name of Ash before it’s too late. And Ash is planning a huge strike right at the heart of Britain.

Dancing on a fine line between being offensive and acceptable, Cleanskin is an engaging thriller with an accent on motives and urges that drive each side of this conflict. The shades of gray are the place where the answer lies about who will win this fight, as there are no clear and neat endings to things like terrorism. I think that Traitor deals with these issues in a much better way. So, do check it out if you’re looking for similar movies. 

And if you’re tired of all the serious stuff, you can look at this whole issue from another perspective. So, to help you with that we’ve got two great comedies dealing with terrorists. Vive La France is a hilarious and distinctly French comedy about two inept terrorists and their exploits in France. And you’ve probably heard about Four Lions, a British comedy with the double amount of terrorists and laughs.

Director: Hadi Hajaig

Writer: Hadi Hajaig

Cast: Sean Bean, Charlotte Rampling, Abhin Galeya, Tom Burke, Tuppence Middleton (what a name…)

Fun Facts: A “cleanskin” is a term for an undercover operative unknown to his or her targets. However, it can also mean a terrorist that is yet to be discovered.


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