“The November Man” is uneven, cliche-ridden

Jackson French

“The November Man” has everything a good spy thriller needs except an identity of its own. Though not terrible, the film’s not especially good either. It’s nothing more than just another spy movie. 

The film is essentially a parade of genre clichés. You have an aging spy called back into action, a double-crossing agency, a daughter in need of rescue and allies-turned-enemies. It’s all here and it’s all approached in the most formulaic and predictable way possible. 

That’s not to say none of it is enjoyable. “The November Man” contains a few decent action scenes. Most fights and chases are entertaining though unspectacular. Sadly, some of them are hampered by lazy editing, which drains out the dynamism and excitement.


“The November Man” is a vehicle for Pierce Brosnan, who doesn’t seem to care much about putting on a good performance. Sometimes his acting is fine, and sometimes it’s unconvincing. He’s also unintentionally hilarious when portraying anger. The only way he seems to know how to communicate rage is shouting incoherently at times that don’t feel appropriate.    

It’s not all Brosnan’s fault. Most actors wouldn’t know what to do with a role this unevenly written. Peter Devereaux, the agent Brosnan plays, is coldly detached in some scenes and weirdly sentimental in others. Inconsistency in motivations, desires and behaviors is a trait shared with most of the other characters, especially ally-turned-enemy David Mason, played by Luke Bracey. 

“The November Man” is armed with all the ingredients necessary for a good spy movie. Unfortunately, half-hearted acting, terrible dialogue and a script that withholds crucial plot details from the audience drags it down. After these flaws take their toll, the film is left as nothing more than the kind of movie found on late-night television.