Luke McWilliams gives his review of the 2020 war drama, Six Minutes to Midnight, starring Eddie Izzard and Judi Dench.
In 1939, 17 days before WWII, a troubled man makes a rushed phone call on a pier. Flashing over to a cinema, British agent Thomas Miller (Eddie Izzard) receives his latest mission; to go undercover as a teacher at a boarding school for German girls and find out what happened to his predecessor.
The movie has all of the trappings of a WWII-era spy thriller – murder, spies and conspiracy. Optimistically believing the world is moving on for the better after WWI, Miss Rocholl (Dame Judi Dench) runs her finishing school for girls from influential and high-ranking German families in the hope of a more humane, integrated future. With WWII around the corner, however, a chase is on to repatriate the girls, the question being: how is this going to be executed?
In Izzard’s first feature co-writing attempt, he is well placed in the genre. An effortlessly distinguished look makes Izzard’s Miller a cognisant spy and teacher who can keep up with his challenging pupils. Miller must gain the trust of Headmistress Rocholl, returned student-now teacher Ilse Keller (Carla Juri) and the students, while navigating the broader community of Nazi sympathisers to unravel the mystery. It is unfortunate that the tone breaks in places due to unintentionally humorous choices that invoke memories of Benny Hill.
Verdict: A fun, but flawed, throwback to the WWII spy thriller genre. 3 stars.
- Luke McWilliams | themovieclub.net