The number one movie on Amazon Prime today is The Mauritanian, a new legal drama picking up attention on the streaming service. Centered on a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, the true story of a man suspected of 9/11 involvement is an intense and horrifying story audiences can’t stop talking about. Jodie Foster stars as the attorney for Tahar Rahim’s character, while Benedict Cumberbatch plays a military prosecutor convinced he’s on the right side until he has to wonder if he’s at the center of a conspiracy. Just watching the three-minute trailer alone is an intense experience.
The Mauritanian released in the United States on February 12, 2021, and will be coming to the United Kingdom on April 1st. The prisoner at the center of this movie is Mohamedou Ould Salahi. He was accused of recruiting the 9/11 hijackers. Meaning that he would have been the man who put the terrorists on the planes. At first, everyone is quite sure that this is true. Benedict Cumberbatch plays prosecutor Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch. The prosecutor believes his job is straightforward. However, he is unaware of a lot of things that have been going on.
The trailer opens with Benedict Cumberbatch wondering if he’s at the center of a conspiracy. While it takes a while for his character to know this in the movie, it’s not a spoiler. Today, we know that Salahi was wrongly accused, and the story follows the attorneys as they figure this out. Jodie Foster and Shailene Woodley play Salahi’s defense attorneys, who are unaware of the torture Salahi has been enduring for six years in Guantanamo Bay when they first meet him. His experiences in the prison are revealed as the story goes on.
The Mauritanian is based on the book Mohamedou Ould Salahi wrote about his experiences. The ex-prisoner published Guantanamo Diary in 2015 while he was still being held. An uncensored version was released in 2017. Ultimately, Salahi spent 14 years being held for a crime he didn’t commit.
Critics have said the movie tells an important true story. They’ve also enjoyed the performances by Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch. They’ve particularly given credit to Tahar Rahim. However, they have not been favorable about the movie itself. The New York Times criticized the timing of the story. They suggested that the flashbacks in the movie made for a disruptive flow. They also said that the timing for release was unfortunate. “After weathering almost five years of rolling political scandals, American audiences could be less than eager to be reminded of one more.”
While The New York Times thought that audiences wouldn’t be in the mood for a political scandal, they seem to be off the mark. Today, the movie is taking over on Amazon Prime as audiences tune in to this dramatic true story. Audiences are applauding the performances by Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tahar Rahim. They’re also discussing the horror of the justice system, torture, and government conspiracies. Understandably, the movie is fairly emotional. So far, The Mauritanian has a 7.3 rating on IMDB and an audience score of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Mauritanian is only one of several projects for Benedict Cumberbatch right now. The actor has a large and dedicated fanbase who will be seeing him in a wide variety of stories. While The Mauritanian only just released, his next project will be out on March 19, 2021. The Courier is a historic thriller set during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Cumberbatch plays a British businessman who accidentally winds up in the center of the conflict. The Courier premiered at Sundance in 2020 to great reviews.
While the studios haven’t given a firm date, we’ll also be seeing the historic drama The Electrical Life of Louis Wain during 2021. In this story, Benedict Cumberbatch plays Louis Wain, an English artist who comes to fame for his surreal cat paintings. While we don’t have a trailer yet, there’s hope the movie will be as amusing as it sounds.
Currently, Benedict Cumberbatch is filming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness for Marvel. While the movie doesn’t release until March 25, 2022, we’ll actually be able to see him in the role even sooner than that. He is simultaneously working on Spider-Man: No Way Home. Marvel fans will be able to catch that movie December 17, 2021.