20 Apr 23
After making his name with the acclaimed crime drama The Nile Hilton Incident, Tarik Saleh's Cairo Conspiracy provides a new and brilliant entry into the long and storied history of the spy thriller.
But what films that came before should you add to your watchlist, either before or after catching up with Cairo?
Here's our quick guide to some of great thrillers to check out alongside this prize-winning new film.
Directed by The Godfather's Francis Ford Coppola, The Conversation is a timeless, piercing thriller, and its exploration of anxiety and loneliness still seems very relevant today.
The film follows paranoid surveillance expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman), who's hired by a client (a pre-Star Wars Harrison Ford!) to spy on a young couple. However, he soon starts to suspect that the couple will be murdered, and becomes obsessed with preventing the crime…
Sydney Pollack's CIA mystery casts Robert Redford as a studious analyst who finds all his co-workers murdered. With no one to trust, he must survive long enough to find out who is following him, and who wants him dead too.
It is a tense, taut thriller that has many twists and turns throughout, so it will constantly keep you on your toes. If you've missed this gem from the hugely prolific Pollack, this is your sign to watch it now.
Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and nominated for five BAFTAs, The Lives Of Others is a German drama set in 1983 East Berlin, where an agent of the secret police is instructed to spy on a couple, but soon finds himself utterly absorbed in their lives.
A political expose that digs deep into paranoia and deceit while also maintaining a strong emotional core, it's a truly mesmerising, heartbreaking thriller – and an unforgettable watch.
This list wouldn't be complete without John le Carré, master of the spy novel (as mentioned by Saleh in our Big Interview!), and a story starring his most famous hero, MI6 agent George Smiley (this time played by Gary Oldman).
Set during the Cold War, Smiley is called by the Government to hunt down a Soviet 'mole' within MI6. It's an espionage thriller that is beautifully executed and keenly intelligent.
There are outstanding performances from national treasures like Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong and John Hurt, and skilful directing from Tomas Alfredson which absorbs you and leaves you wanting more.
Shortly after his arrival in Cairo, the Grand Imam, suddenly dies and Adam soon becomes a pawn in a ruthless power struggle between Egypt's religious and political elite.
It is a searing political thriller brimming with tension, that will keep you captivated up until the final breathtaking moments.
Cairo Conspiracy is in cinemas now — Book Now
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