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Backstabbing for Beginners

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Denmark, Canada, United States · 2018
Rated R · 1h 48m
Director Per Fly
Starring Theo James, Jacqueline Bisset, Ben Kingsley, Rossif Sutherland
Genre Thriller, Drama, History

Based on the eponymous memoirs of Michael Soussan, this story follows an idealistic young employee at the U.N who investigates the grizzly murder of his predecessor – and uncovers a vast global conspiracy that may involve his own boss.

Stream Backstabbing for Beginners

What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by

Poor genre efforts like Backstabbing for Beginners hurt cinema’s chance to survive and thrive as the greatest medium for storytelling.


Slant Magazine by Derek Smith

It fills the screen with a series of explicative conversations set in offices, hotels, and cars throughout which people don’t so much talk to each other as indirectly to the audience.


The Hollywood Reporter by Frank Scheck

The most thrilling aspect of director Per Fly's drama is watching the interactions between co-stars Theo James and Ben Kingsley. Even as James sucks all the energy out of the room with his inert performance, Kingsley creates oxygen with his dynamic, wildly entertaining turn.


Variety by Jessica Kiang

It’s to the film’s credit that it creates a sense of high-stakes peril despite us knowing the rough outcome from the get-go, and largely without simplifying its moral dilemmas into straightforward choices between heroism and villainy.


Los Angeles Times by Michael Rechtshaffen

Although James' muted performance comes across as a bit lifeless alongside Kingsley's more colorful, masterfully modulated turn, the characterizations nevertheless allow for satisfyingly complex, real-world renderings of conventional heroes and villains.


Observer by Rex Reed

There are so many ideas rattling around in Backstabbing for Beginners that are never resolved, and so many duplicitous characters that are never satisfactorily explained, that the end result is a muddle of confusion and violence that could end the future of tourism in Baghdad forever.

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