Gary Oldman and Tom Hardy are two of the best actors on the planet. So the idea of teaming them up for a tense, Stalin era thriller seems more than promising. And the story is perfectly set up: we meet Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy), a war hero turned secret policeman in the U.S.S.R. His job involves hunting down suspected traitors and punishing them. Soon after his latest assignment, the child of his colleague Alexei (Fares Fares) dies. Could it be murder? Not according to the government, as we’re told right from the start that “there is no murder in paradise”. But Leo wants to investigate, and that’s the hook that will lead you into the film’s many mysteries. At first glance, Hardy might seem an unusual choice for Leo, but as usual he has transformed himself completely, and he gives yet another perfectly-measured performance. He is also surrounded by an exceptional and well-chosen ensemble lead by Noomi Rapace, Vincent Cassel and the great Gary Oldman. Because the film has so many good attributes, including a tangible sense of time, place, and atmosphere, it’s tempting to overlook its shortcomings. So whether or not you decide to overlook them, this movie and Hardy’s electrifying performance will keep you pinned to your seat. It’s pretty strong stuff.