THE NOVEMBER MAN
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Spectre
The film opens up in Montenegro in 2008. A man, David Mason (Luke Bracey) is having lunch with a woman he is attracted to. He flirts with her and kisses her. His mentor, Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) walks up to him as the woman leaves and chides him for trying to have a relationship in their line of work. Peter imagines a scenario where David is on a mission and the enemy finds out about his girl and uses her to make him give up his sources; what would he do? Peter points to a nearby man that has been photographing David. David asks if he the CIA or someone else. “Does it matter?” Peter asks, proving his point. “You feel the need for a relationship, get a dog.”
Peter and David prep for an operation in a car, putting on body armor. David gets out with a large duffel bag slung over his shoulder while Peter is driven to another destination. Peter arrives at the house of an ambassador they have been sent to protect. Peter requests his clothes, saying the attempt on his life is real.
David sets up in a house overlooking the town square with a sniper rifle. Peter talks to him via com link asking if he sees a target that might target the ambassador. David says there are too many possibilities, and says they should cancel the operation. Peter wants to go ahead as planned. “Wanna bet your life on that?” David asks. “No,” Peter replies, “I’m betting on you.”
Peter gets out of the car and is posing at the ambassador. David is wary, telling him the vest cannot help him in the case of a headshot. Peter deadpans it will help him get over his headaches. David sees a potential target pull a gun and wants to fire. The gunman however, has caused a panic and people are running around. Peter tells him NOT to fire. The assassin shoots Peter several times, the vest taking the shots. David disobeys Peter’s direct order and kills the assassin, but in the process gets a young boy killed, something Peter sees and is horrified by. David says the guy was going to kill Peter and what was he suppose to do. “Learn to take orders,” Peter says, enraged.
SWITZERLAND. FIVE YEARS LATER
Peter has retired from the CIA, and now runs a small coffee shop. When he arrives one day, an employee tells him that a man is waiting to speak to him. The man turns out to be John Hanley (Bill Smitrovich), Peter’s old boss. Hanley shows him the files of three dead agents, agents Peter worked with. Peter says they knew the risk, but Hanley says there weren’t meant to be killed. Hanley tells him that a Russian assassin, Alexa (Amila Terzimehic) has been contracted by presidential candidate Arkady Federov (Lazar Ristovski) to eliminate all traces of his past crimes since he wants to be president.
Peter asks Hanley what this has to do with him. Hanley shows him another file, containing the dossier of Natalia Ulanova (Mediha Musilovic), an agent that has gotten close to Federov and has evidence that can bury him for good; a witness that can tie him to war crimes. Natalia won’t give up the name without being brought in and Hanley wants Peter to do it, by extracting her from Moscow to St. Petersburg
Russian Parliament, Moscow. Federov is there to give a speech, with Natalia being his right hand woman. While he gives the speech, Natalia breaks into his safe and takes photographs of photos Federov has in his safe. They all apparently are of the same girl. Federov returns from his speech and Natalia is able to get everything back into the safe in time. Feigning normalcy, she leaves the office.
David, with a CIA team and drone, follow Natalia as she drives away.
Federov notices the key in the door that leads to the safe and that the safe door is open. He realizes something is up and that Natalia is missing.
U.S. Embassy, Siberia. Hanley and his op team including Celia (Caterina Scorsone) watch Natalia as she drives away. Hanley gets a video conference call from Perry Weinstein (Will Patton). Hanley tells him they got it handled and they don’t need him. Perry tells him since Federov is involved, a lot of people are interested.
Natalia thinks she got away when she notices two large SUV’s pursuing her. It’s FSB. Her cover has been blown. Just as they corner her, Peter arrives and shoots two of the FSB agents and yells at her to get in. Natalia is surprised that he is there, and asks about Lucy, their daughter. Peter says she is well and that she misses her mother.
Hanley and his team don’t realize who has Natalia. Perry makes the call for Directive 42. Hanley is staunchly against it, but Perry gives the order. Celia calls David and tells him it is Directive 42. David says he understands.
Peter tells Natalia that he knows she has a name and she needs to give it to him now. Natalia says Mila Filapova. Peter calls Hanley to find out what went wrong. Hanley tells him he’s blown.
David and his team park at the top of a parking garage. He gets out his sniper rifle and fires on Peter’s car, mortally wounding Natalia. In her final moments, she gives Peter a cell phone, and dies. Peter is devastated by her death (she is after all the mother of their daughter) and kisses her one last time before going after the man who shot her. Peter sees the CIA drone and that it is headed towards the parking garage.
David and his team try to leave but as they get to the exit, Peter shows up and shoots the driver in the head. He then kills two other agents and finds himself face to face with David, his protégé, and the killer of Natalia. They look at each other in shock, unable to fire. They drop their weapons and allow each other to leave alive.
Perry sees the feed and doesn’t understand what is happening. Hanley asks why they killed one of their own. Perry says she was dead the moment the Russians figured it out. They at least made it quick. David calls Hanley and asks why Peter was there. Celia doesn’t know about Peter but Hanley and Perry do. Meanwhile, David blows the van with hidden explosives to protect the agency from blowback.
Peter grabs a taxi and looks at the photos on the phone. He takes the memory card and throws the rest of the phone out of the window. He tells the driver to take him to the airport.
Hanley is at home on his computer, looking at the file on Mila, when a CIA strike team breaks into his house. Hanley grabs his gun and shoots up his hard drive before they taser him unconscious.
David goes back to his apartment. As he is going to make some food, he notices his neighbor’s cat has gotten in. He knocks on her door and returns it.
Belgrade, Center for Refugees. A woman, Alice Fournier (Olga Kurylenko) is approached by Edgar Simpson (Patrick Kennedy) a New York Times reporter who wants to do an expose of Federov and his alleged war crimes.
At the Belgrade International Airport, Alexa, the assassin, arrives and grabs a taxi. Checking into a hotel, she unpacks three guns and begins to stretch.
U.S. Embassy, Siberia. David is debriefed by Perry and Celia who asks why he didn’t kill Peter after killed his entire team. David says he was disoriented and not a threat. Furthermore, Peter acted just like David would have if the roles were reversed. Perry speaks to David privately and shows him the file on Natalia, revealing to David that she and Peter were in a relationship. They have just killed someone Peter cared for and that makes this personal for him. The orders have come down for Peter to be terminated. Perry asks if David has a problem with that. David says no.
Peter arrives in Belgrade and goes to Hanley’s apartment to see two CIA tech’s trying to recover his hard drive. Peter sneaks in and knocks them both out.
Alexa heads to a web café and meets with a hacker that gives her information on her target, Mila. Mila has been found to have had correspondence with Alice, so Alexa will be going after her to get to Mila.
Back in Hanley’s apartment, Peter has tied up the two men and calls the CIA office and pretends to be them in order to put a trace on Alice’s cell phone since he has discovered she is Mila’s contact. Alice is tracked to a restaurant. Peter hangs up. David senses something is up and tells Celia to call the other tech. Peter sees the other phone ring and doesn’t answer it. With no answer, David deduces Peter just got a lead.
Alice and Edgar meet at a restaurant. Edgar wants to do an expose on Federov and the things he apparently did during the 2nd Chechen war. Alice shrugs at his story, noting, “Atrocities are reality TV” to the world, that continuously get replaced by new ones. However, Edgar says since Federov is running for President, they are there to be busted wide open.
Alexa, posing as a waiter tells Alice she has a call from work. Peter is in the restaurant and sees this and calls her cell, warning her that Alexa is an assassin. Alexa reaches for a knife, as David and his CIA team burst in. Peter yells at her to run and Alice does, following him out the back.
Peter and Alice evade David’s team taking back alley into a crowded marketplace. David’s team uses a cell phone scanner to try and find Peter. Peter calls David and they trade barbs about their present situation.
Alice wants to know what is going on but Peter doesn’t have time to explain everything. Peter tells her if she wants to live, she will have to trust him. Alice pretends to walk alone in the subway tunnels with one of David’s men sees her. He gives chase only to get knocked out by Peter who was waiting for him. Peter messes with his cell phone and then continues on with Alice.
David and his team continue to look for Peter and Alice but Peter’s tinkering with the agent’s phone has distorted their technology. Peter and Alice run into a parking lot, where Peter kicks in a car window, setting an alarm off, and pulls the fuel line. When David and his team get there, they see the car and David senses a trap. Sure enough, Peter hotwired another car and is already leaving with Alice as David arrives. Peter shoots at the spilled fuel, causing the other car to explode, and allowing them to escape.
Alexa is seen tailing Edgar Simpson.
Peter explains the situation at hand to Alice. Federov is looking for Mila Filapova because she can tie him to war crimes. If they can’t find her, they will go after Alice instead. They get out of the car, and they take a train to get some distance between them and the CIA.
Alice asks Peter why he hates David, the man pursuing them so much. Peter says he doesn’t hate him. “He’s probably the best friend I’ve ever had.” “All your friends try to kill you?” Alice asks. “Eventually,” Peter deadpans.
Alice and Peter go to her office and he sees the file for Mila. He asks her where Mila is but Alice says she hasn’t seen her in 3 years, and for good reason. Mila pretended to be a mute around Federov, who kept her like a pet. She heard many things, including the conspiracy to bomb the building that started the 2nd Chechen War. Peter sees a photo on the wall and asks who he is. Alice says he is Denisov (Dragan Marinkovic) a pimp who sells girls for sex. Peter tells her that actually, he was Federov’s right hand man during the Chechen war.
They go to Denisov’s club and Peter talks to him. Peter tells him Federov is “cleaning house” of everyone that knows about the war and what he did and that Denisov is probably next. Peter wants to know what he did. Denisov says the Chechen’s had oil and wouldn’t sell it. So Federov blew up a building with his own Russian soldiers in it and got the justification to start the conflict and get the oil. The entire war, causing the deaths of countless thousands, was nothing more than a “false flag” operation. Denisov reveals that not only did the CIA know about it, they helped. Peter is stunned.
Meanwhile, at a CIA black site, Hanley is being interrogated by Celia. Hanley is belligerent and rude to her, call her “Tits.” He is unwilling to tell her much of anything.
Back at his office, Perry replays David’s conversation with Peter saying Peter is getting into David’s head and he needs to stop that immediately. He gives David a flash drive. “Here’s what he thought of you,” he says.
David goes home and opens the files. He sees files of Peter and Natalia together and seethes and Peter’s hypocrisy; he continuously told David he couldn’t have attachments yet Peter did. David then finds reports by Peter about him. Peter said he was reckless and made a habit of making impulsive decisions and recommended firing David from being a field agent. David seethes in anger. Looking down he sees his neighbor’s cat got into his apartment again. He goes back to return it again and goes to leave when she stops him. His neighbor, Sarah (Eliza Taylor) says they have crossed paths numerous times but she knows nothing about him, including his name. David introduces himself.
Peter, with Alice, buys numerous burner cell phones. Peter tells her that someone will find Mila and it will not be pleasant when they do. Seeing a couple leave a nearby apartment, Peter breaks into their building and gets into their apartment. Peter takes a bottle of alcohol from a cabinet and has a drink. Alice asks what David meant about what happened in Moscow (the incident with Natalia). “Something unfortunate,” Peter says looking out the window. He sees David and Sarah get a taxi. The apartment is right across the street from his.
David and Sarah go a nightclub. David and Sarah kiss. David has apparently decided he wants to live for more than just his job.
Alice plays the piano and Peter compliments her. Alice says a phrase in Russian, and tells Peter it means the piece is her favorite. Peter is surprised she knows the language, but Alice says her parents were professors that taught her. Peter watches and sees Sarah and David have returned back to their building.
Sarah and David have passionate sex.
Alice asks what will happen to Mila. Peter tells her if Federov finds her, he will kill her to bury his crimes for good. He gives her cash and a phone and tells her she cannot follow to what he has to do next. Peter tells her to wait for his call.
David wakes up to find Sarah gone. His phone goes off, from Sarah. David texts back where she is. Her phone goes off in the kitchen. He checks his dresser for his gun. It’s gone. He checks two other hiding spots. The guns are gone too. Going into the kitchen he finds Peter holding a gun to Sarah’s head. David tries to calm her but Peter messes with her head, telling her David is running through his head whether she is worth saving. Peter forces her to ask David if she is worth saving. David hesitates, and Peter says that proves his point, which makes David yell that yes she is worth saving.
Peter, remembering David’s previous conversations about not caring about the people he killed on the job, or dying himself, wants to give him a final lesson. “You can be a man or a killer of men but not both, because one will eventually extinguish the other,” Peter says. Holding a knife to Sarah’s throat, and leaving his gun, David grabs for the gun and tells him to let Sarah go. Peter decides to make one final test of David’s true character and envisions a scenario; his enemy has just cut the femoral artery of his hostage. Does David save her or pursue him? David screams at him not to do it, but Peter cuts Sarah’s femoral artery and leaves. David chooses to save her and begins to put pressure on the wound. An ambulance is called and she presumably survives.
Celia continues to interrogate Hanley. Hanley asks her what they really do. Celia says they collect information. Hanley tells her that is so very wrong. They don’t collect information, they “collect” people. People that have done things so horrible that they blackmail them into doing whatever the U.S. Government tells them to do like puppets on a string.
Federov arrives at the Belgrade hotel for a commission meeting with other leaders. He speaks to Alexa in the hallway and gives her new directives.
Alice meets with Edgar at his home, willing to tell him Mila’s story. As he goes for a recorder, Alexa steps out of hiding and stabs him several times to Alice’s horror. Alexa sees Alice and rushes her, but is stopped by Edgar who in his final moments, trips Alexa so Alice can escape.
David is at his apartment, cleaning Sarah’s blood off the floor. He looks at Peter’s files again and takes a second look at the photos. He realizes that Peter has a daughter, Lucy, and reports this to Perry.
At the CIA black site, Peter arrives and knocks out the two agents guarding Hanley. He enters the room where Hanley and Celia are and tells Hanley to stop playing games. He knows the CIA helped with the bombing that started the 2nd Chechen War and he wants to know who the CIA agent that helped Federov do it was. Hanley says it was Perry. Peter asks about Mila and Hanley says her parents were professors that taught her fluent Russian. In that moment, Peter figures out the truth.
ALICE FOURNIER IS MILA FILAPOVA.
Alice goes to Desinov’s club and tells him that Peter needs a big favor.
Back at the CIA station, David and Celia realize the real Alice Fournier died years before and Mila took her identity. David realizes she is going after Federov and asks where he is right now.
Alice makes herself up as a prostitute and goes to the hotel to kill Federov herself. Peter calls her and tells her what she is doing is suicide but she is unwilling to listen.
Alice goes up to Federov’s room and is once again, inches away from a monster. Alice tells him she wants to use the bathroom to freshen up. Looking into a mirror, Alice flashbacks to the war, and how she watched Federov murder her mother, father, and brother. She wraps a mirror in a towel and smashes it, looking for a knife like piece to use as a weapon. Another flashback occurs, in which we see Federov rape her, in what would be the first of many incidents.
Alice pretends to undress for Federov and grabs the glass shard and holds it to his throat. Alice tells him this is for her family, and he recognizes her as Mila. He tells her if she wanted him dead, she would have done it already. He begins to once again psychologically torture her, causing her to hesitate. He then pins Alice to the bed and tells her “making her a woman” is one of his fondest memories.
Peter, realizing where she is, comes to the hotel and kills Federov’s security and bursts into his room, saving Alice. He then tells Alice to get her phone recording Federov so he will confess to what he did. When Federov won’t comply, Peter plays Russian roulette with him, firing an empty chamber at his head twice. Federov eventually admits it was John Hanley who conspired with him. Peter is confused and unwilling to believe him, believing Perry to be responsible and holds up a photo of the three of them (Peter, Perry, and Hanley). However, his worst fears are confirmed when Alice recognizes Hanley. Realizing he was set up from the beginning, he tells Alice they have to get out now.
By this time, David and several agents have come to the hotel. Peter gets into a gun battle with the agents killing two of them. Slipping away, and stealing a master key card from a maid, he tells Alice to hide in a room and wait for him. Pursued into the basement by David, they get into a brawl which ends with Peter choking him out. He drops Alice’s phone which has Federov’s confession on it, and tells him to watch it.
After he recovers, David goes back to the CIA office and finds Celia. They watch the confession and realize they are over their head and go to give the evidence to Perry. When they get to his office however, they find Hanley, promoted to Perry’s job. Hanley orders Celia out and orders David to sit. David sits knowing the situation has changed drastically.
Peter reunites with Alice in the hotel. Peter wants Alice to disappear and is willing to help her, seeing that running away is better than dead, but Alice says she is no longer running. Alice asks about Peter’s life. Peter said he had retired, opened a small business and was a father to a daughter that barely knows him and will now never know her mother. He calls his daughter’s phone only to find Hanley has picked up. Hanley has kidnapped his daughter. Peter says if Hanley hurts her he will kill him. Hanley says he will trade Lucy for Mila. Hanley says that they only knew about Lucy due to David and that he did well. “Yeah, the kid did good,” Peter said, hanging up.
Hanley tells David that the CIA decided Federov is worth enough to look away from the awful things he has done and is allowing Hanley to do things his way.
The next morning, Peter and Alice get up. He tells Alice to go to the train station and buy 3 tickets so they can escape. Alice is willing to give herself up for Lucy but Peter knows that won’t work and everything will be for nothing. Alice says that they are all going to die then and asks about how their deaths will be like. Peter relates that a bullet travels faster than sound and it is quick and you just cease to exist. Alice agrees to go to the train station and tells Peter just to make sure that he and Lucy make it there.
Peter meets with Hanley, David and his other men. Hanley explains by owning Federov, they basically own Russia. When Federov becomes President, Hanley will force him to join NATO and thus they all will now be able to attack the Middle East, a common and easy enemy.
Alice arrives at the train station and buys the tickets. She sits down at a nearby web café and begins to write out an expose on the crimes of Federov against her, her family, and the people killed in the Chechen War. She authors it with her real name and gives Edgar Simpson credit as well.
Peter is given a phone to talk to his daughter so he will have proof of life. Afterwards, he gives a bogus bus station address to send David on a wild goose chase. David drives with another agent.
Hanley talks to Peter about his spy nickname, The November Man. They called him that because “after you passed through, no one lived.”
Unknown to the other man riding with David, they are not going after Alice. David and Celia, now knowing the full scope of what is happening, want no part of it, especially the kidnapping and potential killing of a child. So Celia traces the phone used for Lucy’s call to her location. David then causes a car accident that kills the other agent. Storming the hideout, he kills the three kidnappers there and saves Lucy.
Alexa goes back to her hacker contact who finds out Alice bought train tickets with a credit card and tells her where. She thanks him with a bullet in the head.
Hanley continues to talk to Peter trying to justify what he has done. Peter tells him that perhaps he has gone too far this time.
Alice continues to write her ordeal when Alexa arrives and see her. Recognition hits both of them and Alice runs. Alexa pursues her through the subway and into the street. However, Alice is waiting with a shovel, one that she hits Alexa hard in the face with, hard. Alexa tumbles down the stairs and drops the gun she was carrying. Alice picks it up and points it at Alexa but realizes she is most likely dead and no longer a threat. She goes back to her computer and continues writing her story.
David returns apparently without Lucy. Hanley yells at him, telling he was supposed to bring him the girl when it was done. David tells him “it is done” and begins to attack Hanley’s men. Together, Peter and David kill the three agents guarding Hanley and hold him at gunpoint. Hanley tells them they just cost the world a decade free of turmoil. Peter says he doesn’t care since he likes the world the way it is, and obviously would not sell his soul and his conscience for a facsimile of peace if it meant letting evil men like Federov get away with rape and murder. Peter thanks David and escapes with his daughter.
Peter and Lucy arrive at the train station just as Alice finishes her story. She sends the email and joins Lucy and Peter and they escape together.
Later, we see Alice, now acknowledging her true name of Mila Filapova give a deposition to government officials about the murder of her family, the numerous rape committed against her by Federov, and her knowledge about his conspiracy with CIA agent John Hanley about causing the building explosion that started the 2nd Chechen War in the first place. In the audience, Peter watches her stoically.
Understandably, the news is a firestorm of controversy, ending Federov’s attempts to become President. We are not told what happens to Hanley but given we don’t see David kill him, can assume that he will be locked away for life, if not given a death sentence for treason. Federov meanwhile has denied all charges and has gone on extended vacation to plan his next move.
We see Federov on a yacht surrounded by young women thinking he got away with everything. As he stands on the deck, he is suddenly and unceremoniously shot in the head, causing his body to fall overboard while the woman next to him screams. While we don’t know who killed him per se, it is implied to be David (as he was an excellent sniper) trying to rectify some of his mistakes and to make sure that Federov finally pays for what he has done.