The slate of 2022 movies kicks off with a big, action-driven spy movie in The 355. Featuring an all-star, female-led ensemble (and Sebastian Stan), The 355 looks to be the globe-trotting, thrill-filled experience that the movies were made for.
The female spy movie has seen a number of fun entries over the last few years, notably with the likes of Atomic Blonde featuring Charlize Theron, the Melissa McCarthy comedy Spy and of course, Marvel’s Black Widow with Scarlett Johansson. Can The 355 join the ranks of these films? Here’s everything we know about The 355.
‘The 355’ cast
The 355 certainly isn’t lacking for star power, with the movie’s central team consisting of Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penelope Cruz, Diane Kruger and Bingbing Fan. That is a stacked cast that between them have six Oscar nominations and two wins (Cruz and Nyong’o), as well as plenty of action/spy movie experience in films like Zero Dark Thirty (Chastain), Inglourious Basterds (Kruger), Black Panther (Nyong’o), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Cruz) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (Fan).
In the film, Chastain is playing CIA agent Mason “Mace” Brown; Nyong’o is MI6 computer specialist Khadijah; Cruz’s Graciela is a skilled Colombian psychologist; Kruger is the German agent Marie; and Fan is Lin Mi Sheng, a mysterious woman from the Chinese government.
The supporting cast isn’t too shabby either. Outside of the main quintet, The 355 features Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) and Edgar Ramírez (Point Break, Jungle Cruise). Additional cast members include Raphael Acloque, Jason Wong and Leo Staar.
‘The 355’ release date
The 355 marks the official start of the 2022 movie calendar year, as it will be released on the first Friday of 2022, Jan. 7 in both the U.S. and the U.K.
The movie is getting an exclusive theatrical release, but we already know where The 355 is going to end up when it makes its way to streaming. As a Universal Pictures movie, The 355 will first be available for home viewing on the Peacock streaming service after its 45-day exclusive run in theaters. That 45-day run would end about Feb. 21, but that would likely be the earliest that The 355 would appear on streaming or digital.
‘The 355’ plot
Before we get into the specifics of the plot, something you may be asking yourself while reading all this is what is the significance of “The 355.” Well, the title is a reference to Agent 355, the code name of the first female spy working for American forces during the Revolutionary War. These modern day spies take on that iconic number to represent their new group.
Now, as for the story. Being billed by Universal as a “hard-driving original approach to the globe-trotting espionage genre,” here is the official synopsis for The 355:
“When a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands, wild card CIA agent Mason “Mace” Brown, will need to join forces with rival badass German agent Marie, former MI6 ally and cutting-edge computer specialist Khadijah and skilled Colombian psychologist Graciela on a lethal, breakneck mission to retrieve it, while also staying one-step ahead of a mysterious woman, Lin Mi Sheng, who is tracking their every move.
“As the action rockets around the globe from the cafes of Paris to the markets of Morocco to the opulent auction houses of Shanghai, the quartet of women will forge a tenuous loyalty that could protect the world — or get them killed.”
'The 355' reviews
Reviews are in for The 355, but the critics aren't overly welcoming to the first movie of the 2022 calendar. What to Watch's review of The 355 calls the movie a "soulless spy thriller" that does not live up to the A-list cast that is has put together. Early consensus for The 355 isn't much better, as the movie currently scores as a 31% ("rotten") on Rotten Tomatoes and a 44 on Metacritic.
‘The 355’ director
Directing The 355 is someone who has a good bit of experience in the action/spy genre, Simon Kinberg. Kinberg broke out in Hollywood as a writer, penning scripts for Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Sherlock Holmes and multiple X-Men movies. He made his feature film directorial debut with X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which starred Jessica Chastain.
Kinberg is also sharing writing credit on The 355 with Theresa Rebeck, who came up with the original story idea.
‘The 355’ trailer
The trailer for The 355 delivers just about everything you could want in previewing an action movie — big set pieces, some awesome looking fights and some fun banter. Give the trailer for The 355 a watch for yourself below.
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Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.