Expertly directed by Brad Anderson, and starring Jon Hamm in top form, this complex but cogent tale of an anxious fictional hostage situation in 1982 Lebanon is a satisfying suspense film.

In 1972, Mason Skiles is a U.S. diplomat living the good life in Beirut with his wife Nadia.

Mason is trying to prevent the boy being dragged off for interrogation by Mossad agents when the party is scattered by gunfire: The elusive brother has turned up to nab his sibling before the Israelis do.

An ensuing skirmish has tragic consequences for Mason, whom we next see 10 years later working as a labor-dispute mediator in Boston, completely cut off from his high-flying past.

His designated minder, cultural attaché Sandy Crowder, immediately turns him over to a trio of CIA, embassy and State Department officials who reveal they’re dealing with a hostage situation: CIA agent Cal Riley, the onetime best friend Mason hasn’t spoken to in a decade, has been kidnapped.

Realizing he’s perhaps the only person here who really cares about saving Cal, Mason keeps giving Sandy et al.

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