Gloomy but soulful, PU-239
is the story of a Russian nuclear plant worker, Timofey (Paddy Considine), who is exposed to a lethal level of radiation due to general incompetence at the facility. When a cover-up ensues, Timofey is forced to go on unpaid leave with little time left to care for his wife (Radha Mitchell) and son. Stealing a portion of weapons-grade plutonium from the plant, he smuggles it to Moscow and meets up with a black marketeer, Shiv (Oscar Isaac), who hopes to sell the material and pay off a debt to a powerful gangster. The simplicity of the idea, however, is undercut by a series of misunderstandings and bad intentions, leaving both Timofey and Shiv dangling and increasingly endangered. The moody feature is helped a great deal by colorful performances from Jason Flemyng as a loose-cannon associate of Shiv's, and Nikolaj Lie Kaas as a criminal baron who has to suffer the foolish likes of Shiv until he's quite had enough. Mitchell is very good as the spouse who gradually figures out how bad off Timofey is, watching helplessly as anonymous authorities dismantle her life to obscure evidence of their nuclear irresponsibility. Writer-director Scott Z. Burns gracefully captures the tragic cycle of events and manages to inject a trace of humor here and there (especially around Flemyng's character). He also catches some extraordinary, nighttime images of Moscow's busy streets, a look that perhaps hasn't been seen quite this way in a movie before. --Tom Keogh
A gripping, dramatic thriller infused with a twist of dark humor, PU-239 reveals the lengths to which a man will go to secure his family's future. While working at a nuclear power plant in Russia, Timofey (Paddy Considine) is exposed to a deadly dose of radiation while trying to aver a plant disaster. Instead of rewarding Timonfey for his efforts, the plants treats him as a scapegoat, offering no compensation to him or his family. Desperate to provide security for his wife and son, Timofey steals a small amount of Pu-239 - weapons-grade Plutonium- and head to Moscow to sell it on the black market. Caught up in the "new Russia" of hoods and hookers, Timofey struggles to make the sales; his efforts resulting in deadly consequences.