6 Days

Out Now On-Demand

London, 1980. The world witnessed a new way to tackle terrorism.

Jamie Bell (Snowpiercer), Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch) and Mark Strong (Kingsman: The Secret Service) lead this crime thriller based on the 1980 takeover of the Iranian Embassy in Princes Gate, London. From director Toa Fraser and writer Glenn Standring, who worked together previously on The Dead Lands.


Directed by

  • Toa Fraser('The Dead Lands', 'Giselle', 'Dean Spanley', 'No. 2')

Written by

Action, Crime, Thriller, True Story & Biography


Rating: RP13 Violence & offensive language

New Zealand, UK

NZ playwright turned movie director Toa Fraser keeps things tight, ratcheting up the tension gradually in this tense drama, closely based on the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege in London. There’s a solid cast all playing real people - Jamie Bell as SAS officer Rusty Firmin, Mark Strong as hostage negotiator Max Vernon, the late Tim Pigott-Smith as politician William Whitelaw, Martin Shaw as Police commander John Dellow, and Abbie Cornish as young BBC correspondant Kate Adie, reporting on her first big story.

The result is a gripping recounting of the six-day siege, which culminated in an SAS assault, shown live on TV when Adie interrupted the snooker finals being watched by millions to report live from the scene.

"Aggression's good”, an SAS officer advises, “but control's the key", and rather than the full-on action thriller the trailers would have you believe, 6 Days is a procedural drama, with a keen eye on portraying events as they happened. Fraser’s focus on the SAS preparation, backroom political decision-making, and hostage negotiations engages, but whilst the tension-building is expertly handled, the script offers little room for character development or political depth, never engaging viscerally and intellectually in the manner of say, Speilberg’s Munich.

Don’t let the largely Brit cast and setting fool you, this is a New Zealand film, with the NZ Film Commission logo proudly displayed up front, and some very talented Kiwis behind the lens, creating a gripping ticking-clock thriller based on real events.

RadioNZ (Dan Slevin)


Based on – and honouring – first-person testimonies of those present, 6 Days delivers viewers the passion and adrenaline of a mission: impossible.

Stuff.co.nz (Sarah Watt)


Informative and well-executed, but lacking the requisite exhilaration that such life-and-death situations usually deliver.

Variety (USA)


Shot and styled in contemporary, ticking-clock action fashion, it compresses the complex Thatcher-era politics of its fractious standoff into a simplified West-versus-Middle-East conflict that registers as broadly topical.

Los Angeles Times


A stiffly executed re-creation of the events surrounding the 1980 hostage-taking attack on London's Iranian Embassy that packs all the high-stakes intrigue of a filed police report.

New York Times


With a barrage of title-card identifications, "6 Days" can feel closer to a re-enactment than a thriller. To the extent that the movie has a political angle, it's perhaps gratuitously jingoistic.

Under the Radar


The most interesting element of 6 Days is the historical near-week it's based on.

Stuff.co.nz (James Croot)


Jamie Bell might get all the action scenes and top billing, but the true star of Kiwi director Toa Fraser's based-on-fact drama is Mark Strong.

Newsroom.co.nz (Darren Bevan)


It may lack some of the edges of the usual of its fare, but that's a good thing here...

Docu-drama about a terrorist hostage situation in London in 1980

The film tells the story pretty straight and doesn't pull any surprises. It is most successful in its portrayal of the terrorist leader as he tries to control what is going on in the Embassy and his negotiations with Max Vernon. It's least successful part is trying to humanize the SAS. It focuses on Lance Corporal Rusty Firmin as the SAS plan and train for the attack, but it fails to do more than showing him to be one of a bunch of arrogant gung-ho elite soldiers.