Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant is a riveting war story about the bond that is forged between a tough American sergeant and a gifted Afghan interpreter. Their team’s mission is to find and destroy Taliban bomb manufacturers.

John Kinley (Jake Gyllenhaal) is on his fourth tour of duty when Ahmed (Dar Salim) joins his squad as an interpreter. Learning that he is a former heroin trafficker does not ease their working together. But the relationship between the men grows more trusting when Ahmed proves himself to be a highly skilled reader of Taliban military tactics.

Dar Salim as Ahmed moving Jake Gyllenhaal as John to safety

The relationship between the two is sealed after Kinley is seriously wounded. Ahmed risks his own life to bring him back to the base. Their journey together over rough terrain is dangerous and suspenseful as the Taliban is trying to track them down.

Many war pictures celebrate the self-sacrifice of soldiers who are willing to lay their lives down for their comrades. Richie and his co-writers Ivan Atkinson and Mann Davies take this one step further by asking what is owed to those foreign nationals and civilians who provide aid to soldiers.

After John returns to the States, he learns that Ahmed was not able to leave Afghanistan when the U.S. troops withdrew, despite guarantees made to those who helped the Americans during the war. Now he is hiding out with his family from the Taliban. John’s conscience compels him to pay back the debt he owes him and see if he can arrange for and deliver a special Immigrant Visa.