Film: Bridge of Spies

Opened: October 16, 2015

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Scott Shepherd, Amy Ryan, Sebastian Koch, Alan Alda, Austin Stowell, Billy Magnussen, Eve Hewson, Noah Schnapp, Jesse Plemons, Michael Gaston, Peter McRobbie, Domenick Lombardozzi, Will Rogers, Stephen Kunken & Dakin Matthews

A harrowing film combining the reliable combination of Steven Spielberg & Tom Hanks plus a powerful performance from Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies is a great espionage thriller.

In 1957 at the height of the Cold War, insurance lawyer James B. Donovan (Hanks) is chosen to represent suspected Soviet spy Rudolf Abel (Rylance). Donovan is able to trade Abel for Americans Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell) and Frederic Pryor (Will Rogers).

Based on a true story, the film ends predictably, but it’s the way Spielberg tells the story that makes it so powerful. Scenes featuring the Berlin Wall and people desperate to get from one side to the other are haunting.

Hanks is solid, but it’s Rylance who brings a calmness to the person at the conflict’s center.

Final say: A bright light on a dark part of history. ★★★★☆

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