Review

Set during the height of the Cold War when the Russians and Americans were obsessed with spying on each other, Director Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies tells the true story of a Russian Spy, Rudolph Abel (Mark Rylance), who was captured by the Americans.

Refusing to betray Russia and start working for the Americans, Abel decides that he will take his chances in court. With no one wanting to take the case an insurance lawyer, James Donovan (Tom Hanks), is asked to defend him. At the trial Donovan finds that Abel has no chance of proving his innocence as even the judge in the trial has made up his mind before it’s started.

After inevitably being found guilty and with one of the of the options open to the Judge being the death penalty Donovan manages to convince the judge to commute the death sentence to life in prison. Donovan's reasoning being that in the future Abel might become a handy bargaining tool for the Americans.

Then just as Donovan predicted the Russians manage to capture an American pilot who has been shot down after flying his U-2 spy plane into Russian airspace.

Wanting their pilot back the CIA then ask Donovan to travel to Germany in order to arrange the exchange of the two spies.

Bridge Of Spies is a slow moving thriller that only really kicks into life when the drama moves from the court room to Germany. You can cut the tension with a knife as Donovan, who watches helplessly as people try and climb the newly built Berlin Wall and are gunned downed by East German Guards, has to think on his feet as he negotiates with the Russians and the East Germans for the return of the American pilot.

Hanks is his usual brilliant self, however he is equally matched by Rylance who almost steals every scene that he's in.

Not one of Spielberg's best, but then again even an average Spielberg film is a must see.



Bridge of Spies (12A)

2h 21m

Director:
Steven Spielberg
Starring:
Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Scott Shepherd, Amy Ryan, Sebastian Koch, Alan Alda

UK Release: Friday 27th November 2015






Bridge Of Spies - "Would It Help?" Clip

Bridge Of Spies - "He's A Spy" Clip