Tension In Cold War Drama “BRIDGE OF SPIES”

Release Date: October 16, 2015

Running Time: 2 hours and 22 minutes

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Rated PG-13

Grade B+


Tom Hanks as James B. Donovan

Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel

Amy Ryan as Mary Donovan

Austin Stowell as Francis Gary Powers

Mikhail Gorevoy as Ivan Schischkin

Scott Shepherd as Agent Hoffman

Dakin Matthews as Judge Byers

Peter McRobbie as Allen Dulles

Sebastian Koch as Wolfgang Vogel

and Alan Alda as Thomas Watters Jr.

Everyone deserves a defense…..Every person matters.

During the Cold War, James B. Donovan is an insurance lawyer who is recruited to defend an accused Soviet spy. In a time where war propaganda was shown to children and adults, Donovan’s family is afraid that the public will ostracize them or worse. As Donovan defends Rudolf Abel, he not only understands the value of keeping Abel alive for a future exchange but he also learns the value of a life. After the trial and the sentencing, a U-2 pilot who was on a mission to take high altitude photos over Soviet territory is shot down and captured in the Soviet Union. The American government recruits Donovan to negotiate the exchange in an attempt to avoid governments talking to each other. To complicate matters, an American student is captured in East Berlin as The Wall is being built. Donovan not only accepts the incredibly dangerous task, but he pushes forward to exchange Abel for both American prisoners.

The next mistake our countries make may be the last one. 

Steven Spielberg’s 27th film dives deep into idealistic values and outstanding performances. The story, inspired by true events, is gripping and suspenseful even if you recall the actual historical facts. Two-time Academy Award Winner, Tom Hanks, bestows the audience with his trademark performance of an ordinary man in an extraordinary situation and humbly pulls it off with a dash of humor. Three-time Tony Award winner, Mark Rylance who is regarded as the greatest stage actor of his generation, also contributes a great deal to the film with his stoic yet riveting performance as a man with great loyalty. As Hanks provides the arterial flow for the film, the musical score by twelve-time Academy Award nominated Thomas Newman, is the pulse of the film. The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking with several nuances that will not escape the experienced film lovers eye. In all aspects of the film, the common denominator is Spielberg whose passion for the film has brewed since 1965. Experience it for yourself!  ~Movie Buffette

Bridge of Spies is a dramatic thriller with historic settings that are so true to life that it is hard to imagine they are sets. Once again, Tom Hanks delivers a riveting performance as Donovan.  He is one of those actors that you enjoy watching, regardless of his role. The film has Spielberg’s touch all over it.  One of the film’s messages is that all of us are capable of doing something to make a difference, but we have to be willing to take a chance. It requires bravery and personal commitment. I can’t say enough about the costume and set design.  It was extraordinary and will probably receive a nomination or two this award season.   The only thing I would criticize is the flow.   I felt like the film moved a little slow at times. However, overall it was a film that captures the story of a man who risked his life and that of his family for others.   For those that love Spielberg, Hanks and dramas, you will enjoy Bridge of Spies. ~A.S. MacLeod





About Leigh Ann Rassler