Film Review – Bridge of Spies (2015)

Bridge of Spies

Title – Bridge of Spies (2015)

Director – Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan)

Cast – Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Austin Stowell, Jesse Plemons

Plot – In the heat of the cold war tensions between American and the Soviet Union, lawyer James B. Donovan (Hanks) is chosen by the CIA to travel to Berlin and negotiate a tricky spy swap of captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel (Rylance) and captured American pilot Francis Gary Powers (Stowell).

“This war does not, at the moment, involve men in arms. It involves information”

Review by Eddie on 27/10/2015

Like the master-craftsman of his art that he is, Steven Spielberg just keeps on producing the goods. Sure his films may include the likes of 1942 and the last misguided Indiana Jones movie outing, but for someone that’s directed 31 feature films its incredible there’s not an absolute stinker in a career that’s spaned in excess of 50 years. Where Bridge of Spies might rank among the bearded hat wearing gurus career however can only be decided by time but there’s little doubt this cold war thriller is an absolute treat of cinematic produce.

Tense, taut and most tellingly, meticulously shot and edited, Spies is quite possibly Spielberg’s finest film in a decade.

Working with his usual and trusted production crew including D.O.P Janusz Kaminski and editor Michael Kahn (sadly John Williams doesn’t score Spies, perhaps he was busy in a galaxy far far away?), Spies really does see Spielberg achieve fantastic overall results, especially from his team up with writers Joel and Ethan Coen who were bought in to touch up Matt Charman’s original script.

While it’s not got the heart of Spielberg’s most revered films like E.T, Schindler’s List or Saving Private Ryan or the pure spectacle of ventures like Jaws or Minority Report, it’s still clear Spielberg had a blast creating this thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat almost entirely through its scripting and construction. Spies in many ways feels cut from the same cloth as Spielberg’s Munich, just much more tightly focussed.

In recent times Spielberg may’ve achieved good if not stunning outcomes in tales like Lincoln and War Horse but Spies is just a purely unbridled joy led by yet another great Spielberg directed performance of Tom Hanks.

Himself experiencing good not incredible films of recent times, Spies allows Hanks to once more display the everyman American that’s driven his career and his hardworking lawyer that really just wants a good night’s sleep, James B. Donovan, will here go down as one of his all times best.

His the star of the ensemble, Spielberg allowing him a showing in almost every scene and Hanks nails it. Delivering just like the film around him does, seemingly with the ease of the ticking of a clocks second hand.

Put simply, a near faultless production that lacks ever so slightly some true emotional punches or set pieces that would’ve made it a 5 star masterpiece, Bridge of Spies is yet again further reminder to all as to why Spielberg is the true movie making king and this is a film that will likely see him and his crew seriously contend at the next Oscar ceremony.

Bridge of Spies is without question a definite much watch for all cinema lovers.

4 ½ American breakfast’s out of 5

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33 responses to “Film Review – Bridge of Spies (2015)

  1. wow, definitely got to check this one out then! interesting that spielberg teamed up with the coen brothers- wouldn’t have ever put them together in my head! makes me want to watch this one even more now. nice review!

  2. I think I’m the only one in the world who thought this was just ok. It’s well made and acted but I found it kind of conventional and a little dull.

      • See with Spielberg and Coen Brothers writing my expectations were sky high. I need to see it again now that I’m more realistic

  3. Good review, Eddie. I liked it too. It’s not just a “spy” movie but one about perspective. Rylance put out a strong performance too, albeit a subdued one.

  4. I’m not a huge Spielberg fan but I definitely respect his talent and I do love some of his movies… looks like I’ll have to get out and see this one! Great review

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  6. I thought this was mostly good but it didn’t quite knock my socks off. The most egregious sin in the film was right at the end. I don’t want to spoil it by giving details, but the final scene implies that something is going to happen to a key character, only to present the viewers with a written account of what actually happened that states the opposite of what was implied. How a filmmaker of Spielberg’s experience could do something so inept is beyond me. I think I’d also have preferred a different hero to Tom Hanks. How many times can he play the Everyman character? He ought to find a bad guy role, or something a bit more ambiguous (like James Stewart in Hitchcock’s films). The bit with Gary Powers hanging on outside his plummeting aircraft was a bit ridiculous and seemed like they were trying to inject a bit of artificial excitement into what is basically a dialogue-based story.

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