Bridge of Spies


Action  Biography  Drama  History  Thriller  


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January 18, 2016 at 12:22 am


Tom Hanks as James B. Donovan
Jesse Plemons as Joe Murphy
Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel
Eve Hewson as Carol Donovan
720p 1080p
1.01 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 22 min
P/S 57 / 310
2.14 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 22 min
P/S 97 / 224

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by nsharath009 9 / 10

An unshowy Steven Spielberg does a master's job with Cold War tensions, honoring a real-life attorney's victory over fear.

A feel-good Cold War melodrama, Bridge of Spies is an absorbing true-life espionage tale very smoothly handled by old pros who know what they're doing. In its grown-up seriousness and basis in historical conflict, Steven Spielberg's first feature since Lincoln three years ago joins the list of the director's half-dozen previous "war" films, but in its honoring of an American civilian who pulled off a smooth prisoner exchange between the East and West during a very tense period, the film generates an unmistakable nostalgia for a time when global conflict seemed more clear-cut and manageable than it does now. Spielberg's fourth collaboration with Tom Hanks, which world- premiered at the New York Film Festival and opens commercially on October 16, looks to generate stout box-office returns for Disney through the autumn season. For people of Spielberg's generation, the early years of the nuclear era and the stand-off between the United States and the Soviet Union represents a significant part of the fabric of childhood. With the passage of time, it's possible to tell stories of the time without furnishing them with overt propagandistic overlays, and for Westerners there is the added built-in appeal of the "we won" factor and the perception that dealing with adversaries was so much simpler then than it is now. As their focus in this impeccably rendered recreation of a moment in history, most palpably represented by the building of the Berlin Wall, Spielberg and screenwriters Matt Charman and Ethan and Joel Coen have chosen a sort-of Atticus Finch of the north, a principled, American Everyman insurance attorney unexpectedly paged to represent a high-level Soviet spy caught in New York. There is no question that Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) is guilty, but James B. Donovan (Hanks), a proper and decent family man with a professional dedication to his client and an abiding loyalty to the principles of the U.S. Constitution, has a quick and intuitive read of any legal situation and shrewdly stays at least one step ahead of the game in almost any situation.

Reviewed by MisterWhiplash 9 / 10

carries a spirit of all-American-ism without being too preachy, keeping a wit about it and Tom Hanks

One of the surprising things about Bridge of Spies is not really that Steven Spielberg directed this story, which tracks the trial and then trade of a Russian spy in 1957 (an exchange for an American pilot, and someone else who I'll get to shortly). It's the kind of material that would attract Spielberg, especially with the hero of the story, Jim Donovan (Tom Hanks), who comes into a situation he shouldn't be involved with but not only can pull off talking and reasoning with people and finding the better side of a situation or person's nature. What's surprising in a way is the involvement of the Coen brothers with the script.It's hard to say if Matt Charman was the primary writer (someone I'm not familiar with, not least on the level of his co-writers) and if the brothers came in on a polish. But watching the movie, it does make more sense - certainly more than Unbroken, which barely has their touch - since it carries a lot of dry wit in the exchanges between characters, in particular the opposing attitudes of people in this 'period' setting. Hanks' Donovan is a straight-shooting guy who believes in the constitution of the United States and wants to do right, legally speaking, by his client Rudolf (Mark Rylance in a fine, subtle supporting role), and doesn't really care per-say what he's done or didn't do. This doesn't fly well in a society that is overrun with Red-Scare fever and end up doing the worst of things when in total fear of things (i.e. the A-bomb, which gets a kind of cameo in the film in a way that Spielberg I'm sure has a personal connection with, being a child of the 50's, but I digress).The Coens I think brought a sense of realism to things, but also stylization; the way characters talk at times there's a lot of things where people try to figure the other person out, which is fascinating to watch. When Donovan arrives at the first part of the mission he's given in the second part of the film, to do this exchange of the Russian for an American pilot caught by the enemy, he goes to the Russians and doesn't talk to the lawyer (who he thought to talk to) but some other official. Spielberg covers this expertly, going in on Hanks and the other actor at just the right moments to emphasize things getting tenser - another young American, a student caught up in the mix of things (it IS East Berlin, after all) - but the script dictates a lot of the momentum here. And at the same time the Coens aren't necessarily making it 'Coens-y', in a manner of speaking; they serve their filmmaker extremely well, giving a light air to a good number of scenes in a way that keeps the tension and suspense in a good balance.In a way it's interesting to get this so soon after The Martian, also in theaters: two films about perilous situations and men caught in a struggle to survive, and two stories that benefit from some levity. Between the two though, Bridge of Spies is the more serious affair, and certainly Spielberg has a lot thematically on his plate. The story takes place during the Cold War time, but it's really a war-war (so to speak, sorry, couldn't find another way to put it), only with terse words and missions via the CIA instead of men on a battlefield. At the same time I feel like the message can, and probably will, resonate today; Spielberg knows that we're in times where it can be dubious whether people are put on trial and given proper legal counsel if they're suspected 'others' or combatants, and if they get the counsel who knows how the trial will go.Bridge of Spies may have Hanks being, shall we say, Jimmy Stewart-like (I know other critics will or have), and is the guy the audience likes - his endearing characteristic in the second half, of all things, is a cold. But it's because Spielberg embraces this, as does Hanks in playing him, that he's a man who will stop at nothing to get done what needs to be done for a man's freedom and security (or how he sees it, so down the line, despite whatever happens in prison walls with glaring lights and big questions about this or that for information). Perhaps with a tougher kind of actor this wouldn't work, like I could never picture, say, Bruce Willis in this role. Hanks comes in and is unequivocal in his earnest desire for justice ("Everyone deserves a defense, every life matters" echoes another Spielberg motto in Schindler's List), and it's refreshing in a way to see this in a movie right now.Two little issues: the film's ending is a little long, with a coda that feels like it stretches just a little longer than it should, albeit for a visual callback that does add a bittersweet tinge that is welcome and interesting; and the lack of a John Williams score (the first for Spielberg in 30 years) is startling. Thomas Newman isn't bad at his work, but it's unremarkable, and doesn't give certain scenes that do need a little extra punch or kick that 'Spielberg' type of music. It's hard to describe it, but I feel it when I do, especially during the climax.Aside from those small points, this is near-classic work by this director, with a star in top form who is wholly convincing. It's also a wholesome movie in that old-time Hollywood sense, but not in a way that should date it any time soon; it takes a stand for what should be held accountable for those accused, and that, really, having a good insurance policy is maybe the only policy that's logical.

Reviewed by Jonathan White ([email protected]) 9 / 10

Subtle, Focused- Hanx a lot, Spielberg!

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Reviewed by Adarsh Bohra 9 / 10

greatly condensed and more tightly intertwined

I know that a portion of my positive experience in viewing this film came from the fact that I was privileged enough to see an advance screening attended by the Secretary of the Air Force, Francis Gary Powers Jr. (son of the U2 pilot downed in the USSR), and an AF Colonel who flew the U2 for the making of this film. All three spoke before the film and they had many warm words for Steven Spielberg's professionalism and his appreciation for uniformed service-members. Apparently Spielberg's father visited Russia during the Cold War and served as a radio operator in the military at some point- giving Spielberg a personal reason to "get things right" in the movie. I thought the film's strongest point was its edifying, anti-xenophobic message. Tom Hanks plays a kind of Atticus Finch in the face of McCarthy-style anti-Russian public sentiment. The (french?) recurring epithet for Hank's Character's resolve "stoique majete" (sp?) reminded me of the yiddish concept of a "mensch." And that's not too surprising seeing as the Coen Brothers co-wrote the script. Though there was no spiritual theme to the movie, I couldn't help but thinking of 1 Peter 5:6 "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." This would apply to Tom Hank's unassuming character who is elevated to more and more influential positions simply because he is faithful in the tasks he is given. Very refreshing to see a "reluctant hero" as realistic as this. Just a man willing to do the right thing even when it's unpopular. Definitely echoes of Oscar Schindler, one of Spielberg's previous protagonists. Also had a couple scenes that reminded me of Munich, though this film is much more enjoyable. Last thing I'll say is that I enjoyed a number of the casting decisions. Don't know that I could name any of the actors outside of Hanks, but it made the film so much more fun to have a strong actor in the role of the Russian spy (the relationship that develops between Hanks and the spy is really fun to watch). Hank's character's wife plays a small part but does a great job of portraying stern, loving concern without becoming grating. Honestly thought Powers (the downed pilot) could have been a little more two-dimensional, but the movie is clearly "not about him" so the movie didn't suffer and he had enough aw-shucks-young-american-in-the-60's to make him likable. Hank's one line to him is priceless. Such a relief to have a summary of the film's themes delivered in such an effortless way. Great film! And it got a thumbs-up from the downed-pilot's son in terms of historical accuracy (obviously some details changed for screenplay's sake). Enjoy!

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