Writer: Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (Screenplay)
Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan, Austin Stowell, Billy Magnussen, Michael Gaston
Plot: During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Espionage Thriller
Story: Bridge of Spies starts by giving us the tension between US and Soviet States in 1957 over nuclear weapons and how both side deployed spies to investigate the other. We start by meeting Rudolf Abel (Rylance) living in Brooklyn an artist by nature before being arrested by the US government. James B Donovan (Hanks) is an insurance lawyer who gets requested to defend Abel to show America is willing to give anyone a fair trial.
America is running their own spy mission on the other side of the world with pilot Francis Gary Powers (Stowell) being the main pilot involved after a string of tests. When Donovan loses his case he takes a drastic idea to keep Abel alive in case they ever needed to trade if one of the American spies is captured which becomes the case when Francis Gary Powers ends captured by the Soviets. Donovan has to play the part of negotiator in the acceptance of the spy trade.
Bridge of Spies is a real life true story about one man trying to go against all the odds trying to get the spies back to the home sides. We get to see all the tension between the three side not wanting to work together as they look to find a way to make the trade happen. Yet again I found myself enjoying a film that I knew very little about the history behind it which doesn’t help and I found that this film could find people wondering more about why the tension is truly so high but is a brilliant watch.
Tom Hanks: James B Donovan is the insurance lawyer who ends up having to defend a potential spy against America only to find the nation turning on him as he tries to give this man an honest trial, once he loses the CIA continues to use Donovan on a mission to trade an American spy for Abel. Tom gives a brilliant performance in this role that he gives us his best without even trying.
Mark Rylance: Rudolf Abel is the man living in America who is accused of being a Soviet spy, Donovan defends him against the American states. He remains calm throughout his trial and conviction. Mark gives us a stunning performance that really shows he will be a great star for future performances.
Alan Alda: Thomas Watters Jr is the boss of Donovan who puts him on the case before turning on him once he wants to defend Abel. Alan gives us a small supporting performance without really doing too much.
Austin Stowell: Francis Gary Powers is the American pilot who gets captured by the Soviet states, he is trained to be a spy but fails to destruct his plane, he becomes a pawn in the game between the two countries. Austin is good in the supporting role without getting too much screen time.
Support Cast: Bridge of Spies has a big and good supporting cast that all play their part in the story.
Director Review: Steven Spielberg – Steven shows he still has the brilliant ability to show how to make the thriller that keeps you guessing from start to finish.
Biographical: Bridge of Spies gives us a magnificent look at the people involved and how much they had to risk to make a difference.
Thriller: Bridge of Spies keeps us on the edge of the seat from start to finish.
Settings: Bridge of Spies creates the realistic settings for the story to take part in.
Special Effects: Bridge of Spies has good effects when needed mostly with the plane crash.
Suggestion: Bridge of Spies is one for all the film fans to watch mainly for part history lesson and part thriller. (Watch)
Best Part: Hanks performance.
Worst Part: If you don’t know the history it is just a thriller.
Believability: Based on the real events.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Awards: Nominated for one Golden Globe
Oscar Chances: Unlikely but outside shot.
Box Office: $70 Million
Budget: $40 Million
Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes
Tagline: In a world on the brink the difference between war and peace was one honest man.
Overall: Thriller that has to be watched even if only for the history lesson.