“Bridge of Spies”- Review:

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Does that not make the most casual film goer excited? It should. Those two are responsible for some of the best films of this generation. Whether it be Hanks in Forest Gump & Cast Away, or Spielberg helming Schindler’s List, The Indiana Jones franchise, E.T. and Jaws. There are so many iconic films that they have both been apart of. Will this espionage, court room drama be among them?

What a great film. The best thing to say about it is that for a two hour and twenty minute run time, this movie doesn’t waste one minute of it. Throughout the whole movie, Spielberg doesn’t let a frame go to waste. I was never bored, and I was riveted by Tom Hanks performance as James Donovan. He goes through the emotional ringer. The defense of Rudolf Able (Mark Rylance) really takes a toll on not only Donovan, but his family as well. Spielberg really hits that point hard.

Spielberg captures some beautiful shots. There is a quiet moment in the film where Donovan and Able are talking about their next move, and as the sun shines through the windows you see Donovan’s silhouette. It was breathtaking. Also towards the end, Donovan is standing in the snow, and as he is, all the lights go out around him, you can see all the pain, and emotional wear and tear that he has been enduring on his face in that moment. The cinematography and directing make this a beautiful film to watch.

Tom Hanks is spectacular as Donovan, and may have earned a Academy Award nomination here for all of the reasons I mentioned before. The supporting characters are good as well. Mark Rylance as Rudolf Able brings a subtlety to his performance. You never really get told whether he is a spy or not, and Rylance never lets you know through his performance. Alan Alda plays Donovan’s boss, and he is good in everything, I love seeing him pop up in movies. Jesse Plemsons plays a pilot in a smaller role, but I like to see him getting work with such legends in the film world.

Nothing really negative to say. You feel that tension in the courtroom scenes, and at the end of the day you love the character of James Donovan. The only thing you could say negative, is that the expectations may have been high for a Spielberg-Hanks film and it may not have met them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s directed very well, and acted immaculately by Hanks, but some may have been expecting something legendary. This is a good film, made by legends.

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