Steven Spielberg returns to direct a biographical film about the lesser known story of an accused Soviet spy during the Cold War to be exchanged to the Soviets for a captured American flying over Soviet air space. The key player to the exchange is American lawyer James Donovan who has to successfully negotiate the deal with the Soviet’s while trying to maintain his security in his own country because of his defence of the so called Soviet spy in Mark Rylance’s character Rudolf Abel. A compelling story that hasn’t been done before on screen, ‘Bridge of Spies’ not only has an outstanding cast but behind the screen we are treated to Hollywood’s best.
A film directed by undoubtedly one of the greatest filmmakers of all-time in Steven Spielberg, we are also treated to an outstanding screenplay by the Coen Brothers. Coen’s balance of subtle humour and great conversation play work wonders on screen with Spielberg behind the camera. It’s a partnership to die for and you are leaving the cinema scratching your heads as to why this duo hasn’t been used before! Not only do we have some incredible talent behind the camera and penning the script, we have legendary actor Tom Hanks leading the front in impressive form. Joining him and I think just about top’s Hank’s off the limelight, British stage actor Mark Rylance steals the show in his supporting role.
Masterful and compelling, ‘Bridge of Spies’ is trademark Spielberg and should be considered to be one of his finest pieces of work, especially in recent times. The film glides through the running time of 141 minutes effortlessly like a knife through butter, there are no rough edges or boring moments. ‘Bridge of Spies’ is free-flowing in its story and pacing, while adding moments of blockbuster action when it’s necessary. Normally with films covering these types of agenda, it’s not normally one to recommend but I truly believe this is a film everyone can enjoy, mainly down to Spielberg’s talent to make a film appealing to the masses; and that’s a talent he has had throughout his career.
One of the most enjoyable films I have watched in a very long time, ‘Bridge of Spies’ never bored or grew restless. The screenplay is brilliant by the Coen’s and Spielberg’s direction is second to none. It’s really captures the time period well without making it too in your face that you’re in a different time period. Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance shine on screen as the stars of the movie. ‘Bridge of Spies’ is faultless, absolutely faultless. Five out of five stars.