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Bridge of Spies

Biography . Drama . Thriller

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union captures U.S. pilot Francis Gary Powers after shooting down his U-2 spy plane. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Powers' only hope is New York lawyer James Donovan, recruited by a CIA operative to negotiate his release. Donovan boards a plane to Berlin, hoping to win the young man's freedom through a prisoner exchange. If all goes well, the Russians would get Rudolf Abel, the convicted spy who Donovan defended in court.

Actors: Mark Fichera , Victor Verhaeghe , Domenick Lombardozzi , Stephen Kunken , Edward James Hyland , Michael Simon Hall , Billy Magnussen , Eve Hewson , Austin Stowell , Alan Alda , Amy Ryan , Mark Rylance , Tom Hanks
Directors: Steven Spielberg
Release: 2015-10-16
More Info:
  • Lou Lumenick

    Bridge of Spies, Steven Spielberg’s best film since “Saving Private Ryan,” stars a flawless Tom Hanks in the smart, old-school thriller as James Donovan.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Bridge of Spies tells us that the Constitution is not some quaint national luxury but the road map out of the darkness.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    Like some of Mr. Spielberg’s other recent movies, notably “Lincoln” and “Munich,” this one is a meticulously detailed period piece that revisits the anxieties of the past while also speaking to those of the present. Yet it also feels lighter than those films, less weighted down by accreted history or maybe by a sense of duty to its significance.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    Spielberg has taken an important but largely forgotten and hardly action-packed slice of the Cold War and turned it into a gripping character study and thriller that feels a bit like a John Le Carre adaptation if Frank Capra were at the controls.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    Bridge of Spies has a brassy and justified confidence in its own narrative flair.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

    Bridge Of Spies turns a secret prisoner exchange between the CIA and the KGB into a tense and often disarmingly funny cat-and-mouse game.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Bridge of Spies is a consummate professional's tribute to a gifted amateur, a smooth entertainment with a strong but subtle political subtext that's both potent and unexpected.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Using a screenplay polished and honed by the Coen Brothers, Spielberg dips into John le Carré territory (you can't help but think of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold when Donovan looks onto the newly erected Berlin Wall, in the searchlights, in the snow).

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Calvin Wilson

    As the deeply principled Donovan, Hanks deftly balances earnestness and humor. And Rylance’s spirited performance is almost certain to yield an Oscar nomination.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    The film is an anomaly — a confident, slightly square, highly satisfying example of old-school Hollywood craftsmanship, starring a major movie star brandishing a briefcase, and a handkerchief, rather than a pistol.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    A daring, studied, mannered true story that is at once remarkably genuine and deeply cinematic at the same time. It’s one of the best films of the year. Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Long, patient and chilling, it vividly captures a time in America and the feel of divided Berlin in the muted blues and greys that color our memories of that “duck and cover” age.

    Movie Nation Full Review
  • Drew McWeeny

    I was pleased to see that "Spies" is not a thriller so much as an ode to both American diplomacy and the tradition of moral movie fathers along the lines of Atticus Finch.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Solid and uplifting, but it doesn’t extend Spielberg’s range. Perhaps one day he will make a movie about a historical character whose complexities are not quite so untainted.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Bridge of Spies is solid work but feels like Spielberg's best intentions as a filmmaker and world conscience on cruise control.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Jeff Baker

    A movie that underplays its many strengths. You don't realize how good it is until it's over.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Chris Nashawaty

    Bridge of Spies is like Capra with a dash of le Carré.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Hanks could do this kind of role in his sleep; luckily he doesn’t. Like Spielberg, we probably take him and his gifts for granted. Between the two of them, they make Bridge of Spies a movie that works as a period piece and a timely commentary on how we live now. If that sounds like faint praise, it shouldn’t. Because it’s not.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Bridge of Spies is itself a form of historical whitewashing, albeit one less noxious and harmful than the customary American variety. I liked the movie a lot – it’s one of Spielberg’s most measured and most adult films in years. Full Review
  • Robbie Collin

    This is a handsome and mature entertainment, rich with novelistic intrigue, that asks for very little in exchange for its rewards.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    Gifts of civility small and large mark Steven Spielberg's latest film, a deeply satisfying Cold War spy thriller that feels more subdued than usual for the director—even more so than 2012's philosophical Lincoln—but one that shapes up expertly into a John Le Carré–style nail-biter.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    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.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    While the helmer’s myth-making approach makes for great Capra-esque entertainment, younger auds may find it terribly old-fashioned — and they’d be right to think so, although Spielberg would be the first to admit it was his intention to play things classical.

    Variety Full Review
  • Kate Taylor

    The ever-reliable Hanks sympathetically personifies all in America that is worth fighting for, while his British colleague’s surprisingly comic version of Rudolf Abel portrays the Russian spy as a man quietly steadfast in his loyalty to a different cause.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    With names like Spielberg, Hanks, and the Coen Brothers, it's hard not to be excited about a project like Bridge of Spies. Yet, although the workmanlike production is solidly engaging, it falls short of the loftiest expectations. It's worth seeing but not one of the best films of 2015.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Most bewildering of all, Bridge of Spies is a moral drama driven by an insurance lawyer. That it works at all is a miracle — or would be, if anyone other than St. Steven were involved.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Bridge of Spies may be a snooze to the ADD crowd allergic to historical drama, but it's dished out by experts.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Brian Truitt

    While not phenomenal, especially compared to the rest of the Spielberg oeuvre, Spies still hits the spot.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    The movie kicks off with a wonderful setpiece that shows off Spielberg’s ability to tell a story primarily through visuals — is there any other filmmaker working today better at this?

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Bridge of Spies expands from being a smart, engrossing procedural to a carefully observed character study of Donovan, a particularly intriguing, heretofore overlooked American figure.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    It’s a riveting film and I understood every word.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    While the rousing tale of espionage has plenty of appealingly old-fashioned qualities, there's no doubting Spielberg's ability to devise visually arresting moments that speak to the movie's themes far better than its story.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

    Bridge Of Spies is one-third courtroom drama and two-thirds Cold War thriller, and while an engaging watch thanks to fine actors and terrific filmmaking, it’s not without its issues.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Alonso Duralde

    If you can overlook the three or four endings of Bridge of Spies, each more overdone than the last, there’s a lot to like here.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Bridge of Spies isn’t conventionally exciting, and isn’t intended to be. Instead, it’s satisfying — thoroughly and pleasurably so.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Amy Nicholson

    What Spielberg seems to want most from this respectable lark is for audiences to notice the parallels between the 1950s and today.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Graham Fuller

    Unusually for a Spielberg movie, Bridge of Spies is tonally uncertain.

    Screen International Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    It’s Rylance who keeps Bridge of Spies standing. He gives a teeny, witty, fabulously non-emotive performance, every line musical and slightly ironic — the irony being his forthright refusal to deceive in a world founded on lies.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Steve Davis

    For the most part, Spielberg appears content to allow the story (admittedly, a tad bit long) to do the talking, though he goes badly off-track in the sappy ending reminiscent of a Fifties sitcom’s notions of hierarchy within the American family. Given the Spielberg film canon, it was inevitable. The guy just can’t help himself.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Christopher Gray

    The film has a streamlined efficiency, but it feels like the work of a master who wants to please rather than probe.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Bridge of Spies, with its stop-and-go momentum, is also more merely interesting than it is full-on riveting. It's still quite good stuff, but despite its impressive pedigree... it doesn't feel as if it's quite the sum of all of its parts.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Phillip Kemp

    Political intrigue abounds as Spielberg grippingly recreates a famous real-life spy-swap case of the Cold War, with both Hanks and Rylance on top form.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Matthew Anderson

    Even at a hefty 140 minutes, Bridge of Spies maintains a solid pace. Spielberg's mise-en-scène and the streamlined editing of long-time collaborator Michael Kahn are tremendous.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    This covertly brawny film, with a script by Matt Charman and Joel and Ethan Coen, has plot points that click like pegs under Spielberg’s tight direction. In his fourth pairing with Hanks, Spielberg again examines the furtive face of justice and issues another masterful ruling.

    Time Full Review
  • Ian Nathan

    So godlike is Spielberg’s status that we often take his talents for granted. The strange, riveting mix of Bridge Of Spies is another sterling reminder that we shouldn’t.

    Empire Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    Spielberg has an effortless-seeming knack for creating compositions that are not just lovely to look at but integral to the idea or emotion he’s trying to express.

    Slate Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    You might suggest that Bridge of Spies plays everything a touch safe, and that its encomium to American decency need not be quite so persistent. But when a film is as enjoyable as this one, its timing so sweet, and its atmosphere conjured with such skill, do you really wish to register a complaint? Would it help?

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    Hanks gives one of his least showy and most credible performances.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
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