In 1957, an US Attorney is convinced into taking up the defense of a Russian spy as a honour of causing repute to the Judicial system of USA. When he gets in, he just doesn’t want to be in it for a formality. In his astute defense his client from the Foe nation, he undergoes tremendous pressure & threat but he doesn’t buckle. As a reward, he is presented with the opportunity to trade two prisoners held by the USSR & East Germany in exchange for Abel in one cold night on a bridge in Berlin. Does he make use of it?
Running Time:
143 min
Release date:
16 October 2015
Directed by:
Steven Spielberg
Produced by:
Marc Platt
Steven Spielberg
Kristie Macosko Krieger
Written by:
Matt Charman
Ethan Coen
Joel Coen
Tom Hanks
Mark Rylance
Amy Ryan
Alan Alda
Austin Stowell
Michael Gaston
Music by:
Thomas Newman
Shot by:
Janusz Kamiński
Editing by:
Michael Kahn
Distributed by:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

What’s Hot

  • It doesn’t get much better when you have a legend like Steven Spielberg wielding the megaphone for a Period film set in the Cold War era for a script that involves the efforts of the CoensEthan & Joel (additional to Matt Charman). They take you on a nostalgic trip to their glory days in the 90s and show us glimpses of why they are celebrated with fanfare with this incisive piece of work.
  • Tom Hanks, as the gritty & spirited Attorney Jim Donovan, plays his role with an ease you only associate with legends like him. Giving him good company is Mark Rylance , as the unperturbed Abel & the wonderful to-the-point exchanges among the working professionals.
  • This is one war film that doesn’t take sides & subtly brings to the table the vicious effects of decisions that had to be taken during the Cold War due to the fear of lack of information by both sides. You can’t expect Spielberg avoid bringing a personal touch in matters relating to Germany, can you? Here too, he presents his points in a few poetic sequences (including the one in The MetroRail in the end) not deviating from the main track.
  • Thomas Newman’s soothing music plays its part in adding to the emotional value and Michael Kahn’s editing comes to the fore in handling the spy aircraft sequence. The top-notch VFX in this particular scene is also worth mentioning.
  • Janusz Kaminski’s camerawork steals the thunder in the remarkable first shot & complements the impeccable artwork, costumes & the sets constructed for the East Germany portion.

What’s Not

  • For lovers of Spielberg’s earlier works in the War-Action genre, a warning that this film is not much about war or detailing as it is about a single person’s conviction seems fit. Don’t get disappointed if you don’t get to see those strategic twists or pulsating action.
  • Given the proceedings of the first half hour and for the show that they put up together, you can’t be blamed if you were disappointed that Abel & Jim don’t get to share screen space when the film drifts into its bigger charter



Verdict Stamp

Bridge of Spies is not so much about the Political side of Spying or of handling trade of prisoners during the Cold War as it is about the need for a relentless character to negotiate things in calm amid all the chaos and pressure & the appreciation of one! The veterans involved are in full form in getting that translated to screen to perfection.