Bridge of Spies : Review

Spielberg is constantly manipulating the screen with his use of lighting and camera angles to spin mundane scenes into something interesting, and it’s a constant pleasure to watch. Tom Hanks is as ever, ever-dependable, getting a lot of joy out of the fish-out-of-water who finds he’s surprisingly good at sleuthing. Its Mark Rylance though who delivers the best performance—upstanding, understated, and utterly unflustered—as rumbled Soviet spy Rudolf Abel. Conversely, the legalistic story about Abel’s prisoner exchange with U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers lacks a certain spark. Even if the mawkish epilogue you always fear is coming with Spielberg had been discarded, the run-time would still be overextended, and there’s never quite enough drama to spice up its talky formality. It’s eminently watchable though—another solid entry in the director’s sizeable biographical line.

B+

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