Movie Review: Bridge of Spies- A Cold War Period Film That Delivered the Heat!

Bridge of Spies

Genre: Biography, Drama, History

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Tom Hanks, Alan Alda

I had high expectations going into this film, heard lots of promising things. The film delivered on all of them and I left very satisfied.

A Cold War Era American Lawyer  is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court. After which he then helps negotiate between the US and Soviet Union for captured U2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers..

What I didn’t like:

There were a couple of scenes I felt weren’t needed. They were trying to capture the period, how people felt, and how the public was being informed (guided towards hysteria) during the Cold War.  Yes, there was some scary truths about these times, but the lies helped little or not at all. There was maybe one  or two scenes that simply didn’t need to be in the film as it did next to nothing to guide the film along from one point to another.

Also, some of the editing seemed too abrupt. Could have explained certain scenarios better, let a moment stick with you a bit longer.  Otherwise, I found this film to be an excellent example of great filmmaking.

What I Liked

This movie was incredible in so many ways. Despite my minor issues mentioned above, I felt they caught the fear and rampant paranoia of the age.  Spielberg was detailed oriented in creating the sets and the cinematography at times was breathtaking.

Tom Hanks was superb as James B. Donovan, he gave one of the best performances of his career.  His character was someone you wanted to root for, someone you wanted on your side. Because he always aimed to do what is right and that is what mattered most.

Steven Spielberg’s direction was clearly evident at times, he has a knack for displaying mass hysteria better than anyone I’ve seen. From Jaws to Bridge of Spies, he has mastered getting a viewpoint of the society which his movie is taking place.

The script was awesome, the dialog felt largely organic. There were things said and things not said, both vital to the movie. I thought the writing was excellent.  The film provided plenty of tension, this was a vital period in world history and the people who made it happen on both sides should be remembered, especially Mr. Donovan.  What the movie surprised me with was the humor, it was dry, but clearly evident from start to finish.  This wasn’t intended as a comedy, but the dry wit kept the mood from getting too dark.

The movie also had some heart, a couple times I was a little choked up. Even one scene made me feel much like the protagonist, the fear, the disgust, and heartache of his character.  This movie allowed me to connect to the character on a higher level.  Only the finest movies have ever done that.

I consider this movie perhaps the best drama of the year and I don’t say that because it is made my Spielberg (I saw War Horse, he does not get a gimme)   Everything about this movie I loved. It had everything I wanted and more. Sent a powerful message about the concepts which make the United States a great place, and what we really should consider going back to at times.

This isn’t Steven Spielberg’s best film, but it is way beyond most other dramas I’ve seen in the last five years.

Love It- I loved Bridge of Spies, if you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest you go and watch it.  I loved the history, I loved the heart, the wit, the acting, sets, score. So much of this movie worked, it made me forget about the few minor areas it missed.

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