Plot – During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers – Bridge of Spies.
Director – Steven Spielberg
Released – 2015
It’s obvious by now that Steven Spielberg does not make poor films, however, he has not made an outstanding movie since Munich back in 2005. With Bridge of Spies, in an attempt to return to winning ways and produce a memorable historical thriller, he partnered up with the Coen brothers. And their skilful writing along with Spielberg’s knack of making a solid movie help make this one of his best movies in years, turning the potentially uncinematic exchange of spies between the soviets and USA into a gripping and entertaining game of chess between two world superpowers.
Apart from tremendous performances from both Hanks and Rylance, what makes Bridge of Spies so enjoyable is the sheer sense of quality from top to bottom. The cinematography by Kaminski is stunning one minute, claustrophobic and hauntingly gruesome the next, perfectly showing the horrors of life in Eastern Berlin as the Soviet Union fights for survival. The script by Ethan and Joel Coen felt completely balanced. Finally, you have the direction of Spielberg, who finds a way to give the small character-driven moments and the large tension-filled set pieces with equal amounts of genius.
Overall, Bridge of Spies is the perfect showpiece of how to construct a well-working thriller. The only downsides being slightly sentimental nature of the finale and the cynicism show towards courage, not seen in his masterpieces Schindler’s List or Saving Private Ryan.