Well, I’ve always said that the truth makes the best stories, and Bridge of Spies is no exception. It’s a Cold War tale that tells the story of the first (that we know of) prisoner exchange between the US and USSR. Tom Hanks plays the role of James Donovan, a lawyer defending a Russian spy captured in United States. He succeeds in keeping him off Death Row, which is just as well, because round about the same time a US spy plane is shot down over Russian airspace. To complicate matters, an American student finds himself trapped on the wrong side of the recently constructed Berlin Wall…
Donovan is approached by the CIA and asked to facilitate an exchange with the USSR: their spy for our pilot. Should have been simple, but it’s not enough for a man as principled as Donovan; he wants the student too.
Tom Hanks starring, Steven Spielberg directing … What can go wrong? Fortunately, nothing. This film is brilliant, no two ways about it. A political thriller that demonstrates that the bravest men are the quiet ones. It’s superbly shot, the script manages some real elements of humour without going overboard, and the acting from all players is superb. It blistered along at a hell of place too, showing that Mr Spielberg is well aware how difficult to hold folks’ attention these days. Marvellous stuff.
Nine out of Ten.