FOR REVIEW AND PREVIEW PURPOSES ONLY. From left, Rudolf Abel, Mark Rylance and Tom Hanks in a scene from the movie Bridge of Spies. Supplied by Fox Australia Film. Please credit photo to Jaap Buitendijk.
FOR REVIEW AND PREVIEW PURPOSES ONLY. From left, Rudolf Abel, Mark Rylance and Tom Hanks in a scene from the movie Bridge of Spies. Supplied by Fox Australia Film. Please credit photo to Jaap Buitendijk. Jaap Buitendijk

REVIEW: Underrated Bridge of Spies is one to watch

DESPITE the presence of Hollywood heavyweights Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg and the attention from critics and movie-goers alike, you may have missed this week's release of Bridge of Spies.

Whatever the reason, this Cold War thriller seems to have stayed off most people's radar.

Hanks stars as insurance lawyer and private US citizen James Donovan, who's secretly drafted by the CIA to facilitate a prisoner exchange in East Germany, between a captured US pilot and convicted Soviet spy (and Donovan's former client) Rudolf Abel.

What may initially be a tough sell, Bridge of Spies quickly captures its audience's attention with a subtle start that allows nuanced performance and beautiful production design to set the tone for an expertly crafted piece of period cinema.

While the Cold War setting may seem tired, it provides the perfect backdrop for the kind of story Spielberg tries to tell.

Unlike most films of this kind, there are no heroes and no villains.

Just people separated by increasingly hostile boundaries, trying to work together for a small but significant shared victory.

This isn't a film about the ideological struggle of the Cold War but rather the human struggle of living in a world divided into east and west.

There are plenty of familiar elements here but Bridge of Spies has enough narrative weight and skill in front of and behind the camera to stand out as a breath of fresh air among the current crop of Hollywood films.

Fast Facts:

  • Release date: October 22
  • Genre: Drama
  • Running time: 141 mins
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Stars: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance
  • Showing at:
  • Limelight, Riverlink
  • Birch Carroll and Coyle, Ipswich
  • Reading Cinemas, Redbank
  • Star rating: 4/5

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