Published On: Thu, Oct 29th, 2015

‘Bridge of Spies’ Review: Spielberg delivers Cold War drama, great look at East Germany split

During Oscar talk, expect Bridge of Spies to be on the list of Best Pictures with some consideration for Best Director, Best Actor and other categories. That said, Tom Hanks and Spielberg deliver a great film, but nothing worthy of beating other Oscar caliber films.

Tom-Hanks-Bridge-of-Spies photoCentering on the real story of James Donovan defending Soviet spy Rudolf Abel and later negotiating the prisoner swap after U2 pilot Gary Powers is shot down and captured by the Soviets. Other than the dramatic assault on the U2 spy plane, Bridge of Spies is pretty void of action sequences and relies entirely on Hanks to keep the tension high as the story unfolds.

Tapping into his Schindler’s List roots, Spielberg brilliantly captures the erection of the Berlin Wall, the separation of families, the risk of trying to cross the border from East into the West and most interesting, the tension between West Berlin and “Mother Russia.”

Mark Rylance is fantastic as Abel and gives the most Oscar worthy performance. That said, Hanks is great, but the story can be tedious due to the lack of action. This is a dramatic biopic and NOT a spy thriller – don’t go and get disappointed.

There are eight films nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, expect Bridge of Spies to be one of them. There are only five slots for Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, so don’t be surprised if Bridge of Spies is skipped in all three categories due to superior competition.

There is just too little “spy games” in this spy film and in the world of action films and Bourne Identity intrigue, a Cold War drama has to bring a lot more for an audience to chew on.

To quote Rylance’s Abel: “Would it help?”

Yes, it would have.

Overall Bridge of Spies gets 4 out of 5 stars

History buffs will love it, as will those who love the stories surrounding the U2 spy plane, Abel and the post-World War II era — all of you, add a star.

bridge-of-spies-poster-Tom Hanks cold war steven spielberg

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Steven Spielberg misses with special effects heavy ‘BFG’ - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] big star of BFG is not Rylance, who deservedly won the Oscar for Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, never shines as the special effects are the true star of BFG. Weta Digital and its four-time […]

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