By now, a film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks can be seen as something altogether very familiar. So comfortable are the two together that their chemistry can be taken for granted, and yet here we are with a Cold War thriller that marks another fine effort for both director and actor.
Bridge of Spies has all the hallmarks of a 50’s spy thriller; the noble hero, a broken system and the type of politicking that will bring a headache to anyone not concentrating. Tom Hanks’ insurance lawyer James Donovan is handed the unenviable task of defending a captured Soviet Spy (a wonderfully sour-faced Mark Rylance).
A captivating character study, Bridge of Spies is not high on action; a gun is barely seen or used and yet has tension by the bucket load. Rarely can a two men walking down the street in the pouring rain feel so taut, but Bridge of Spies is full of moments like this.
While the historical accuracy of the film has been questioned, be in no doubt that Bridge of Spies is a captivating thriller that is as funny, thank the Coens, as it is dramatic and while it likely won’t win an Oscar, is still fully deserving of all the praise it’s currently receiving.