Cold War games: A review of Bridge of Spies

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I saw Bridge of Spies on a plane at one in the morning, and even despite the cries of many children, uncomfortable position and the sleeping body of my girlfriend draped across my lap, I still managed to watch this whole film without switching off.

Not to say that I loved it. I’m not big on these sorts of thrillers, not most of the time anyway. Even though it reunited my favourite Director and favourite Actor in one place, and set it during the tense, high stakes back alley thrill of the cold war era 60’s, it’s not a film that particularly left an indelible mark on me.

It was, however, a good solid movie. From what I could tell through the small, tinted screen was the usual excellent Spielberg cinematography and his impeccable, smart but stylish direction. Tom Hanks was the everyman, and great at it he was. Mark Rylance was good, especially in the excellent opening, practically wordless, scene.

The story was watchable and subtle enough to hold my attention, and the film carried along at a fair pace, even as men sat in rooms talking, the film never felt like it was flagging. It was also surprisingly funny, with a witty script by the Coens.

All in all, it was a solid Spielberg, not my favourite, but not bad at all. I understand its appeal, but like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy before it, I don’t quite have the tolerance for this sort of espionage thriller.

Rating: B-  6/10

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