"Bridge of Spies" Review

Plot Summary:
During the Cold War, an American insurance lawyer (Tom Hanks) is tasked with representing a captured Soviet spy (Mark Rylance) and, subsequently, arranging an international prisoner exchange for a captured American spy plane pilot.
Why It Makes My List:
Bridge of Spies is a fascinating study of international relations, including how we view the those that constitute the idea of "our enemy."  Despite its context, this is neither an action movie, nor a super-spy film; instead, it focuses a more realistic light on the significance and role of fear and perception in international politics and individual paradigms.

Other Reasons to Watch:
  1. Tom Hanks: Tom Hanks is a brilliant actor; the skill, realism, and conviction with which he portrays his character's integrity and humanity are superb.  He is the heart of the story, the common thread to tie it altogether.
  2. Mark Rylance: Mark Rylance, who plays the Russian spy Hanks’ character represents, brings a unique reality and humility to his character that surprised me. He also won an Academy Award for Best Supporting actor for his role in this film.
  3. Storytelling: The narrative of this film is just terrific - though I shouldn't be surprised since Steven Spielberg is at the helm. The pacing is appropriate and the tension of certain sequences is such that you can't wait to see (and yet also worry about seeing) what will happen next!
Reason to Pass:
  1. You Just Want Some Light, Carefree Entertainment: This movie is not for everyone. It requires and subtly invites your attention but, unlike the average blockbuster, rarely forces entertainment upon you; if you invest your attention, leave your preconceived notions at the door and open your mind and heart to the concepts being addressed in this film, you will walk out having felt something, or at least learned something.
While it is well out of theaters, Bridge of Spies is available for rental or purchase here
As always, I recommend checking out the IMDB.com Parents Guide just so that you are aware of any potentially objectionable material before deciding whether to watch it.