Bridge Of Spies is based on the real events that took place in the late 1950s and early 1960s at the height of the tensions of the Cold War. In fact, the prospect of an all-out nuclear war between America and Russia was a real reality. So when a Russian spy is captured in America in 1957, the public reaction is pure outrage. But, when an insurance Lawyer, James B. Donovan is pushed into defending the spy, he insists on a fair trial, excels in his work, and succeeds in avoiding the death penalty for his client.
Things escalate even further when a highly secret U2-Spy plane is shot down in the Russian territory. U.S Airforce pilot Francis Gary Powers could leak highly secret information and America must find a way to get their man back. So, insurance lawyer James B. Donovan is called upon again. This time, to negotiate an exchange of the captive spy Abel that he successfully defended for Airforce Pilot Francis Gary Powers. However, this negotiation will need to be held in East Berlin on the other side of the iron curtain. As the tensions rise and the risks get higher, just how can Donovan cut the deal that could prevent all-out war.
Now, the big notable point to make about Bridge of Spies is that this is a Steven Spielberg movie and that is enough to grab anyone's attention. But, also some of Spielberg's best films have been historical pieces, especially extremely sensitive subjects like Schindlers List. So, you can immediately expect something special and he does not disappoint here. Add to this a screenplay that is co-written by the Coen Brothers and Bridge of Spies hits us with extraordinary complex humorous dialogue. Put simply, the result is an exceptional film that is easily one of Spielberg's best films to date.
Tom Hanks plays James B. Donovan in what is possibly his best performance in any film so far. There is also a strong supporting cast including Amy Ryan in a complex role as James B. Donovan's wife Mary. But, for me, the real standout comes from the British actor Mark Rylance. In fact, he went onto receive an Oscar for this performance. I would go as far as to say that the pairing of Hanks and Rylance is a stroke of genius. Two exceptional talents who seem to feed off each other and the end result is incredible.
Bridge of Spies is an intensely powerful film. But, don't be put off by that. Essentially all of the clutter that most modern films are stuffed with is not needed here. Instead, it is replaced with clear and precise storytelling delivered with electric precision by some of the finest acting performances you can experience on screen.
All in all, Bridge of Spies is essential viewing that will appeal to teens as much as the adult audience.