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Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies

DVD - 2016
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James Donovan is a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot.


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May 23, 2021

A nail-biting thriller (even though we know what the outcome was). The director gives it a "David vs. Goliath" look to it. Hanks plays an insurance lawyer tasked with the negotiations for the exchange of spies during the height of the Cold War. A task, he and most of the players seem to be in uncharted territory. Gary Powers was the American "spy", shot down in his U-2 over Russia and Rudolph Abel, the Russian spy, although Abel (Mark Rylance) never relinquishes that fact. There's a third factor, a Doug Forrester, who was just on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain when it went up. Trust, integrity, negotiating diplomacy are all in effect with the threat of Nuclear War hanging over every move. The turn of events paints the bad guys as all the authoritative decision makers involved where all sympathies lie in the negotiators and the "spies" being exchanged. If this was really how it happened, then this is right up there with the best spy films (like "The Spy Who Came Out of the Cold", "The Day of the Jackal", "The Third Man", "The Ipcress File", "The 39 Steps" and "Argo").

Jul 17, 2020

Informative, enjoyable movie. The sound was clear, could hear the dialogue, it wasn’t buried in dramatic music.

Mar 11, 2020

The movie is a little slow and monotone to me, after the second watch I could appreciate the movie more. Good characters.

Jan 13, 2020

Great movie. Underscored to me the gift of being an American citizen and our rights. Highly recommend watching the special feature too.

Sep 09, 2019

"Bridge of Spies" was one of those films that just seems to slip under my radar when it first came out, I am happy that I can finally cross it off my bucket list. Tom Hanks gives a knock out performance as James Donovan a civilian insurance lawyer called on by the US government to defend Soviet spy Rudolf Abel. Tom Hanks brings a real human element to the role, encapsulating Donovan's non-judgmental nature. Without giving away too much of the plot the film addresses a lot of the stress of the Cold War era, nuclear paranoia, partisan politics and zero sum diplomacy. I would definitely recommend the film to anyone.

May 30, 2019



One daredevil of a spy thriller, thoughtfully conceived and executed!


PG, 13+

The Cold War would have turned out the same if we had dropped out of the spy business, which only affects the smallest fringes of the real conflict. As an example, when the Berlin Wall fell, the CIA was watching CNN to find out about it, just like everybody else. They had just finished predicting that Soviet Russia would be bigger and badder next year and into the future forever, and they were totally wrong. Spies make for good movies, though, and this is one. But, no gunfights, explosions, car chases, superheroes, or sex. Tough luck, millennials!

Nov 11, 2018

A little slow for me

Oct 15, 2018

A wonderful movie.

Sep 13, 2018

Loved it!! Just a darn good story and characters!!

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Aug 29, 2016

Wolfgang Vogel played by Sebastian Koch: Every accident, properly viewed, is an opportunity.

Apr 21, 2016

Judge: Wow. That sounds like spinning what-ifs. You could do that till the cows come home.
Donovan: It's my business, what-ifs. I'm in insurance. And there's nothing implausible about this one. It's entirely in the realm of what could happen. It's the kind of probability that people buy insurance for. If we send this guy to his death, we leave ourselves wide open. No policy in our back pocket for the day the storm comes.
Judge: Nice speech.
Donovan: Sir, there is also the humanitarian argument. Should he die for doing the job they sent him to do?
Donovan: You don't seem alarmed.
Abel: Would it help?
Donovan: Do you never worry?
Abel: Would it help?
Abel: Well, the boss isn't always right but he's always the boss.

Apr 21, 2016

Donovan: Yick Wo v. Hopkins. The court held that even aliens, in that case Chinese immigrants, could not be held to answer for a crime without due process of law, including any alien that entered the country illegally.
Judge: The Department of Justice has its first allegiance to the United States. I don't see how an alien, if he's here illegally, how he suffered deprivation of rights. Rights as what? An American? Rights as what, Counselor? We're in a battle for civilization. This Russian spy came here to threaten our way of life. Now, I have a courtroom of people waiting. Get out there, sit beside the Russian. Let's get this over and done with. And your motion is denied.

Apr 21, 2016

Donovan: I know this man. If the charge is true, he serves a foreign power but he serves it faithfully. If he is a soldier in the opposing army, he is a good soldier. He has not fled the field of battle to save himself. Donovan: He has refused to serve his captor. He has refused to betray his cause. He has refused to take the coward's way out. The coward must abandon his dignity before he abandons the field of battle. That, Rudolf Abel will never do. Shouldn't we, by giving him the full benefit of the rights that define our system of government, show this man who we are? Who we are. Is that not the greatest weapon we have in this Cold War? Will we stand by our cause less resolutely than he stands by his?


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