Review – Bridge of Spies


The lastest film by Tom Hanks is the 2015 cold war thriller Bridge of Spies, directed by Steven Spielberg.

Based on the true story of incidents around 1960 involving a convicted russian soy in the US and a US pilot shot down whilst flying spy missions in a U2 surveillance plane.

Tom Hanks plays insurance lawyer James Donovan, who is drafted in to defend Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), a man arrested in Brooklyn in the late 1950’s accused of being a Russian spy.

The choice to defend Abel places pressures on Donovan and his family as he attempts to ensure that the right of a suitable defence is afforded to the defendant.

As Donovan works to effect this defence, he is drawn into not only the story of Abel, but also events surrounding a US spy plane pilot and his potential exchange for his defendant.

This is a highly engaging true story about an ordinary lawyer finding himself in an extraordinary situation. It’s part history lesson as it adds context about the nature of the cold war, and the establishing of the Berlin War and offers stark context for the extent of suspicion and politicking between the east and west in that time.

Rylance won best supporting actor for his role in the film as Rudolf Abel and its easy to see why. Whilst being understated, its still a powerful performance. Hanks delivers his best performance


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