• Todd Puhl

Movie Review: Bridge of Spies

Updated: May 27, 2019


This film proves just because you slap Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg's name on a movie doesn't mean it will be a hit. Let me tell ya. This was not a hit, it was a clear miss. And I love Tom Hanks films. Bridge of Spies? With a total run time of 142 minutes, it was more like bridge of never ending film.

As per Rotten Tomatoes:  In the cold war, a lawyer, James B. Donovan is recruited by the CIA and involved in an intense negotiation mission to release and exchange a CIA U-2 spy-plane pilot, Francis G. Powers. The pilot was arrested alive after his plane was shot down by the Soviet Union during a mission and stays in the company of a KGB intelligence officer, Rudolf Abel, who was arrested for espionage in the US.           


Rotten Tomatoes: 7.8/10 IMDB rating: 7.7/10 Metracritic: 81/100


Critics Consensus: Bridge of Spies finds new life in Hollywood's classic Cold War espionage thriller formula, thanks to reliably outstanding work from Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.


Tom Hanks plays a huge influential character in history who helped negotiate many prisoner exchanges during the cold war and the bay of pigs. This movie mainly focuses on the prisoner named Rudolf Abel, who was arrested for being a spy. Tom Hanks character was elected to be the lawyer as the government wanted an open/shut style case. Unfortunately what they got was a lawyer trying to prove his client's innocence. However he fails. but as luck would have it, the Russian happen to acquire an American spy who was flying over Turkish airspace taking pictures until he was shot down.

Now, what ensues for the next 120 minutes is a non riveting, drawn out, with a boring dialogue driven story(except for the part when the Russians gunned people down trying to get over the wall) that caused me to nap multiple times against my will. On top of that, it was even more painful because I had to rewatch scenes that I missed because of said nap which caused further aggravation. I felt like God was mad at me or something.


Tom Hanks loves these types of roles, and he plays them very well, but this is one he should have passed on. As historical and deep that this story could be, this would be a huge epic tale that should have been told.


I get it. The critic consensus says that this is an amazing film. But, keep in mind when you already have a perception that Hanks and Spielberg are like the Mega Powers Tag Team from the 80’s(Hogan and Savage) it is hard to go against the grain.

I would rather have watched a sequel to Saving Private Ryan which is another long and drawn out story on how Matt Damon went missing, then watch this film ever again.


⅖ stars


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