Sound Off: Steven Spielberg's 'Bridge of Spies' - What Did You Think?
by Alex Billington
October 16, 2015
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? In the shadow of war, one man showed the world what we stand for. Now playing in theaters is the new Steven Spielberg movie! Get your tickets, go see it now. Spielberg directs Tom Hanks in Bridge of Spies, about honest lawyer James Donovan recruited by the government to negotiate the trade of a Russian spy for a downed American pilot captured by the Russians during the Cold War. Mark Rylance stars as the spy he's defending; plus Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Austin Stowell, Jesse Plemons. So how is it? Worth the wait for the new Spielberg flick? Is it better than his more recent movies? Once you've seen it, post a comment with your thoughts on Spielberg's Bridge of Spies.
Spoiler Warning: We strongly urge everyone to actually see the film before reading ahead, as there may be spoilers below. We also encourage all commenters to keep major spoilers from the film to a minimum, if possible. However, this is an open discussion from this point on! Beware of spoilers, don't ruin this movie!
To fuel this fire, I like Bridge of Spies quite a bit; better than War Horse, but not more than Munich, in my opinion. It's a solid, much more low-key film from Spielberg, focusing on a good story with some really great performances. I must start with how outstanding Mark Rylance is as Rudolf Abel, just perfect delivery every time. Tom Hanks was also excellent as the lawyer stuck in the middle, but also sticking up for the "other guy" and defending him for his rights. It's a nice lesson. The footage in Berlin was very cool, and because it's Spielberg it all looks real. I'm not the biggest fan of the score, but that one seems to be divisive.
More than anything, I think I appreciated the message, the very subtle hints that Spielberg was giving about the lesson(s) we're supposed to learn from watching this story. From what I could tell it's essentially just - don't be prejudiced, go in to help anyone who deserves a fair fight. There's the whole delicacy to the Cold War, but this film seemed much more about saying, hey if you're honest and a good guy who cares about your neighbors and treats them with the same respect as you'd treat your own family, then maybe everyone can get along. Think about something like that on the way home after enjoying the latest Spielberg movie.
What did you think of Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies? One of his best yet or one big mess?
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Reader Feedback - 5 Comments
Absolutely loved it. This movie has something for everyone. Lot's of little humorous moments to lighten the mood after some dramatic scenes. Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance both give amazing performances and Rylance is spot on with his delivery.
tyban81 on Oct 17, 2015
Great film! Great performances, solid script, beautiful cinematography and a powerful message! But I totally agree with Alex, John Williams was missed. Newman IMO struggled to capture the right tone save for a few subtle choral elements. At times I found the score distracting and would have preferred silence over what score there was. Funny thing, I didn't know much about the story before seeing the film but I saw "Spielberg" and "Spies" in the title and thought "sweet a Spielberg espionage thriller" . I was wrong but I was not dissapointed. Now in comparison to Spielberg's other works, this is very similar to Spielberg 'history lessons' we have become all too familiar with. IMO the top tier of these films would be SL and SPR. 2nd tier, Amistad, War Horse and Lincoln. I'd probably categorize this as a 2nd tier Spielberg history film. Outside of the initial viewing and maybe one time once at home I can't see myself revisiting the film too often. But I'm positive it will be viewed in history classes for years to come. What impresses me the most about this film is the fact the Spielberg is still a contender after all these years. I think many modern directors would have struggled to capture this story so brilliantly, but here Spielberg and Hanks worked magic that proved to be a truly engaging experience.
Bounty 4 Zuckuss on Oct 18, 2015
Thanks for this. Williams missing was one of my biggest fears. And Newman is a fine composer but just like with Bond, he never reaches the brilliance of John Barry or Dave Arnold. This is the same. You can hear the pressure of living up to Williams in his work. Wonder why Williams didn't do it. Seems right up his alley.
Sascha Dikiciyan on Oct 18, 2015
John actually had been dealing with some health issues and the schedule for The Force Awakens scoring sessions was a little demanding so I think that's why he dropped out. He is back on for The BFG which is Spielbergs next movie, it's already in post production.
Bounty 4 Zuckuss on Oct 19, 2015
One of Spielberg's finest recent works in terms of flawless film making and terrific performances. Was more of a drama than an espionage thriller IMO.
Vespertilio on Oct 18, 2015
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