Bridge of Spies

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.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 309

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 65,499

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Movie Info

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union captures U.S. pilot Francis Gary Powers after shooting down his U-2 spy plane. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Powers' only hope is New York lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks), recruited by a CIA operative to negotiate his release. Donovan boards a plane to Berlin, hoping to win the young man's freedom through a prisoner exchange. If all goes well, the Russians would get Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), the convicted spy who Donovan defended in court.

Cast & Crew

Tom Hanks
James Donovan
Mark Rylance
Rudolf Abel
Alan Alda
Thomas Watters
Amy Ryan
Mary Donovan
Eve Hewson
Jan Donovan
Peter McRobbie
Allen Dulles
Billy Magnussen
Doug Forrester
Austin Stowell
Francis Gary Powers
Matt Charman
Screenwriter
Ethan Coen
Screenwriter
Joel Coen
Screenwriter
Adam Somner
Executive Producer
Daniel Lupi
Executive Producer
Jeff Skoll
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Bridge of Spies

Critic Reviews for Bridge of Spies

All Critics (309) | Top Critics (76) | Fresh (279) | Rotten (30)

Audience Reviews for Bridge of Spies

  • Mar 31, 2018
    Spielberg's drama about the exchange of prisoners during the early days of East germany behind the Berlin wall is no nail-biter but thoroughly entertaining. Tom Hanks is the obvious choice for the honorable lawyer negotiating the deal, but you can't fault him for being good at what he does. Rylance certainly deserved the Oscar for his supporting role as the imprisoned russian spy. The film mostly relies on its cold war atmosphere, the actors and their lines, but that works because there actually haven't really been a lot of films about this chapter in recent history yet.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 26, 2018
    All of Spielberg's virtues are on display here, plus the added intensity of the writing of the Coen brothers. While the material has been dramatized, it appears that this movie does tell the truth about its subject. Excellent film. A must see.
    Morris N Super Reviewer
  • Jul 22, 2017
    Spielberg crafts yet another all-time classic, as does Tom Hanks in the role of insurance attorney turned prisoner exchange negotiator during the Cold War in this true story adaptation. If you've wondered why a lawyer would defend someone accused of a heinous crime in the face of daunting evidence, this film will eloquently tell you all you need to know about the value of the American justice system. Although he has a much smaller role, Mark Rylance is every bit the equal to Hanks as the imprisoned Irish-born Russian spy. Janus Kaminski's photography heightens The emotional and intellectual impact of this terrific bu The emotional and intellectual impact of this beautifully written iscript from Joel & Ethan Coen and Matt Charman.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 23, 2016
    An American lawyer goes to Cold War era Berlin to negotiate a hostage exchange. Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance, who surprisingly won Best Supporting Actor, lead this cast in a decently tense Cold War thriller. While it's true that the relationship between Donovan and Abel is underdeveloped, there's enough in this film to make their connection believable. And the plot moves slowly but surely. Spielberg, however, has no restraint in his message. The film is about American exceptionalism and the primacy of American Values (never mind the fact that several other countries share similar values). Yes, there are token "Bad Americans," but seen especially in a pair of scenes in which Germans attempting to climb a wall are killed and Americans attempting to climb a wall are safe (and not shot by police), the film pounds us over the head with just how wonderful we are. Without getting into a disagreement about the validity of Spielberg's point, we can simply say that the film lacks subtlety. Overall, there's a decent film here even if it's heavy-handed in parts.
    Jim H Super Reviewer

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