Film review: Bridge of Spies

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The always watchable Tom Hanks returns to our screens in Bridge of Spies, a Cold War era spy thriller.

Based on the 1960 U2 spy plane incident and the subsequent exchange of spies between Moscow and Washington, Hanks plays New York lawyer James Donovan.

The film begins with Donovan - up until now an extremely profficient insurance lawyer - being given the unenviable task of defending Soviet KGB spy Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance).

The story then switches between the Donovan-Abel plot, and one focussing on the CIA’s spy mission in the Soviet Union which culminates in the shooting down of a US spy plane and the capture of pilot Francis Gary Powers.

Soon the two plots merge and Donovan is subsequently recruited to go to East Berlin and negotiate the release of the young pilot in exchange for his client.

The complications surrounding the negotiations don’t rely on breathtaking action and you do keep waiting for something terribly bad to go wrong for Donovan while carrying out his mission in Germany at the height of the country’s East-West divisions.

However, the script by Matt Charman and Ethan and Joel Coen stays true to the heart of this remarkable tale, and with Director Steven Spielberg at the helm the movie ensures a gripping story with relevance today.