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Running Time:
2 hours, 15 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for some violence and brief strong language

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
This espionage thriller features outstanding work by both Tom Hanks and director Steven Spielberg.

Additional Info:
CAST:
Tom Hanks ... James B. Donovan
Amy Ryan ... Mary Donovan
Mark Rylance ... Rudolf Abel
Domenick Lombardozzi ... Agent Blasco
Victor Verhaeghe ... Agent Gamber
Joshua Harto ... Bates
Alan Alda ... Thomas Watters Jr.
John Rue ... Lynn Goodnough
Billy Magnussen ... Doug Forrester
Jillian Lebling ... Peggy Donovan
Noah Schnapp ... Roger Donovan



Bridge of Spies
During the Cold War, the US government wants a proper trial to demonstrate the quality of American justice to the world, and enlists James Donovan (Tom Hanks), who had formerly been part of the prosecution team at the Nuremberg war crime hearings and is now a partner in a New York firm, to represent Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) , a member of a KGB cell operating in the U.S. in the mid-fifties.
 
Donovan’s boss Thomas Watters (Alan Alda) encourages him to take the case, and after Donovan reluctantly agrees, he determines to handle it responsibly despite the efforts of the CIA, in the person of a pushy agent named Hoffman (Scott Shepherd), to persuade him to reveal details of his privileged conversations with Abel and the obvious bias of the judge (Dakin Matthews) during the course of the trial. 
 
The details of the actual court proceedings are severely truncated; but the salient point is that while Abel is convicted, Donovan persuades the judge not to impose the death penalty, arguing prophetically that Abel might prove useful as a bargaining chip in a future trade with the Russians. Also significant is the fact that Donovan’s strong advocacy for Abel has earned him not only his client’s admiration but the hostility of the public. Even his family, his wife Mary (Amy Ryan) and two children Peggy and Roger (Jillian Lebling and Noah Schnapp)—become targets of vigilantes, although they question Donovan’s work on behalf of the spy.
 
The East Germans with whom Donovan has to negotiate include a hotshot, westernized intermediary named Vogel (Sebastian Koch) and the East German defense chief (Burghart Klaussner)—both depicted as duplicitous, stupid or both, a juxtaposition director Steven Spielberg posits between people trying the climb the Berlin Wall intercut with shots of kids in New York happily jumping over neighborhood fences. Into this story, Bridge of Spies integrates a separate plot thread about the recruitment and training of Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell) as part of a team that will pilot U-2 spy planes over the USSR, culminating in his being shot down and captured. It all end in tense exchanges at two Berlin bridges that must be conducted virtually simultaneously to meet the demands of all parties.






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