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Running Time:
1 hour, 44 minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for some violence and language.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A gritty, gripping thriller and an effective drama about the sometimes passionate, sometimes contentious relationships among its main characters.

Additional Info:
Added DVD Features: A Look Inside The Debt; Every Secret has a price: Helen Mirrn in The Debt; The Berlin Affair: The Triangle at the Center of The Debt; Feature Commentary with Director John Madden and Producer Kris Thykier.

Helen Mirren as Rachel Singer
Tom Wilkinson as Stephan Gold
Jessica Chastain as Young Rachel
Marton Csokas as Young Stephan
Sam Worthington as Young David
Ciarán Hinds as David Peretz
Jesper Christensen as Doktor Bernhardt / Dieter Vogel

The Debt
The Debt Three young Israeli military personnel (Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, Marton Czokas) are assigned  to find and bring to justice the Nazi war criminal Dieter Vogel (Jesper Christensen), known as the "Surgeon of Birkenau" for his inhumane genetic experiments on Jewish children and babies in the concentration camps. As their plans fall into place, they start running into problems as a love triangle forms between them, something that Vogel is more than happy to exploit against them. Decades later, secrets they've kept hidden about the mission threaten to resurface and Rachel Singer (now played by Helen Mirren) , the only woman on the mission must deal with it.

The Debt flashes-forward over forty years to an older woman with a nasty scar on her cheek making it obvious this is the same Rachel Singer, recruited from the secretarial pool for a mission accompanying two Israeli soldiers to East Berlin to play an important role in their mission to catch a Nazi war criminal. In the late '90s, Sarah, the daughter of two of the agents is releasing a book documenting the mission that brought her parents together with a third soldier, David Peretz, as the trio's past has returned to haunt them.

Telling what ends up being a fairly simple story in such a complex way could have gone awry if not for its brilliant direction by John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love") and his ability to use the at times deliberately slow pace to create tension. The amount of action is somewhat surprising though it's mostly the hand-to-hand combat between various characters, but watching the actual kidnapping plot play out offers some of the best suspense at a time when the film is in danger of being bogged down by character development. Once the story returns to present-day, we get a bit of a resolution to the story, although the ending is somewhat disappointing.

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