Bridge of Spies, the fourth collaboration between director Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, has been met with considerable critical acclaim ahead of its wide release.

The Cold War is at the center of Bridge of Spies, in which Hanks assumes the everyman role of Brooklyn lawyer James Donovan. Donovan is called on by the U.S. government to defend suspected Soviet spy Col. Rudolf Abel, played by British stage actor Mark Rylance. Of course, Donovan isn’t supposed to actually win the case. After losing the case, but managing to spare Abel’s life, Donovan is summoned to East Germany to negotiate a prisoner swap of Abel for spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell.)

Bridge Of Spies Reviews

“When it comes to historical drama, Steven Spielberg is a master craftsman, and with good reason. … From Spielberg’s metaphorically dense opening sequence in which his character is painting a self-portrait of his vexingly low-key responses to his attorney, Rylance creates an unforgettably unique individual. Hanks plays well off him…. “Bridge of Spies” reminds us that underdogs can triumph and in the process even negotiate one hell of a deal by using brains, not brawn.” – Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News

“When the picture opens in 1957, the U.S. is gripped by nuclear jitters and the FBI is feverishly hunting Soviet spies. When agents find and arrest one in Brooklyn, a Col. Rudolf Abel, that sets in motion the real-life events Spielberg cogently dramatizes in “Bridge of Spies.”… [Tom] Hanks does a great job playing Donovan as a man of essential decency who nevertheless is an expert negotiator and a hardheaded realist. The skill with which Hanks navigates the intricacies of the plot amount to some of the best work of his career.” – Soren Andersen, Seattle Times

“Three-time Oscar winner Steven Spielberg will almost certainly collect a pair of additional Best Picture and Best Director nominations for the thoroughly engrossing, old-school Cold War thriller “Bridge of Spies,’’ which premiered to a standing ovation Sunday night at the New York Film Festival and is based on a true story. In Spielberg’s best film since “Saving Private Ryan,’’ his frequent collaborator Tom Hanks emerges as a strong Best Actor candidate for his flawless performance as James Donovan, a Brooklyn lawyer.” – Lou Lumenick, New York Post

“A feel-good Cold War melodrama, Bridge of Spies is an absorbing true-life espionage tale very smoothly handled by old pros who know what they’re doing. In its grown-up seriousness and basis in historical conflict, Steven Spielberg’s first feature since Lincoln three years ago joins the list of the director’s half-dozen previous “war” films, but in its honoring of an American civilian who pulled off a smooth prisoner exchange between the East and West during a very tense period, the film generates an unmistakable nostalgia for a time when global conflict seemed more clear-cut and manageable than it does now.” – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

Bridge of Spies hits theaters Friday, Oct. 16.

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