Bridge of Spies is on a long list of films I plan to catch after I meet a bunch of homework deadlines. I’m thrilled to see a Steven Spielberg film drawing such high praise so consistently from sources I find generally reliable.

Have you seen it? Post your thoughts below.

Brian Tallerico at RogerEbert.com writes:

Why was America the best country in the world after World War II? Because we had men like Jim Donovan. And yet Hanks doesn’t overplay that heroism, finding the perfect balance between extraordinary and ordinary person. Spielberg and company even give Donovan a coughing, sneezing cold in the final act, highlighting that this flesh-and-blood man is far from 007.

Hanks is well supported by an equally-great turn from Rylance.

Joshua Rothkopf at Time Out New York raves:

Gifts of civility small and large mark Steven Spielberg’s latest film, a deeply satisfying Cold War spy thriller that feels more subdued than usual for the director—even more so than 2012’s philosophical Lincoln—but one that shapes up expertly into a John Le Carré–style nail-biter.

Bridge of Spies does end up on a bridge of spies, but never mind its more literal moments: Getting to its humane climax of coolheaded diplomacy is, paradoxically, Spielberg’s most wily and adult journey since Catch Me If You Can.

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky at The AV Club:

… [E]ven when it errs on the side of the heavy-handed, Spielberg’s direction retains a canvas-like quality. Large chunks of Bridge Of Spies may consist of men sitting and talking in evasive doublespeak, but the movie always articulates itself visually, and its two most suspenseful sequences are both effectively wordless: the opening, in which FBI agents pursue Abel through the streets and subways of late ’50s New York, and the crash of Powers’ U-2 spy plane during a surveillance mission over the Soviet Union. An ode to holding fast to moral principles, geopolitics be damned, becomes a hurrah for old-fashioned big-screen storytelling.

Jackson Cuidon at Christianity Today:

The arc of Bridge of Spies is that Donovan is right, and people don’t realize it until after the fact; this is the first act. Then, in the second act, Donovan is right, and people don’t realize it until after the fact. Roll credits. Rather than characterizing the difficulty Donovan had in accomplishing his task (aside from a few cases of mistaken identity), the film makes him so resolute, and determined, and relentlessly right (both in the moment and morally), that we lose the ability to relate with him. … Bridge of Spies offers only the determination — only the high notes, as it were, with none of the lows. And in eliminating the lows, Spielberg mutes our experience of the highs. Bridge of Spies is an amazing technical achievement, and is sure to please any fan of Spielberg, but it lacks the personal spark that makes Spielberg at his best so captivating.

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