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The Debt (2010)

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In 1965, three Mossad agents cross into East Berlin to apprehend a notorious Nazi war criminal. Thirty years later, the secrets the agents share come back to haunt them.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
3,260 ( 645)
13 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tomer Ben David ...
Sarah's Husband (Tel Aviv 1997)
Ohev Ben David ...
Sarah's Son (Tel Aviv 1997)
Jonathan Uziel ...
Mossad Agent (Tel Aviv 1997)
Elana Kivity Davenport ...
Publisher (Tel Aviv 1997)
Eli Zohar ...
Stephan's Driver (Tel Aviv 1997)
Irén Bordán ...
Seminar Moderator (Tel Aviv 1997)
Frau Bernhardt / Nurse (Berlin 1965)


The espionage thriller begins in 1997, as shocking news reaches retired Mossad secret agents Rachel (Helen Mirren) and Stefan (Tom Wilkinson) about their former colleague David (Ciarán Hinds). All three have been venerated for decades by their country because of the mission that they undertook back in 1965, when the trio (portrayed, respectively, by Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas, and Sam Worthington) tracked down Nazi war criminal Vogel (Jesper Christensen) in East Berlin. At great risk, and at considerable personal cost, the team's mission was accomplished - or was it? The suspense builds in and across two different time periods, with startling action and surprising revelations. Written by Focus Features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Every secret comes with a price


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

31 August 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Al filo de la mentira  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,949,109 (USA) (2 September 2011)


$31,146,570 (USA) (28 October 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


After watching this movie, Julia Roberts despairingly wanted to work with Jessica Chastain. See more »


When Rachel is been driven in the car in Israel, a green Egged bus is reflected in her sun glasses. Until the end of the '90s all of Egged's buses were red or white with faded red stripes and the company did not change the color of its buses to green until after 2000 but the scene takes place in 1997. See more »


[first lines]
Young Stephan: Breathe.
See more »


Referenced in Conan: The Devil Drives Stick (2011) See more »


Written by Dol Dauber, Beda (Fritz Löhner-Beda)
Performed by Bruno Majcherek
Courtesy of Marlstone Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Go See This Film...Now
4 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I went to The Debt because I had seen the trailers ages ago and was instantly telling myself I wanted to see this film. Not to be reminded about one of the ugliest of human stains in world history; not because I wanted to think about images in a WWII documentary I happened to watch unattended at an adult party when I was seven years old and will never forget (but, I try); not because I wanted something to feel bad about.

I went because of the reviews, the trailer, and Helen Mirren, and pretty much the entire ensemble of brilliant actors. It was a bit slow starting according to my companion, and some of the initial flashbacks left one a little confused, and then once the story started when the Mossad agents were in Germany to track down and bring the "Surgeon of Birkenau" to trial, I was so glad it was a reminder film. That no one will ever fully understand what drives a nation and group like the Mossad to do what they do. This made me understand a little bit more.

This was a very tragic, thoughtful film with the embodiment of the mortal coil and well worth watching and thinking about. Helen Mirren and Jessica Chastain as the young Rachel were so good. Give Mirren another Oscar already. And, the men, including the "Surgeon" who I wanted to kill myself, were all so very good in this.

I don't agree the film lagged at the end. In fact, it left you wondering, questioning, the twist was unexpected, and I am glad, despite the lingering tears in my eyes as I write this, that I saw it. My fellow cinematic partner agreed as well. Go see this film. You won't forget it. And, we really shouldn't ever forget it.

81 of 126 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Casting confused the hell out of me! ejr-4
500 Things I learned about from watching The Debt jammanxc
Sam Worthington and Ciaran Hinds look nothing alike! anthony_olson
Question regarding ending raschs
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Jessica Chastain is amazing in this. In_Fockin_Bruges
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