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The Debt (I) (2010)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  31 August 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 53,791 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 163 user | 255 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

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.



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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?


Tom Wilkinson and Ciarán Hinds had both worked previously with Helen Mirren on the TV hit series Prime Suspect (1991) Wilkinson in season 1, and Hinds in season 3. Hinds had also worked with Mirren on The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) and they played husband and wife in Calendar Girls (2003). See more »


The depiction of the train station Wollankstraße is completely wrong. The train station Wollankstraße was in fact located in the Soviet sector of Berlin but as the main entrance was located in the west sector it was used as a station for West Berlin operated by East Berlin personnel. So trains did not run through like they did at other transit stations but rather stopped there allowing people to embark or disembark. Also, the train station in the movie has overhead lines, while the real Wollankstraße is an S-Bahn station which uses a third rail, meaning that neither the station nor the trains are correct. See more »


[first lines]
Young Stephan: Breathe.
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Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2014) See more »


Deutschland Uber Alles
Written by Joseph Haydn
Sung by Marton Csokas
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great suspense and some genuine surprises.
5 September 2011 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

The Debt is a Nazi hunt/spy thriller all rolled into one and it's nice to see a classic thriller that takes the subject matter seriously and relies on suspense to keep us in its grip. I was at the edge of my seat for most of the time and there's plenty of surprising turns in the story to keep even the most jaded enthralled.

Most of todays inept filmmakers rely on blowing stuff up hoping that this will count as suspense. It also is such a breath of fresh air in an appalling year of C -grade superhero movies and obscure comic book adaptations. Hopefully this does well so Hollywood can go back to making well written thrillers and dramas like they used to.

Best suspense thriller of 2011 so far.

86 of 109 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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500 Things I learned about from watching The Debt jammanxc
Casting confused the hell out of me! ejr-4
Sam Worthington and Ciaran Hinds look nothing alike! anthony_olson
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The actual father of the kid may be... desynch
Jessica Chastain is amazing in this. In_Fockin_Bruges
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