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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 »
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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:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The pistol used by Jessica Chastain as Young Rachel (Berlin 1965) is a Beretta 70S. See more »


When Rachael is walking through the airport, the plane on the Tarmac behind her is either an Embraer E190 or E195 which were launched in 1999 and did not enter service until 2003. This film is set in 1997. See more »


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


Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 21 September 2011 (2011) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A debt of gratitude for an enjoyable movie
10 September 2011 | by (South Jersey) – See all my reviews

It's always nice when you see a movie trailer that looks pretty good, and then when you see the movie it far exceeds your expectations. The Debt, a remake of a 2007 Israeli movie of the same name, is a suspenseful espionage thriller about a team of Israeli Mossad agents as they attempt to track down "the Surgeon of Birkenau". The movie incorporates flashbacks and flash-forwards in a controllable fashion, with approximately half the movie taking place in 1966 and the other half taking place in 1997. The film is based on a screenplay co-written by Jane Goldman and frequent co-collaborator, Matthew Vaughn, a rising star known for his writing and directing of films such as the underrated Kick -Ass and the 2011 summer hit X-Men: First Class. Director John Madden, best known for his Oscar winning movie Shakespeare in Love, crafts an intriguing film that although predictable at times keeps you engaged. In The Debt, Madden has made some great choices in casting; beginning with Oscar winner Helen Mirren and Oscar nominee Tom Wilkinson, both of whom provide stellar performances. Jessica Chastain, Martin Csokas, and Sam Worthington, although not having any Oscar nominations of their own, give captivating performances during the movie's most brooding scenes.

I enjoy espionage films, such as Munich, Spy Game and North by Northwest, immensely. The Debt's strength, much like those other three films, is that it's character and story driven and not dependant on action or special effects to maintain its viewers. The pacing is steady and there's a lot of intensity as the agents attempt to accomplish their mission. The subject matter of the film is a dark one, and that's reflected in the film. Unlike your neighborhood police department or county sheriff's department, intelligence agencies do whatever is necessary to get the result they are seeking; such as some uncomfortable visits, for the patient as well as the viewer, with Dr. Bernhardt, played disturbingly by Jesper Christensen The movie kept me intrigued throughout, and I find myself often sliding up to the edge of my seat, unable to tear my eyes away from what was happening. As the film drew to a close, most questions are answered and closure is provided, unlike just about every other movie made today.

Grade: B+

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