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
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.
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