Hey, kids! There’s a new movie you can recommend to both your dad and your mom, whether they enjoy spy stories of two-for-one BOGO deals. Steven Spielberg’s old-fashioned Cold War-set Bridge of Spies (B+) thrusts a real-life insurance lawyer played by Tom Hanks into a role negotiating the exchange of a Russian spy for two, count ’em two, captive Americans. Mark Rylance is a standout as the aging Eastern operative, and his sequences opposite Hanks are poignant and illuminating. Spielberg excels in pacing and period detail and helping the story surge into escalating stakes. The movie takes shape as more of a drama than a thriller when the most taut moment involves two men with umbrellas chasing each other down a rainy sidewalk, but the creative cadence of a Coen Brothers screenplay allows the words to stimulate intellectual adventure. Plus, Hanks is enjoyable rather than irritating in his latest Everyman role. The film is sturdy and entertaining; and while it breaks no amazing new ground, sometimes a good film by a great director is enough.
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