Bridge of Spies (2015) Tom Hanks, Spielberg – Movie Review

Set starting in 1957, in the midst of the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, Tom Hanks stars as New York-based insurance lawyer James B. Donovan, a by-the-book guy. Donovan is called upon by United States representatives to provide the legally defense for Rudolf Abel, a longtime Brooklyn resident who has been accused of espionage for the Soviet Union for many years. The United States feel it’s an open-and-shut case, but Donovan still takes his role very seriously, unwilling to play patriot by undermining his client to provide information to the CIA, and the public at large begins to despise him for trying to defend a man for supplying information to a country that is threatening the U.S. with nuclear annihilation.
Knowing that his client could get the death penalty for his alleged crimes should he be convicted, Donovan beseeches the already biased judge for leniency, citing that Abel would be good to have alive and incarcerated in case one of our spies ends up getting caught in a Communist country. Donovan’s insight bears fruit when a U-2 pilot named Powers is shot down flying a recon mission in Russian airspace, and the U.S. wants him back before the Soviets manage to extract sensitive intel from him while he’s in their custody. Now’s the time to play their trump card of Abel for Powers, and there’s only one master negotiator they’ve come to trust to get the job done who wouldn’t have information to give of his own: James Donovan. However, Donovan threatens to muck up the works when he tries to get two political prisoners for one, requesting the release of an American student named Pryor, who was captured behind the Berlin Wall.