When Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks get together the results can be harrowing and epochal like in Saving Private Ryan or they can be desultory and dull like in The TerminalBridge of Spies sits at an unsatisfying spot in between; a bridge, if you will, between a gripping Argo-esque crowdpleaser and a surprisingly schmaltzy bore.

We open during the chilliest period of the Cold War, when British-born Soviet spy (Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel) was captured by the FBI. Spielberg’s in terrific form with this opening sequence, with numeric codes on tiny pieces of paper hidden inside hollow coins, snuck in and out of public parks on a painter’s easel. (Man, international intrigue was a lot cooler before smartphones and computers made everything so un-cinematic). Read more…

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‘Bridge of Spies’ review: Spielberg’s spy movie sinks into a schmaltzy bore