“Bridge of Spies” is quite a film. It features a top-notch performance from Tom Hanks as attorney James B. Donovan, who is assigned to defend Russian spy Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance). This movie is based on true events. Donovan is determined to give Abel a fair defense and, despite his unpopularity for doing so, pushes the judge at every turn to do the right thing. He suggests that death would not be the proper penalty for Abel, as he might come in handy as an exchange option should Russia capture an American spy. As it turns out, that’s just what happens. Before this, in a humorous scene, Abel tells Donovan he would face death if he had to, but “that would not be my first choice.”
The film contains a real authenticity about it, featuring the look and the clothes of this period in American history in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Seeing the old “tube” TV sets will certainly bring nostalgia to some viewers. Also, the friendship that develops between Donovan and Abel, not to mention Donovan’s grit and perseverance, is interesting to watch. However, regrettably, strong language prevents us from being able to award this movie our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal. It’s a shame, because this well-made film could have reached more families had they put the reigns on the profanity.