The Debt

Theatrical Release: August 31, 2011
The Debt


Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington star in “The Debt,” the powerful story of Rachel Singer, a former Mossad agent who endeavored to capture and bring to trial a notorious Nazi war criminal—the Surgeon of Birkenau—in a secret Israeli mission that ended with his death on the streets of East Berlin. Now, 30 years later, a man claiming to be the doctor has surfaced, and Rachel must go back to Eastern Europe to uncover the truth. Overwhelmed by haunting memories of her younger self and her two fellow agents, the still-celebrated heroine must relive the trauma of those events and confront the debt she has incurred.

Dove Review

This is a powerful holocaust story. No doubt about that. Helen Mirren plays Rachel Singer, a former agent who worked with two men to capture an evil Nazi War criminal, a man known as “The Surgeon of Birkenau”. He performed atrocities on several Jewish patients and, as Rachel remembers in flashback scenes, the three agents were determined to capture him. Jessica Chastain gives a compelling performance as the young Rachel in the flashbacks. When the doctor is finally captured all seems well until they have to guard him in a small, shabby and run-down apartment building until he can be picked up. When he escapes, their troubles have only begun.

Years later Jessica is determined to tell the truth and set the record straight. When opportunity gives her a second chance to capture the notorious surgeon, she can’t let it pass. Despite an interesting story line this film contains graphic and bloody violence, not to mention strong language. In addition, our sex and drugs categories hit a level three, which crosses our acceptable level, so we are unable to stamp our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal on this movie.

Content Description

Sex: Sex between an unmarried woman and man who do not love each other and she becomes pregnant; passionate kissing between a few couples in the film; a young woman and man make out in an office and she is seen removing her clothes and straddling him.
Language: F-13; G/OMG-3; S-1
Violence: A man is hit by a train and then it runs him over and it looks very realistic; a woman and man who had been held hostage struggle and he slits her cheek with a broken piece of pottery and punches and kicks her and this leaves her face very bloody; man with a bloody face; a woman is stabbed several times and a lot of blood is seen; guards shoot at escaping agents; graphic photos of corpses from the holocaust, some naked bodies are seen, including children; one girl is about three and dead with her eyes open in a photo; two men fight each other; in one scene a prisoner is taunting his captor and the man begins beating the prisoner in the face until he is stopped and some blood is the result; a woman is seen being hit by a man.
Drugs: A lot of scenes of cigarette smoking; drinking including wine and vodka; a shot is given to a woman by a doctor and a woman gives a man a shot which knocks him and out; a man is given a lethal injection.
Nudity: A woman is seen in nightgown; shirtless man.
Other: The horrors of the holocaust are discussed; death and grief; a cover-up about a man who supposedly died but who escaped.


Company: Focus Features
Writer: Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman
Director: John Madden
Producer: Eitan Evan
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 113 min.
Industry Rating: R
Reviewer: Edwin L Carpenter