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Bridge of Spies Courtroom Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Scott Shepherd, Amy Ryan, Sebastian Koch, Jesse Plemons, Domenick Lombardozzi, Steven Spielberg

Bridge of Spies: an all-American lawyer must represent a Soviet spy in court; then broker a deal in Berlin to trade him for a captured American pilot. This movie has got crazy Mad Men levels of period nostalgia, so much so that it feels deliberately aimed at older generations: bowler hats, vintage suits, cars, produce, umbrellas, briefcases, Nescafe – all from the good old days when you at least knew who your enemy was (Ivan the Russki, obviously). Everyman Hanks is on everyman form but, as the award shows have reflected, Rylance completely steals the film – even with his best Mrs Doubtfire accent – and they have some cracking scenes together. It’s also funnier, and more upbeat that you’d expect, although not all laughs hit the mark (like the huge hotel breakfast). With Spielberg directing, The Coen Brothers writing, Tom Hanks & Mark Rylance starring, and a remarkable supporting cast… the biggest disappointment is that it’s not a ‘great’ movie. Other than the ‘old-timeyorchestrated score, you’d hardly even know you were watching a Spielberg film; the drama and emotions are kept at arm’s length, and it could have done with a bit more drama or tension – like not knowing if the accused was or wasn’t a spy from the first scene. It also feels fragmented; not just in that the it’s two separate stories; but it’s part legal drama, part cold war, part family, part political… Overall, it feels like less than the sum of its parts, but as you’d expect, a ‘satisfactory’ Spielberg movie is as good as most people on form. Bridge of Spies is two interesting Cold War tales, told in a very matter-of-fact, flat and peril/drama-free manner – that fails to suck you in to the story.

Score: 7/10

Bridge of Spies Glienicke Bridge Checkpoint Charlie Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Scott Shepherd, Amy Ryan, Sebastian Koch, Jesse Plemons, Domenick Lombardozzi, Steven Spielberg

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Unknown: After a nasty car crash Dr. Martin Harris appears to have been replaced by an intruder, but nobody believes him. Liam Neeson is losing his shit in Europe again – this is deliberately and unfairly marketed as Taken 1.5 (just swap mentions of  “my daughter” to “my identity”). The film itself consists of three main parts: the first 1/3 was the slow setup, second 1/3 is a fairly strong unveiling of the mystery, and the final 1/3 is just fucking stupid. On the casting front, Neeson continues his storming re-invention as an action man, Betty Draper is Betty Draper and the thunderous European stars are all criminally underutilised in generic bitpart roles. Berlin tourist board will most likely be suing as it makes the place look a proper shithole. While it’s certainly not a terrible film Unknown feels like a second-hand idea, and makes you really, really want to watch Taken again.

Score: 4/10