At 141 minutes, it lumbers through the trial of Rudolf Abel followed by the prisoner exchange in East Berlin. More observational than commentary, Spielberg avoids Bond-like car chases or emotional pitfalls (as its a true story, likelihood is there weren’t any!). But, billed as a Cold War espionage thriller, the result is a total lack of thrills!
It’s still absorbing. But with Tom Hanks (Saving Private Ryan, Philadelphia) leading a strong cast, a script written by the Coen Brothers (No Country For Old Men, True Grit), fabulous source material and any number of Spielberg regulars behind the scenes, Bridge of Spies should have been something much more than it actually is.