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Review: The Debt

John Madden's smart, icy thriller
By PEG ALOI  |  August 30, 2011
2.5 2.5 Stars

John Madden's smart, icy thriller stars Helen Mirren, Ciáran Hinds, and Tom Wilkinson as Rachel, David, and Stephan, a trio of Mossad spies who, in 1997, are still trying to come to grips with bungling a 1965 covert operation to capture a Nazi war criminal ensconced in East Berlin. Based on the 2007 Israeli film Ha-Hov, the story weaves present and past together, with most of the action surrounding the fateful mission and the perilous web of duty, passion, and betrayal that still haunts the agents. The three veteran thespians at the center are fine, but the standout performances come from their young counterparts, Jessica Chastain (a smoldering, emerging talent) as Rachel, and Australian actors Sam Worthington as David and Marton Csokas as Stephan. The story itself sometimes feels implausible and overwrought, but the film's taut pacing and artful editing make for a chilling and satisfying spy drama.

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  Topics: Reviews , Germany, actors, Israeli,  More more >
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