The film's hero is James. B. Donovan, who negotiated the release of about 9,000 American soldiers during his lifetime. This is the story of his brilliant negotiation in the exchange of a Russian spy for an American pilot during the peak of the Cold War in the late 1950s.
Tom Hanks is pretty good as Donovan but the standout performance is by Mark Rylance as the Russian spy. We may see him shortly on the Oscar nominations list for best supporting actor.
For Spielberg, this film will really only be a blip on his great oeuvre. He pulls many; maybe too many heartstrings in building a quick, entertaining, if predictable, narrative which ultimately serves as light fare. Perhaps a good break after the moral weightlifting of his brilliant Lincoln.
Not sure what the point of the collaboration was with Coen Brothers. The script, while tight, is purely Spielbergian and the signature Coen sardonic wit is conspicuous only in its absence.
Nonetheless, Bridge of Spies marks the beginning of a promising time of the year for movies and I am looking forward to it!