The A.V. Club
Splitting the difference between Frank Capra and John Le Carré, Steven Spielberg’s Bridge Of Spies mounts an ode to the little guy of American idealism within the realpolitik of the Cold War. Textured with ink-blot shadows, ripples of snow and rain, and pinpricks of bright primary color—a neon sign seeping red into a puddle, a bar humming blue—it’s one of the most handsome movies of Spielberg’s latter-day phase, and possibly the most eloquent. Inspired by the real-life exploits of attorney-turned-international- negotiator James B. Donovan, Bridge Of Spies turns a secret prisoner exchange between the CIA and the KGB into a tense and often disarmingly funny cat-and-mouse game, in which an insurance lawyer with a bad cold finds himself having to outwit both sides in the name of a democratic value.