Bridge of Spies is no disaster, but its mostly unengaging and schmaltzy, saved entirely by the fact that Tom Hanks has enough screen presence to avoid becoming grating. Its a Cold War thriller without thrills, whose occasional idea for a beautiful image is ruined by the over-digitization of most shots (or at least it appears so). If its possible to over-write something, Bridge of Spies may indeed be over-filmed.
Hanks shows a roguish streak early on, but quickly settles into a more familiar pillar-of-human-decency type, which he could play in his sleep. Mark Rylance’s Soviet spy adds spice, but is underused relative to the hype; any scene with him comes alive. Outside of Hanks and Rylance, there is no character who approaches memorability (pour one out for a sidelined Alan Alda), nor any tension plotwise (the film never suggests that an unhappy ending is a remote possibility). Its a very watchable, mostly empty experience.
Bridge of Spies (2015)
Dir. Steven Spielberg
Written by Matt Charman, Joel Coen, and Ethan Coen
Starring Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, and Scott Shepherd
Rotten Tomatoes (91%)