Movie Review of The Debt

by on January 1, 2012

in Entertainment, movie reviews

This is a movie review of The Debt, yea yea, not the most timely, but here yee be, in case you were curious what I thought:

New on DVD The Debt

The Debt, is rated R and has a runtime of 113 minutes and is distributed by Focus Features.  It’s a 2010 movie (a remake of the 2007 movie, Ha-Hov), starring Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkenson and Ciaran Hinds (Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas and Sam Worthington).  The Debt was directed by John Madden (Killshot, Proof) off a screenplay written by Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class, Kick-Ass), Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class, Kick-Ass) & Peter Straughan (The Men Who Stare at Goats, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).

The Debt starts out at a book reading in 1997, where Rachel Singer (Mirren), who happens to be an ex-spy, is asked to read a section from a book that her daughter wrote, chronicling an interesting event in Singer’s past.  We then watch Stephen Gold (Wilkerson) picking up David Peretz (Hinds) to attend a function of some sort.  But Peretz steps in front of a bus and offs himself.

But rather than focusing solely on these three individuals, we find ourselves watching them in their past, from 1965, as Mossad secret agents on a mission together, holed up in a small apartment, looking to carry out a mission of abducting a former Nazi doctor, to make him pay for his crimes from that ill-gotten era of inhumane treatment.

It’s hard to succinctly explain this movie in how it starts out, suffice it to say, that we see them in their elder days first, where we then watch their younger versions carry out a mission, and then back to present day, were some thirty years later, they’re still dealing with details from that mission.

Sam Worthington in The DebtAs we live their flashback and find out the truth of the matter, we also discover that time never lets anyone forget.  Especially when something from the past raises its ugly head in present-day.  An ugly head that needs to be corrected.  A Debt that needs to be corrected.

To be honest, The Debt is not a bad movie to rent.  It’s a nice spy movie that shows some of the dirtier sides to that career that you don’t ponder or consider.  Those sides being not only the sacrifices of the agents to carry out their deeds, but of the interactions between agents on stress-filled missions and the interactions with the quarry and what mind-games can come of it.

And the truly tense-filled period of time is the latter part of the movie, when we come back to 1997 and watch the elder version of the agents dealing with a wee bit of fallout from their mission in 1965.

Is The Debt a decent rental?  Sure.  It’s a great time-killer.  But I’m not a huge fan of some of the cast but found the movie engaging enough to enjoy it.  I didn’t waste my money but if I had to choose between this or something with cast I like to watch, I’d lean towards the familiar.  On IMDb, 12k voters gave it a 7 out of 10 and Rotten Tomatoes have it at 76%.

Director John Madden behind the camera in The Debt

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