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The Debt pays off 

Espionage drama constructed for high tension thrills

John Madden’s remake of a 2007 Israeli film Ha-Hov about three Mossad agents who botch the kidnapping of a German war criminal is a case study in thriller construction. We meet the agents (Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and Ciaran Hinds) in the late-90s, 30 years after their high-risk mission to lift a vicious doctor (Jesper Christensen) from his East Berlin hiding place. They’ve lied about the results of that operation, and the decades of deception have left them with psychological scars. These bookend chapters are excellent, but it’s the middle section, with its depiction of the kidnapping and Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas and Sam Worthington playing younger versions of the agents, that really hums with tension. Everyone’s in top form and everything works, with plot, character and theme feeding each other in near-perfect symbiosis.

The Debt
Rated R (MPAA) · 113 min. · 2011
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Director: John Madden
Writer: Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman and Peter Straughan
Producer: Matthew Vaughn, Kris Thykier, Eitan Evan and Eduardo Rossoff
Cast: Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas, Ciarán Hinds, Tom Wilkinson, Jesper Christensen, Romi Aboulafia, Adar Beck and Nitzan Sharron


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