The Debt burns slowly, but intensely building and building tension until everything explodes at the end. This movie is smart, captivating, engaging and well-acted.

The Debt movie poster

The Debt

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren, Marton Csokas, Tom Wilkinson

Premise: In 1966 three secret agents, Rachel (Jessica Chastain), Stefan (Marton Csokas) and David (Sam Worthington), travelled to East Berlin to capture Nazi War Criminal Doctor Vogel and return him to the U.S. to go on trial for his crimes against humanity. 30 years later, Rachel’s daughter writes a novel describing the events that transpired so long ago, unleashing the dark secrets of what really happened within them.

My Review: I was a little lukewarm on seeing The Debt, it looked good enough, but I didn’t ABSOLUTELY have to see it. However, I’m very glad I did. This movie had me in its grasp from the first few minutes and didn’t let go and most of that was in part to the incredible acting of the three leads (and Helen Mirren). Jessica Chastain, who’s on the rise, did some incredible work in this movie. She was somehow fragile and strong at the same time. While there is no doubting her talent (see Tree of Life or The Help), she’s also completely likeable. As for Sam Worthington, I’ve never been a big fan of him. Sure, he’s a good-looking man, but I’ve never been particularly impressed by his acting skills. His work in Avatar and Terminator 4 was nothing amazing. However, his performance was spectacular in this movie. He was stoic and moving and he played David perfectly, hitting every emotion just right. There was a moment in the movie where his eyes welled with tears and I bought it, I felt for him. He made me a believer.

The script, written by Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman, and Peter Straughan, was incredibly smart. It was easy to understand, but also challenging without dumbing anything down for the audience. There were twists and turns, but they were easy to follow and weren’t just for shock value. Plus, I can always admire a writer that plays well with flashbacks (I’m looking at you Damon Lindelof and J.J. Abrams).

And if none of this appeals to you (which is incredibly crazy), see it for the creepy performance of Jesper Christensen as Dr. Vogel. Christensen managed to make Vogel sympathetic while at the same time disturbing and evil. The way Vogel managed to manipulate each character and get in their brains was amazing. What was even more amazing was Vogel getting in the audience’s brain as well, from the first moment he said, “This is my hand and this is the speculum,” I knew I’d be utterly creeped out throughout this movie and beyond.

Check this movie out. It may not feel like your thing, upon first glance, but it’s definitely worth a watch.  Captivating plot, intriguing actors, let this move engross you, you won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 3 ½ – 4 Stars.

 

 

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