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Movie Review: The Debt

Alternate Title: Secrets and Lies

Story: The good news is that this film is suspenseful, has fine acting and a good premise. The bad news is that it went on too long, the ending was contrived and I did not believe the plot twists. Director John Madden and writers Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman and Peter Straughan have us on the edge of our seats from the first scene. Then slowly but surely, I was fumbling in the dark to see what time it was and how much longer this film would drag on. That is not a good sign.

The film goes back and forth between 1966 Berlin and 1997 Israel. Three young Mossad agents are sent to Germany to kidnap the mad doctor of Birkenau to stand trial in Israel for his war crimes. The plan goes awry and I really can't tell you much mor without spoling the plot (if you plan to see this film).

The Debt is a remake of a 2007 Israeli film of the same name. I did not see that film and cannot compare.

Large, important issues such as the nature of evil, guilt, revenge and truth are woven throughout the film. What the three young Mossad agents become is interesting, but a bit too black and white for my tastes.

Regardless of what I think, I have a feeling this film will do well at the box office.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFp28r9sqUw

Acting: Helen Mirren is always good regardless of the material. Sam Worthington looked like he had a stomach ache throughout the film. Jessica Chastain is the 'it' girl this year. Marton Csokas was very interesting to watch. Ciarán Hinds looked awkward. Tom Wilkinson can do no wrong in my book.. Danish actor Jesper Christensen, plays a very bad man very well.

Predilection: I like films that feature the Mossad.

Trivia: Director John Madden has directed 3 actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Judi Dench (Best Actress, Mrs Brown (1997), Best Supporting Actress, Shakespeare in Love (1998)), Gwyneth Paltrow (Best Actress, Shakespeare in Love (1998)), and Geoffrey Rush (Best Supporting Actor, Shakespeare in Love (1998)). Dench (for her second nominated turn in a Madden film) and Paltrow won Oscars for their performances.

Critters: None

Food: Slop and gruel.

Soundtrack: Scary

Opening Titles: After a brief horrifying sequence the tiltes come along.

Visual Art: East Germany post WWII has nothing to look at longingly.

Theater Audience: About 30 other people.

Weather: Not a factor.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: Nazis make me squirm.

Drift Factor: I drifted every now and then.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Hmm - not sure.

Length: Under two hours.

LOBO HOWLS: 6