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MOVIE REVIEW: Why I Compare “Bridge of Spies” to a Chicken Dinner

James Donovan was the New York attorney who defended Soviet Spy, Rudolf Abel in 1957. He did so after multiple lawyers refused to and while under much public scrutiny. Donovan lost the case but argued against the death penalty for Abel and won. He was later asked to help American pilot, Francis Gary Powers, after he was shot down over Russia. Donovan successfully negotiated the exchange of Rudolf Abel, who was still imprisoned in the U.S., for Powers. Bridge of Spies is based on this historic event, with Steven Spielberg directing and Tom Hanks portraying James Donovan. Ethan and Joel Coen (who collaborated with Spielberg on True Grit) were also brought in to write with Matt Donovan.

This is why Bridge of Spies reminds me of a chicken dinner that you would order at a fancy restaurant. The waiter might tell you about a delicious plate of cage-free, butter-braised Heaven, but you really just end up with a plate of chicken. Sure it tastes good and might even be a little better than KFC, but it never quite lives up to its promise. Continue reading →