(KCBS) – KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews ‘The Debt,’ an espionage thriller starring Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Tom Wilkinson, and Jessica Chastain.
THE DEBT (R)
There’s tension, action, a solid story and it time travels. Set in two decades and several countries, The Debt is based on a 2007 Israeli film Ha-Hov. In this English language remake, we get a master class in acting, especially from Helen Mirren, who seems to haunt the film even if she is not in the scene. In 1990′s Tel Aviv, a former secret agent is being celebrated for her mission, along with two male colleagues, of tracking down a notorious Nazi war criminal. The flashback to retell the story of what really happened are harrowing, bloody and powerful. Mirren’s chilly presence is matched by a poignant, strong performance by Jessica Chastain as Mirren’s younger self. While not a perfect thriller (romantic triangle and weird, somewhat unbelievable climax) director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, Mrs. Brown) is a fine cinematic storyteller and definitely gives us unforgettable moments with brilliant actors.
SEE RIGHT NOW: THE HELP, OUR IDIOT BROTHER, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
DVD/HOME VIDEO: INSPECTOR LEWIS SEASON ONE AND TWO (Masterpiece Theatre series, Kevin Whatley takes over from John Thaw’s Inspector Morse, Laurence Fox his young sidekick), HIGH SOCIETY
You can hear KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl’s movie reviews on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm.
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)