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Review: The Debt

Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011

Updated: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 16:09

The Debt review Helen Mirren

Laurie Sparham

Helen Mirren stars in "The Debt."

The Debt

Starring Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington and Tom Wilkinson

Directed by John Madden

Rated R

Grade: B


"The Debt" is interesting, thrilling, suspenseful and emotional; and it rides those traits through its entirety.

Helen Mirren plays Rachel Singer, a former Israeli spy who has written a book about her adventures in the ‘60s. The film starts in 1998, looking back at one of these memories – an incident that started in 1966, when Rachel (the younger version played by rising star Jessica Chastain) and her colleagues Steven Gold (Marton Csokas) and David Peretz (Sam Worthington) were sent to Berlin to track down and kill Nazi war criminal Dieter Vogel (Jesper Christensen), known as the Surgeon of Birkenam, who mutilated Jewish people in the name of science.

Vogel, also known as Doktor Bernhardt, works as a gynecologist in East Berlin. It falls on Rachel's shoulders to go and get checked out by the doctor in order to gather information and photos of him.

Chastain is extremely powerful and all-consuming as young Rachel.

The group ends up capturing the Doktor, but there is much more at stake if they are to accomplish their ultimate mission.

                Director John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love," "Ethan Frome"), does well with this fast-paced drama, and finds an otherwise invisible balance between the two timelines. A twist in the end manages to pull all the pieces together.

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