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The Debt
DVD disk
Dec 9, 2011 By: Stephanie Cooke
The Debt order download
Director:
John Madden

Actors:
Helen Mirren
Jessica Chastain
Sam Worthington

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In 1997, shocking news reaches Rachel and Stephan regarding their former colleague David – from their secret mission in 1965-1966 to track down Nazi war criminal Dieter Vogel in East Berlin. At great risk, and at considerable personal cost, the team's mission was accomplished – or was it?
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
There’s nothing quite like watching a well-written spy thriller. They play with your mind and often trick you into believing one thing, when in fact what is really going on is quite the opposite. A good spy story does not need to be action packed, but rather all it needs is to be compelling enough to keep your attention, a good cast to execute the roles and a director to fulfill the vision.

THE DEBT is not in fact an original screenplay. The film, like so many countless others, was adapted from a 2007 Israeli film of the same name. It was adapted for Hollywood by X-Men: First Class director, Matthew Vaughan and Jane Goldman (Vaughan and Goldman have worked together on almost every film project). THE DEBT is a slow thriller that is neither action-packed nor psychological. It instead, focuses more on the morality behind being a spy and the consequences of ones actions.

Amongst the all-star cast consisting of Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, Sam Worthington, Ciarán Hinds and Marton Csokas, the actor that shines with exception is relative newcomer Jessica Chastain. This woman has really only been in the business since 2004 and got her first break with the movie Jolene back in 2008 and has since become a force to reckoned with in Hollywood, especially over this past year.

The focus of the movie shifts back and forth through time between 1997 and 1965. The characters are the same in both times, although obviously the 1965 characters are much younger. The way the story weaves in and out of the time when the mission takes place, which the movie revolves around, is done skillfully as to not give too much away all at once.
THE EXTRAS
A Look Inside THE DEBT: This feature is only about 3-minutes long and gives off a promotional video vibe. The actors talk about the film briefly and their characters and before you know it, it’s all over.

Every Secret Has A Price: Helen Mirren In THE DEBT: This is a pretty self-explanatory special feature, but basically Helen Mirren goes over her role in the film. She discusses her coworkers and discusses how much it helps when you’ve previously worked with actors in previous projects (she has worked with both Ciarán and Tom). Tom Wilkinson also gets in on this special feature and discusses (read: gushes) about Helen. This feature has a runtime of about 3-minutes.

The Berlin Affair: The Triangle At The Center Of THE DEBT: This is an even shorter feature than the previous, clocking in at only 2-minutes. The younger characters (Chastain, Worthington and Csakos) discuss the love-triangle that takes place in THE DEBT and that’s pretty well it.

The last special feature included on the DVD is a Feature Commentary With Director John Madden and Producer Kris Thykier.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Make no mistake about THE DEBT; while the pace is a lot slower than some spy movies that you may have seen in the past, this is just as much a spy movie as any other. Director John Madden expertly tells this story and the cast bring life to their characters like they were born for these specific roles. It’s not a perfect movie, by any means, but it’s definitely an enjoyable thriller that is well worth a watch.
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