by Brian Surber
It is a difficult and interesting task to critique a Steven Spielberg film. He is arguably our country’s greatest cinematic storyteller; whose wide-ranging and history-defining filmography is among the most impressive ever seen. It’s only natural at some point to judge his new film among his past works and therefore there tend to be a few challenges. First of which being that his best works (E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List, Munich, etc.) rank with the best films of all time. The second being that his weaker films (Amistad, The Terminal, War of the Worlds, etc.) are still pretty damn good. Putting a film lower on his list may seem like a mark against it, but it usually means it’s just really really good. And so we come to Bridge of Spies, Spielberg’s fourth film with Tom Hanks (and 3rd best, again not a bad thing), a film so good and so well made it merely counts a mid-level Spielberg. It’s really a shame more movies aren’t simply average Spielberg.