The Debt Reviews
Predictably, the holes in the narrative set us up for a twist or three, but, in balance, it's a pleasure to be back in the wet alleys and spy-patrolled streets of the GDR, however vague they seem without '60s black-and-white cinematography.
Rather than focus on the evil of the Nazi villain, it wallows in the collective regret of three Israeli Mossad agents who in 1966 let the bad guy slip away when they had him in their clutches.
There is an awkward, irresoluble tension between the movie's urge to thrill and the weighty pull of the historical obligations that it seeks to assume. How much, to be blunt, should we be enjoying ourselves?
The architecture of "The Debt" has an unfortunate flaw. The younger versions of the characters have scenes that are intrinsically more exciting, but the actors playing the older versions are more interesting.
The Debt has the overall air of an Oscar contender that never got into the ring -- well-made, but not spectacular. Still, it serves as a fine, full introduction to Chastain's potential.
The remake ups the adrenaline factor, and features strong perfs across the board, yet feels bogged down by a weighty love triangle and a subject that merits more than the old-school good vs. evil approach.