The Debt Reviews

  • The Debt poses an arresting question: In a place that's as haunted by history as Israel is, can a lie ever really serve to prop up a larger truth?

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • It probes, with perhaps more energy than clarity, the ethical and psychological complications that can lie hidden beneath a story of simple heroism.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • The film analyzes the implications of heroism and its burdensome weight. It also explores the haunting toll that comes with burying the truth.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • The Debt roots itself in reality more plausibly than most contemporary spy films without sacrificing the genre's tense thrills.

    John DeFore — Washington Post

  • The film's a potboiler but a gripping one, and it leaves you chewing on both its nuances and implausibilities.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • 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.

    Michael Atkinson — Village Voice

  • Vogel is a genuinely chilling villain, and there are some deeply unsettling scenes between him and his captors.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • There are movies you want to like that just won't let you.

    John Anderson — Wall Street Journal

  • 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.

    Michael Granberry — Dallas Morning News

  • The moral has the force of a scolding rather than of a galvanic lived experience.

    Glenn Kenny — MSN Movies

  • 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?

    Anthony Lane — New Yorker

  • 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.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • The cast does what it can in the service of this assignment. But some jobs simply resist satisfying completion.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • A strong cast fails to rescue this ponderous Oscar bait.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • What the three pairs of actors lack in semblance (or resemblance), they make up for to a great extent in their performances.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • A complex suspense story, with shifting chronologies and new angles of observation on a decades-old Mossad mission to Cold War East Berlin.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • 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.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • Put Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkinson together in a movie and chances are you're not going to be disappointed.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

  • 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.

    Jordan Mintzer — Variety

  • Awkwardly marrying "Munich"-style moral conundrums with cheesy Robert Ludlum stylings, the slow-paced thriller "The Debt" never pays off.

    Kyle Smith — New York Post

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