2015 did have its share of great movies. However, many of them ended up being very disappointing, particularly in the blockbuster department. Spectre, Jurassic World, Tomorrowland, Black Mass and Furious 7 left audiences wanting more. Even Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens split audiences and many felt that that movie was highly disappointing. While I on the other hand, loved The Force Awakens and saw it twice in one day.

For me, the single most disappointing film of 2015 was the Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg Cold War Spy Drama Bridge of Spies. A movie that I felt was flat, far reaching, not that well researched in places and could have been a lot better.

Why Audiences Responded to Bridge of Spies…

With a 91% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and an 89% from audiences, I’m once again in the minority on a film that everyone seemed to enjoy but me. To prove this, Bridge of Spies was also a highly successful movie financially taking in $138.1 million on a $40 million budget and is already receiving many accolades including AFI, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations. There are even rumours that Bridge of Spies has the potential to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

Why Bridge of Spies Is Highly Disappointing…

With a screenplay written by the Coen Brothers, the minds behind some terrific films like Fargo, The Big Lebowski and Barton Fink, I personally thought that Bridge of Spies would have had a more consistent tone throughout the movie and would be much better written.

The first half of the movie plays out like an intense courtroom drama wherein a Russian spy is capture in the US and brought to trial. Enter Tom Hanks’ fish-out-of-water and I was quite interested in seeing where this movie would go as a courtroom drama. However, that is not what Bridge of Spies is nor was it actually a courtroom drama. During the second half of the movie, Bridge of Spies changes its tone when Gary Powers, the pilot of the U2 spy plane gets captured in Russia. He then needs to be exchanged for the captured Russian spy, played brilliantly by English actor Mark Rylance. Then, the real movie actually starts and Bridge of Spies basically about a prisoner exchange between two rival superpowers.

While I thought that the scenes in Berlin were nicely done, to assume that one person, an economic student of all people, could just enter and re-enter East Berlin while the wall was being constructed is not only inaccurate but kind of irresponsible. I lived in Berlin for 2 years and heard so many stories of those who lost contact with family members and friends because of the wall. This movie set up an incredible opportunity to tell that story as I don’t think we’ve ever seen the construction of the Berlin Wall be portrayed in American cinema before. And if by chance we have, it hasn’t been done with the filmmaking skills of Steven Spielberg or the acting talent of someone like Tom Hanks. However, it was a missed opportunity to go deeper into a terrible time in history for millions of people, both German and American.

Overall, Bridge of Spies blew an opportunity to be SO MUCH MORE than just a prisoner exchange movie. Even if the tone shifted away from a courtroom drama during the second half, so many opportunities were WASTED with misleading history about the construction of the Berlin Wall and there were even a few places of not well researched writing. It’s a shame really because I felt like Bridge of Spies was like a recipe that just didn’t come together. The ingredients were all there but either someone forgot to mix it properly or it was left in the over for too long.

I still hope Mark Rylance gets nominated for an Oscar though. His performance was terrific.