Once again our favorite Everyman Tom Hanks is working with his long-time friend and collaborator Steven Spielberg ("Saving Private Ryan" and "Band of Brothers"). These guys are convinced that young Americans need to know more WWII history. Lucky for us the Coen brothers are on the writing team, they bring some very dry humor to the Cold War as we watch two superpowers (plus East Germany) negotiate an exchange of spies.
This time Hanks is an insurance lawyer assigned the task of defending a Russian spy. His reluctance to side with the enemy is justified when his family is targeted by outraged citizens who see him anti-American. We also meet some Air Force pilots assigned to the CIA who will fly U2 spy planes 70,000 feet above the USSR. They are called "drivers" and are instructed to commit suicide if they are caught. They are in shock!
Cold War, Donovan, Abel, Powers... Many of these names will draw a blank from the younger generation because History as a school subject is no longer considered politically correct. Do they know about the Berlin Wall? We see it being built in this wonderful film, AND we see an astonishing array of vintage cars! What fun.
I can't help but recall George Santanaya's immortal quote: "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." More's the pity... Every young American should see this PG-13 movie. (By the way, be sure to stay for the postscripts!)