Miramax Films | Release Date: August 31, 2011
6.6
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Generally favorable reviews based on 128 Ratings
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Positive:
75
Mixed:
45
Negative:
8
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6
TVJerrySep 2, 2011
It's a bit deceptive to give Helen Mirren star billing, because she's only onscreen for the first and final few minutes (although she IS a star and the fulcrum character). The majority of the film follows three Mossad agents with the missionIt's a bit deceptive to give Helen Mirren star billing, because she's only onscreen for the first and final few minutes (although she IS a star and the fulcrum character). The majority of the film follows three Mossad agents with the mission of capturing a Nazi war criminal living in '60s East Berlin. It's bookended 30 years later, when the trio deals with their shameful secret. Although the story is interesting, the pacing is lax and the few mildly tense scenes aren't worth the payoff. The uniformly strong cast enhances the narrative, but a shorter, tauter film would have been more effective. Expand
5 of 5 users found this helpful50
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5
JamesLOct 3, 2011
Well this was absolutely nothing new and you knew the story line early on. They spent way too much time on the first attempt to kill the doctor and left the suspense of the second attempt to a cheap trick you have seen a million times inWell this was absolutely nothing new and you knew the story line early on. They spent way too much time on the first attempt to kill the doctor and left the suspense of the second attempt to a cheap trick you have seen a million times in other movies. This subject has been covered a million times and covered a million times better. Go when there is really nothing else to see. That is what we did. Even then it still plays out as only average. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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5
EludiumQ36Apr 13, 2013
"The Lie" would've been a more appropriate title. It's a decent enough film but doesn't raise the bar in any area. I'm not a fan of temporal-settings (ie, jumping from settings in the past and present) because it does more to upset the viewer"The Lie" would've been a more appropriate title. It's a decent enough film but doesn't raise the bar in any area. I'm not a fan of temporal-settings (ie, jumping from settings in the past and present) because it does more to upset the viewer than to tell a coherent story. And sorry, but the fight between two ancients at the end was comically reminiscent of the "Family Guy" episode where Mr Herbert fights the old nazi that lives next door. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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4
emcoffey3Jan 21, 2012
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I had high hopes for The Debt, which is why I'm sorry to give it such a low rating. It's billed as a thriller, but the parts that are supposed to be thrilling never really had me on the edge of my seat. Part of the problem stems from the "revised history" they show the audience at the beginning of the film. This alludes to a portion of the story that it then takes them roughly an hour to actually reach, so everyone is well aware of where the movie will eventually go. Also, I was a little put off by the deception perpetrated by the main characters. Essentially, the "good guys" don't come off as very good at all. Long story short: The Debt suffers from some poor pacing and awkward storytelling. And it's a bit of a downer. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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5
Bama72Sep 14, 2011
This movie was boring and didn't make much sense. I can't believe the characters would have even come close to behaving the way they did. I gave it a 5 because it was pretty good when Helen Mirren was on screen. She is such a wonderfulThis movie was boring and didn't make much sense. I can't believe the characters would have even come close to behaving the way they did. I gave it a 5 because it was pretty good when Helen Mirren was on screen. She is such a wonderful actress, she could save almost anything. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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5
AkkharDec 20, 2011
The Debt is doesn't works as a thriller film . Its just a drama all about a very little mission that they failed . The Germany part was good . the 1997 part was the worst . Of all the actors I only liked Marton Csokas's acting . Only hisThe Debt is doesn't works as a thriller film . Its just a drama all about a very little mission that they failed . The Germany part was good . the 1997 part was the worst . Of all the actors I only liked Marton Csokas's acting . Only his acting was good and reasonable .The story isn't that good . The Train part was the best part and that's it . The starting was little off then i expected but the ending is the worst . Just hated it . P.S: There's a moral in this film and that is "Never take a woman on a serious and hard emotional mission" Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
RyanPrattSep 12, 2011
Rent-it - Three retired Mossad secret agents find that an anti-Nazi mission accomplished in 1966 might not have been. Secrets and suspense ensue. Continue reading on Examiner.com:Rent-it - Three retired Mossad secret agents find that an anti-Nazi mission accomplished in 1966 might not have been. Secrets and suspense ensue. Continue reading on Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/movie-in-national/see-it-rent-it-skip-it-top-10-best-movies-theaters-friday-september-9th Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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5
CincinnatiDaveSep 19, 2011
This movie shined when the female leads, Jessica Chastain and Helen Mirren, were on the screen, but fell flat when the male actors were featured. I believe the problems were a combination of dialog, directing, and acting, because it isThis movie shined when the female leads, Jessica Chastain and Helen Mirren, were on the screen, but fell flat when the male actors were featured. I believe the problems were a combination of dialog, directing, and acting, because it is difficult to pinpoint where things went wrong. There were excellent "scenes" scattered throughout the film, but it missed the mark for becoming excellent. Don't be deceived by the promos showing a film starring "Mirren", because she was on the screen about as much as she was in the trailers. Jessica Chastain was captivating however, and has had a stellar 2011 with the release of 7 films, including a knockout performance as Celia Foote in "The Help". Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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5
RobinsNestJan 8, 2012
Exciting and tension filled for the flashback, 1965-66 section. Even though a lot is displayed about what happens through forwards and back in time, I was still into it. Was all set to recommend, but then the ending. Cop out, main characterExciting and tension filled for the flashback, 1965-66 section. Even though a lot is displayed about what happens through forwards and back in time, I was still into it. Was all set to recommend, but then the ending. Cop out, main character goes through the same thing as before, absolutely no reason for her holier than thou decision. The 1997 section had too many contrivances and logistical missteps.Ii have no problem suspending reality on timings and situations. Heck, it's a movie. But films boil down to the characters. Are they believable, why do they do what they do, what would I do? And Rachel just doesn't ring true. She is willing to jeopardize everything. She wasn't going to tell the truth when the one she loved wanted to. And then, Okshe''ll tell and hurt a lot of people and help no one; except I guess herself (she'll feel better). I liked it a lot in the 60's, a little less as each decade goes by, and the present (90's) just kill it. Too bad because the acting is good, story interesting, it's just poor Rachel, in the end, who sinks it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
HidekiNaraFeb 7, 2012
A decent enough movie with a good strong cast of characters, Jessica Chastain performs well with a strong character, the movie is good but slows down too often and doesn't develop the characters well enough, a couple of actions scenes makeA decent enough movie with a good strong cast of characters, Jessica Chastain performs well with a strong character, the movie is good but slows down too often and doesn't develop the characters well enough, a couple of actions scenes make the movie worth watching with a good fight at the start and an entertaining climax featuring Helen Mirren, unfortunately the film lacks any real ending that can make you feel satisfied, and the characters all somehow manage to disappoint, the performances that are perhaps the strongest displayed are Chastain's younger portrayal of Helen Mirren's Rachel Singer. And Jesper Christensen's portrayal of the antagonist Dieter Vogel. Not the best film ever made, but not the worst. Forgettable but also a good role for Chastain. Collapse
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
beingryanjudeNov 23, 2014
It's easy to be drawn in: an interesting mission spanning 30 years and presented with a well-casted set of actors. You may occasionally find yourself lost between what is past and what is present.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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5
SpangleMay 18, 2015
The main positive in this one is the acting. Across the board, the large cast did very well and really fought for control over the screen. Very impressive stuff from the cast. In addition, the film is quite compelling and thrilling at times,The main positive in this one is the acting. Across the board, the large cast did very well and really fought for control over the screen. Very impressive stuff from the cast. In addition, the film is quite compelling and thrilling at times, which is ultimately what you want from a film of this type. However, it is really poorly written and poorly told. The plot seems all over the place and keeps jumping back-and-forth between the present and past, while not being entirely clear on why things are happening, which is annoying. Though I don't need things spelled out for me, some help would have been appreciated. Ultimately, this one's plot was its downfall, which is too bad, because it had the potential to be a really good film with a cast of this quality. Expand
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6
borderlinefilmsFeb 5, 2015
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. is it too late to re-cut?

The Debt is one of those movies you wish you could re-write yourself. that's because it comes so close to being an exceptional espionage thriller. The younger 1960's episodes are great. Provocative, thrilling, intense. The mission to kill the murderous doctor works really well. The flawed humanity of the 3 "debtors" verses the calculating coldheartedness of the ex-Nazi is enthralling. The love triangle and resulting pregnancy are perfect. Jessica Chastain is wonderful to watch. All four actors are great. But jump to the 1990's and the drama slows to a creaky halt. I like Helen Mirren but to see what becomes of these three young dynamic revolutionary figures is a huge let-down. The climax of watching two very old people wrestling on the floor to the death is too pathetic to watch, and makes the entire plot seem unintentionally absurd. Unfortunately, because of a three decade leap, The Debt essentially boils down to: It sucks to be old.

A five year jump after the botched assassination would have been sufficient, instead of thirty years, and it could have used the same actors. The movie would have been less disjointed and opened up more possibilities in the way of male rivalry, revenge and romance. And heat up to a more satisfying climax and conclusion.

Just eliminating most of the 1997 scenes would have made a better picture.
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6
AliceofXFeb 13, 2016
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Debt tries too much to be an action thriller when it should have focused on being a drama, because there really isn't that much action in the story. On the other hand a drama with a focus on the characters could have given the story more depth.

But honestly that is just criticizing the movie for what it isn't. As for what it is is a very decent film that will be entertaining even despite the story's flaws. Out of those the most annoying would probably be the flash forwards that are then later repeated in their entirety even though we've seen them already. It's annoying and adds nothing new to the experience.

That and the story doesn't really lead to anything with an ending that seems weird and made up on the last minute. What was Vogel's relationship to the patient claiming to be him and why was he doing it? None of that is explained and the fight at the end seems out of place.

That said The Debt is not a bad film, above mediocre I would say, and overall a good watch.
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