Miramax Films | Release Date: August 31, 2011
6.6
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 126 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
73
Mixed:
45
Negative:
8
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7
BHBarrySep 5, 2011
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8
BikerjamesSep 6, 2011
Although Helen Mirren, Ciarán Hinds and Tom Wilkinson get top billing because of their star power, they are actually the supporting cast. Most of the film is about the three young actors that play them 30 years ago. They go toAlthough Helen Mirren, Ciarán Hinds and Tom Wilkinson get top billing because of their star power, they are actually the supporting cast. Most of the film is about the three young actors that play them 30 years ago. They go to communist East Germany to capture a former Concentration Camp torturer so they can take him back to Israel for trials for his misdeeds, but they bungle the kidnapping. I thought the film was well acted and it held my attention the entire time. The only problem I had was that the older actors looked NOTHING like they younger ones with the exception of Helen Mirren. They should have found actors that at least looked similar to each other. Some of this film is not easy to watch, particularily the Gynecologist scenes so be prepared. It deserves its R rating. Expand
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10
gunnyartSep 9, 2011
One of the best movies I've seen in years. It had me on the edge of my seat but was much more than just an action flick. I really believed in and empathised with the characters. It drew me in to the point that I had to rush back to myOne of the best movies I've seen in years. It had me on the edge of my seat but was much more than just an action flick. I really believed in and empathised with the characters. It drew me in to the point that I had to rush back to my computer to google it to find out if it was based on true events. 10 points! Expand
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9
dhearn3Sep 18, 2011
Very well made and acted, The Debt is a thriller with a definite European style and an intellectual point to make. Many thrillers skirt the issue of whether or not the "hero's" actions can be justified - whether the ends justify the means.Very well made and acted, The Debt is a thriller with a definite European style and an intellectual point to make. Many thrillers skirt the issue of whether or not the "hero's" actions can be justified - whether the ends justify the means. This movie sets about the task of asking the question directly and provides an existential answer. There is true suspense in this film, and it is unrelenting. I was entirely engrossed. If you liked "Tell No One," you'll really like this. Expand
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8
VGabrieleSep 8, 2011
The Debt is an thriller, but an understated, sophisticated one. A Very, very intriguing plot, and brilliant acting. I'm not even referring to Helen Mirren, her performance is fine, but Jessica Chastain really steals the show. She is aThe Debt is an thriller, but an understated, sophisticated one. A Very, very intriguing plot, and brilliant acting. I'm not even referring to Helen Mirren, her performance is fine, but Jessica Chastain really steals the show. She is a fantastic actress and a star in the making. All in all, The Debt is a great movie. Go see it. Expand
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7
makrtik2Sep 12, 2011
A rather generally well worn theme, but well acted. The character development was quite good, and the movie was at times suspenseful and moved along well. The plot twist at the end was unfortunately quite predictable, but still, all in all aA rather generally well worn theme, but well acted. The character development was quite good, and the movie was at times suspenseful and moved along well. The plot twist at the end was unfortunately quite predictable, but still, all in all a good film and worth seeing. Jessica Chastain's performance of a damaged, vulnerable but committed young woman was understated, exceptional, very well done, and well worth the price of admission to see. Expand
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7
wishmasterNov 11, 2012
Create you a climax of uncertainty, where at the end you get the surprise that everything was a farce and leaves you the moral that, when assembled things with lies always will come out to light things until you finish it of yourself, perhapsCreate you a climax of uncertainty, where at the end you get the surprise that everything was a farce and leaves you the moral that, when assembled things with lies always will come out to light things until you finish it of yourself, perhaps was not a masterpiece nor the movie of the year, but it was a good movie well structured, wrapping machines and with good performances. Expand
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7
jredekopSep 14, 2011
This movie isn't exactly what I expected it to be, and that's a good thing. From the trailers and through the media, it sounded mostly like it would take place in present time, with the occasional flashback. What it really was was mainlyThis movie isn't exactly what I expected it to be, and that's a good thing. From the trailers and through the media, it sounded mostly like it would take place in present time, with the occasional flashback. What it really was was mainly flashbacks, with the occasional flash forward. Based on the fact I was most intrigued on the Cold War story line, this was a good thing. The Debt was a well made movie, with a great script, great performances (though if you're a Helen Mirren fan, you may be let down, as she's barely in the movie) and several twists to keep you on the edge of your seat. In my opinion, this was the movie of the summer, and a bright spot in a summer of high-budget, low quality action movies. A solid Cold War espionage thriller. Expand
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8
asthobaskoroSep 17, 2012
The Debt was smart, remake that actually works. Instead confusing structure, script by its three writers are solid. Also thanks for Madden's intense direction.
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7
MajorBobSep 24, 2011
Superbly acted, extremely well written and with a gut wrenching ending to boot, "The Debt" is a terrific addition to The Holocaust/spy movie genre. This movie asks and to some extent answers the question: "What happens to the hunters when theSuperbly acted, extremely well written and with a gut wrenching ending to boot, "The Debt" is a terrific addition to The Holocaust/spy movie genre. This movie asks and to some extent answers the question: "What happens to the hunters when the hunted continues to control their lives long after the hunt is over?"

I do agree with Roger Ebert that the one major flaw in this film is the fact that the actors who portray the three protagonists in 1965 look nothing like the actors who portray them in 1997. It took me almost an hour to figure out who was playing Sam Waterson's character, David, 30 years after the mission that defined their lives. This was a major distraction early on because the movie toggles back and forth through time. Nevertheless, the plot is so compelling and the acting is so powerful that you become anxious for the ending to come so you can see how the story turns out.

Hang in there with this one and get ready for a finale that will leave you thinking for a while about good and evil; right and wrong .
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8
PromiseSep 3, 2011
As the trailers tell, the movie is a flashback of a past error corrected in the present . A World War II German Death Dr. from the concentration camps is brought to justice by an Israeli hunting team of three, a woman and two men who have aAs the trailers tell, the movie is a flashback of a past error corrected in the present . A World War II German Death Dr. from the concentration camps is brought to justice by an Israeli hunting team of three, a woman and two men who have a entwined love-hate relationship among them while bringing the Dr. to justice. Years later their secrets unfold undoing a precious illusion and tension among them. The plot moves quick at the beginning and end and is a bit sluggish in between. The acting strengh is in the woman part, both in the beginning and end played well by both actresses. The hateful Dr. has the right lines and presents a true picture of his unfortunate nature. The period settings are especially well done in East Germany. A well done revenge thriller, with great cinematography, sound acting, and excellent direction with a surprise ending. It is engaging and moral in the end. Expand
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10
atabac01Sep 8, 2011
It is a fairly long movie but it is full of action and suspension so you never get bored. Great play from the actors and beautiful decorations. Unlike Steven Spielberg's Munich the movie does not try to be judgmental but instead concentratesIt is a fairly long movie but it is full of action and suspension so you never get bored. Great play from the actors and beautiful decorations. Unlike Steven Spielberg's Munich the movie does not try to be judgmental but instead concentrates on the actual meaning of revenge. The movie is definitely not for small kids Expand
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9
MrsMcIntoshSep 17, 2011
I put up with a disgusting theater and muffled voice track to finish this film. It was excellent. The back and forth in time wasn't confusing. The emotions the actor portrayed really showed through. The story was well told. Very well-done.I put up with a disgusting theater and muffled voice track to finish this film. It was excellent. The back and forth in time wasn't confusing. The emotions the actor portrayed really showed through. The story was well told. Very well-done. Excited for the DVD. Expand
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8
deanthedreamSep 23, 2011
Great thriller with a different twist. Character development is very unique. The entire show keeps you on the edge of your seat. It has a great conclusion one you won't expect.
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10
KatDeeleyOct 21, 2011
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8
delboy71Dec 5, 2011
A well written, acted and directed espionage thriller. Although you see most of what happens in the opening minutes, it still grips you and has you on the edge of your seat.
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7
JollyG87Dec 15, 2011
If all movies were crafted as carefully as this, this would be a run-of-the-mill thriller. The story itself isn't that fascinating, but because the film is perfectly put together in a non-sequential order and edited down so every scene servesIf all movies were crafted as carefully as this, this would be a run-of-the-mill thriller. The story itself isn't that fascinating, but because the film is perfectly put together in a non-sequential order and edited down so every scene serves a purpose to the plot, you can't help but be utterly riveted by the proceedings. This is one of those thrillers that throws you into a state of confusion early on, and then as you piece together the details, it begins to take you in its grip. The performances are also pretty dang good with the two women playing Rachel (different ages) being the standouts. Helen Mirren is great as always, and I can now say I officially love Jessica Chastain. She's debuted her chops to mainstream audiences in 3 films this year including this one, and I've loved her in every one of them. She made an impact on me in "The Tree of Life," she was one of my favorites in "The Help," and here she proves she can stand toe to toe with acting greats like Mirren and Tom Wilkinson. I was reading some snippets of what other people thought about "The Debt," and Tom Long from the "Detroit News" said it best: "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." Those were my thoughts exactly, only written a lot more eloquently. Expand
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8
Bruce722Nov 29, 2012
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This was an absolutely fantastic movie. The acting was great, the way the story flowed, while I didn't love it initially, was perfect once the movie unravels, and the plot and character development was superb. It didn't try to overdo it but you felt like you understood the characters ideals and perspectives by the end of the film. Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington do great jobs but Jessica Chastain steals the screen. She's not just gorgeous but she shows the full range in this movie. The movie didn't have anywhere near as much "action" as the previews eluded to but that was both a weakness and a kind of strength of the film so that's not entirely why I knocked the rating down. The main thing I wasn't a fan of was the ending. It felt like the entire film was building to something and then it completely spins in a different direction and that was awesome. However, they didn't seem to finish that direction well and some of the decisions made by Mirren's character in the end seem a bit suspect. Nonetheless, this is a great movie and while everyone certainly won't enjoy it, I think those that can appreciate it will. Expand
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7
JudgeHoldenJan 20, 2012
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Lacks decantation. I found The Debt to be a good movie with a huge potential, which was not fully used. Despite having good story, an interesting, flashback-based storytelling, some good spy action, and -- last but not least -- some good -- alas, not epically memorable -- scenes of psychological confrontation of the Nazi criminal with the Mossad agents, The Debt has some flaws, such as a bit floppy romance story and the lack of historical background when presenting Dietrich Vogel, which at some point make of this movie more of a chase after an older man with than a chase after a terrible war criminal. In other words, The Debt is a raw gem that could have been polished more. Expand
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10
showandtellJan 7, 2012
Excellent...across the board. Intense and complex ... well executed, superb acting. Not sure if those who gave this a lower rating watched the same movie. It's a 10...hands down.
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8
DanedadJan 15, 2012
This was a good movie and was certainly a "nail biter" on many levels. The actors were first rate but the twists and turns in the plot made it hard to follow. I am also not totally sure where the title comes from...I guess I will figureThis was a good movie and was certainly a "nail biter" on many levels. The actors were first rate but the twists and turns in the plot made it hard to follow. I am also not totally sure where the title comes from...I guess I will figure that out some day.... The scene at the railroad station was harrowing and could have been in any **** flick. One reviewer suggested that the narrative could have done in parallel with the 60s played against the 90s. Also, I think a reference to the capture and trial of Eichmann would have lent some historic credibility and grounding to the movie... All that being said, it was a fascinating one to watch... Expand
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8
Compi24Nov 28, 2012
Smart, quiet, and provocative, "The Debt" proves to be a successful thriller of the more subtle kind.
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9
MovieGuysSep 27, 2013
In a year where not many effective thrillers put all their cards on the table, The Debt is a sigh of relief. It is intelligent, and the way they did the flashback and present day was an interesting addition. Great acting, and good dramaticIn a year where not many effective thrillers put all their cards on the table, The Debt is a sigh of relief. It is intelligent, and the way they did the flashback and present day was an interesting addition. Great acting, and good dramatic moments. This was actually a very thrilling movie. Expand
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