Bridge of Spies (2015) PG-13

Steven Spielberg gets it right once again.  This is a compelling story about a little-known figure who played a pivotal role in the Cold War-the release of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers.  There were some minor anachronisms in the movie such as: the New York subway should have used tokens and the ways the subway cars and stations are decorated.  Also, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge that appears in the movie was not built yet at the time depicted in the film.  International calls were not as easy or as cheap as they seem in the movie. The U-2 planes used in the movie have some modern equipment on them, and the Supreme Court set has some errors in its decoration.  Finally, some of the cars, lights, and props are not from the right year.  The movie gets all of the important details right, however. 

It is a good movie, but it is of limited instructional value.  A lot of the backstory of the Cold War, Berlin Wall, and U-2 Crisis would have to be explained to students ahead of time to make the movie comprehensible.  The drama is excellent, but I don’t think it would be worth the amount of class time you would have to devote to showing the entire movie.  Perhaps showing a few clips of the U2 being shot down, the Soviet interrogation of the pilot, and the negotiations for his release would suffice.  There is also some violence and bad language in the movie, but nothing excessive.