Ciaran Hinds and Helen Mirren star in John Madden’s espionage thriller The Debt.

Smart thriller gets its due

Vernon Film Society brings The Debt, starring Helen Mirren, to the Vernon Towne Cinema Monday, Oct. 31.

  • Oct. 26, 2011 12:00 p.m.

A gala presentation at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, the Vernon Film Society’s next presentation is The Debt, a fast-paced political thriller.

Directed by John Madden, it offers tight plotting, international intrigue, and conflict where the stakes are life, death, and the honour of a nation.

In 1997, three veterans of Israel’s secret service, including Rachel (Helen Mirren), return to a hero’s welcome.  Rachel’s daughter has just written a book about the threesome’s most famous exploit, the hunting down and extermination of a notorious Nazi war criminal.

The book brings the episode back into the spotlight, making fellow agent David (Ciaran Hinds, There Will Be Blood) uneasy. Soon cracks appear in the official story and Rachel is pressed into completing the operation after the target of the mission claims to be alive.

Sam Worthington (Avatar) and Jessica Chastain (Tree of Life) are wonderful as the young David and Rachel, while Tom Wilkinson (The Ghost Writer) is a pleasure to watch as the ruthless spymaster. But it is Mirren who stands out, giving full range to both the icy discipline of a secret agent and the conflicted emotions of a mother.

As Claudia Puig of USA Today says, “With its blend of taut action and profound revelations, The Debt is definitely worth an audience’s investment.”

The Debt will be shown at the Towne Cinema Monday at 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. Tickets are available at the door and one week ahead at the theatre and the Bean Scene for $7. The film is rated R for some violence and language.


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