The Debt

  • 15
  • John Madden (2010)
  • US / UK / Hun / Is
  • 113 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

A decent but unspectacular war crimes tale is elevated above the ordinary here by the sheer calibre of its cast - including Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Tom Wilkinson and then rising star Jessica Chastain. In 1965, three members of Mossad, the Israeli secret service, are sent in to East Berlin to kidnap or kill a notorious Nazi war criminal, the infamous "Surgeon of Birkenau". But the mission is botched. Thirty years later, the trio, now retired and fêted back home as heroes, get a surprise chance to make amends. As it flits back and forth in time between botch-up and mop-up, the film exposes a curiosity of casting. No way would the actors who play two of the young agents grow up to look anything like the actors who play them in middle age. That distraction aside, the movie is an entertaining addition to the recent wave of retro spy films.

Plot Summary

Spy drama starring Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren and Jessica Chastain. In 1965 three Mossad agents successfully complete a mission to track down a Nazi war criminal in East Berlin. But over thirty years later the truth about what really happened comes back to haunt them.

Cast and crew


Rachel Singer
Helen Mirren
Young David
Sam Worthington
Young Rachel Singer
Jessica Chastain
Stephan Gold
Tom Wilkinson
Doktor Bernhardt / Dieter Vogel
Jesper Christensen
Young Stephan
Marton Csokas
David Peretz
Ciaran Hinds
Sarah Gold
Romi Aboulafia


John Madden

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Violence, swearing.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 30 Sep 2011
Certificate 15