But after a whirlwind scan of the Columbus Dispatch "Weekender" and "Rotten Tomatoes" that yielded not a whole lot of options that looked any good, I chose "Bridge of Spies", not because it's one of the current box office blockbusters - some of the awfulest (in, of course, my lowly opinion) movies rake in billions while some really good ones never break out of the indy theaters into the AMC - but because Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 92%. Which I knew didn't guarantee that I'd like it.
Oh, but I did. "Bridge of Spies" is a terrific, compelling movie that tells an amazing true story and provokes much thought on what cruel fools we mortals can be only because so few of us are clear-headed and strong enough to do the right thing. Tom Hanks, who can play a good guy like none other (probably because he's a good guy in real life - he really is) is wonderful as the unlikely hero, whose strength comes from his ability to cut through moral ambiguity and his dogged pursuance of justice and his conviction that every person matters.
But, great as it is, "Bridge of Spies" isn't even the best film out there on Cold War East Germany. The best movie ever made about that era - in fact, one of the best movies ever made, period - is a 2006 German film called "The Lives Of Others" .
In truth, I saw this film in mid-2008 and was so jolted by it that the next day I enlisted to work in the Obama campaign because it hit me that, if such a reign of fear and repression could have been inflicted on Germany, who was to say that if we let it the same couldn't happen here?