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The Debt Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Secret Agents and Lies Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

Say yes to espionage. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal John Anderson

    Any self-respecting period piece, historical drama or even caper movie - and The Debt is all three - balances issues of global significance with interpersonal drama. The problem here is that the personal eclipses the global. The stakes are too low.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    As a thriller, The Debt performs many if not all the right moves. Where the John Madden-directed film gets into trouble is in wanting to deal with the Holocaust without being entirely a period film.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    With its blend of taut action and profound revelations, The Debt is definitely worth an audience's investment.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The Debt is basically an entertaining riff on "Munich." It's about a (fictional) operation of top secret Israeli revenge, carried out by three highly trained agents whose plan goes off the rails in ways that are more fascinating than the mission itself.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 15+

A secret's consequences play out in intense spy film.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this intense spy thriller, which jumps between the late 1960s and the late 1990s, centers on a trio of agents who -- despite being celebrated as heroes -- share a dark secret about a covert mission. Expect several fight scenes that are brutish, bloody, and realistic; you really feel like the characters are fighting for their lives. There's also some swearing (including "f--k") and drinking, and several characters smoke cigarettes (accurate for the '60s setting).

  • Families can talk about secrets and lies. Is there ever an appropriate time to lie? What are the consequences of hiding the truth -- both in real life and in this movie?
  • How does the violence in this movie compare to that in other action thrillers? Does it have more or less impact than bigger, showier, explosion-type violence?
  • How does this movie portray spies? Is it typical to see older actors playing agents? How does this compare to other spy movies/TV shows you've seen?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The main take away is about honesty: While a lie might sometimes seem like the easiest way out, in the long run, the truth always wants to come out, and carrying the burden of a lie can be harder than revealing the most difficult secrets.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Rachel, Stephan, and David all make enormous sacrifices for their country during a covert mission. They must make difficult ethical decisions as they tread the thin line between spy and murderer. And they all must live, for decades, with the terrible secret of what happened during the operation.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Several intense fight scenes are brutal and desperate, showing people who truly seem to be fighting for their lives with whatever weapon might be at hand. Some of these encounters feature young, fit agents, while others involve people in their 60s, but they're all bloody and powerful.

  • sex false1

    Sex: A couple is shown in bed (no nudity), presumably the morning after they 've slept together. A towel-clad woman steps out of the bathroom, with men watching her.

  • language false3

    Language: Some swearing, including "s--t" and multiple uses of "f--k."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some social drinking and period-accurate smoking.