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
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.
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: 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: 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: Some swearing, including "s--t" and multiple uses of "f--k."
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some social drinking and period-accurate smoking.
Fan Reviews provided by
The Debt: B+ by MattH306
A complex story with an effective flashback makes up for the lackluster ending.
THE DEBT by SANTA DAN
Helen Mirren was excellent, as usual, as was Tom Wilkerson. Good movie and...interesting plot with nice twists and turns. Exciting, but Lacked some realism, as I kept wondering why, over the years, that the scar on her face had not been fixed with plastic surgery. Obviously it was left there for the effect. My wife felt it was slow moving at times and she would have preferred to have seen Mirren in more of the scenes. The surprise climatic ending was done very well.
Mature adults and we gave it a C+
Dan & Lolly
The Debt Gives You Pause by ConnieFudge
This is one of those movies that doesn't "WOW" you at its end. It is one that lingers with you and makes you think back through it with the question of how it did or didn't impact you. As I ponder it, I realize that there were many thoughtful considerations that came from it - the insidiousness of evil, the impact of a lie lived over a lifetime, finding compassion in the face of evil, what constitutes justice...many others.
There was enough suspense to hold you through it and enough movement from present to past to make sure you stayed engaged and paid attention. The acting didn't detract from the story, the cinematography wasn't "trendy" and the editing didn't make your head swirl. Its 'R' rating is well placed.
We need "thinking" movies sometimes. Too much "fluff" and sophomoric drivel makes us lazy and self-absorbed. The Debt makes us think and that's a good thing.
Barely a GO by rockydoggies
I can't say NO or SO-SO because the performances were still good, but I think the film is more geared towards a smaller audience that will be interested in the Israeli hunting of Nazi war criminals. I could foresee the story line doing a re-loop before it happened , I don't like re-loops, but this one made sense and was actually was a cool move to do. The movie slows to a bore in the middle, but picks up again towards the third act. This is not a summer blockbuster action suspense movie. I think I'm still in the summer mode of explosions and heavy actions movies. It's a good movie, the actors were great, just a little slow for me.
Could there be anymore drama...... by Becksop
Went to this movie thinking I was going to see a bad ace action film, or at bare minimum crazy espionage and bloody fight scenes. Not so much. These agents were so dramatic its a wonder they even got into it. I'm so confused why this female agent felt the need to sleep with someone and why she was even in love with the character "David", there was absolutely no character development in that aspect. The casting for the individuals that played the 3 main characters "older selves" was ridiculous. It was completely backwards. And then to top it off they had to put the worst old people fight scene in the end, that left we wondering how they thought they could jack the Family Guy Herbert the pervert vs the Nazi. Hysterical to say the least but not the kind of fight scene i wanted to see, two geriatrics going at it, come one. You want to see how lame this movie is for yourself, wait till it comes out on DVD, or better yet, on television.
thought-provoking, suspenseful but not a feel-good movie by wenelra
Obviously not the material for a feel good movie. Story and characters and acting were all very well done.
The kind of movie that kept me thinking for hours, even the next day - thinking of the pain, the struggle, and the outcome.
The Debt by anarodriguez
Just watched The Debt and it was ok. I saw it because of the actors. It was a bit slow at times but not necessarily a sleeper. I think it was geared for an older crowd and that's what I saw in the theater. Overall it was a good movie.
Good Movie so Just Go... by the_duke92
Good movie with good acting and good plot. Nothing to write home about but it was worth whatever I paid for the early bird showing. Helen Mirren was terrific and last 30 - 40 minutes were the best of the entire movie. The first hour or so was very boring and took a while to get good but when the good part started it didn't end until the credits....If you go, don't get bored and fall asleep in the first half because it really is crucial to give the full effect of the film.
Psychologically Complex (and depressing) by Murphy_Monster
The Debt is the combination of two stories: The majority of the movie is spent telling the story of 3 Israeli intelligence agents who are sent to Berlin to capture a Nazi doctor who committed sickening crimes against humanity in his 'experiments.' When the plan goes awry, they're stuck with him for days on end, & each of the 3 younger actors does an incredible job of showing the mental strain of their captured situation (eg, a love triangle, dealing with the Nazi monster). The present story, seen primarily at the beginning & end, is what made the movie for me. Hellen Mirren, as an older Rachel, is able to capture the emotional trauma of the events in Berlin as time has gone on, and her discomfort makes you painfully aware of the incredible talent Mirren possesses. The end of the movie leaves you wondering about the meaning and price of truth and what 'the right' answer to the ethical dilemma presented is. This is not a feel-good film, but Hellen Mirren does a mind-blowing job. See it!