helen mirren the debt Helen Mirren in 'The Debt': What are critics saying?“The Debt” is a new international spy thriller opening Friday (Sept. 2) starring Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, Jessica Chastain and Sam Worthington that present-day and flashback versions of each of the two main characters played by Mirren and Wilkinson. So far, the critics have been writing largely positive reviews.

Bill Goodykoontz of the Arizona Republic gives it four stars and writes, “Put Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkinson together in a movie and chances are you’re not going to be disappointed … The acting is uniformly good, the tension high and the stakes higher.”

The Toronto Star’s Linda Barnard says, “Relentlessly paced and artfully lensed and constructed, it’s a
first-rate thriller that explores loyalty, duty to country and self, and
the price of deception with skill and razor-sharp precision … Mirren’s restrained performance is equal to the compelling story about a
trio of agents and the secret they keep — each for their own reason.”

Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times writes, “Bristling with dangers both corporeal and cerebral, “The Debt” is a superbly crafted espionage thriller packed with Israeli-Nazi score settling. A steely Helen Mirren and Jessica Chastain stalk its sinister interior, upping the ante and the adrenaline with every twist and turn.”

Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert didn’t love “The Debt,” but he does compliment the actors – “The architecture of ‘The Debt’ has an unfortunate flaw. The younger versions of the characters have scenes that are intrinsically more exciting, but the actors playing the older versions are more interesting. Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and Ciaran Hinds bring along the weight of their many earlier roles. To be sure, the older actors get some excitement of their own, but by then, the plot has lost its way.”

We could not love Helen Mirren more, so perhaps we will have to take on some “Debt” this Labor Day weekend. What about you?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."