The Debt

Rated 3.0

With Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas and Sam Worthington as their younger selves, Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and Ciarán Hinds play three retired Mossad agents haunted by a gone-wrong mission in 1960s East Berlin. Not the worst offender as colonizing remakes go, Shakespeare in Love director John Madden’s version of the Israeli spy thriller Ha-Hov is pedigreed, pulse-quickening, respectable, and ultimately unremarkable. It reads as a sort of practice run at high seriousness from writers Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass) and Peter Straughan (The Men Who Stare at Goats). It’s also about the actors—what Chastain can do when out from under Terrence Malick; whether Worthington is worthy; who Csokas is, exactly; and how the elder trio maintains its poise in fake accents and a corseted flashback-intensive structure. Also with Jesper Christensen as a tokenish villain and a protracted geriatric grappling match that would be self-parodic even if something like it hadn’t already been done, for laughs, on Family Guy.