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September 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The season of the superhero has ended; it’s time for ordinary, thinking folks to populate the screens of movie theaters across the country again. Such is the case with The Debt, starring Helen Mirren, Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, and Tom Wilkinson. Virtually all the critics are giving it positive reviews — some more positive than the others. Take A.O. Scott’s write-up in the New York Times: “The labors of the cast help to make The Debt a compact, reasonably clever and sometimes piquant entertainment, but they also make you aware that it could have been more.” Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times clearly is delighted by most of the movie, but comments that it “jumps the rails toward the end.” Likewise, Claudia Puig in USA Today concludes: “Superb performances and moments of unnerving suspense are hampered by an implausible ending and undercut by repetition.” Ty Burr in the Boston Globe finds a number of complaints to register about the movie, but he remarks that he is inclined to look past them inasmuch as the movie “rockets along with expert speed and flatters us with intimations of depth and meaning that aren’t really there. The Debt is an airport paperback disguised as a hardcover; as such, it’s a darn good read.” But several critics regard The Debt as a darn good movie, as well. It’s “as bloody as it is brainy,” writes Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle calls it “an exciting movie, full of crises and dramatic turns despite an aura of sadness that seems to pervade it.” And Linda Barnard in the Toronto Star considers the movie downright “superb,” arguing that “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.”