>> The Debt (BLU-RAY) (2011)

Title: The Debt

Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama, Suspense

Starring: Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren

Director: John Madden

Studio: Miramax Films

Runtime: 113 Minutes

Release Date: December 6, 2011

Format: BLU-RAY

Discs: 1

MPAA Rating: R

Rating: 4.34 (out of 4.00)

Grade: A

Official Site


Matthew Vaughn, director of Kick-Ass and X-Men First Class, wrote the screenplay for the film.

The Debt is a drama that jumps backwards and forwards in its timeline to tell the story of a trio of Mossad agents who infiltrate Berlin to capture a suspected Nazi war criminal. The story begins in present day where we find Rachel Singer (played by both Helen Mirren and Jessica Chastain, in two different points in the timeline) at a book release party for her daughter who has written about her mothers exploits in Berlin. Unfortunately there is a hidden truth somewhere in the story that comes back to threaten all three of them. The film is a remake of the 2007 Israeli film of the same name and is directed by John Madden (Shakespeare In Love). The film also stars Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins), Sam Worthington (Avatar), Ciaran Hinds (Rome), Marton Csokas (Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), and Jesper Christensen (Melancholia).

If your familiar with John Madden’s work your probably aware that aside from containing some of the most intriguing stories, the directors films tend to have a very human, very artistic touch to them. For me The Debt has to be one of the finest examples of how to create the look of a film to transcend its travels through format. The Debt is a very serious film and the film quality makes for a stunning companion. Nothing is overly shiny or bright, skin tones remain natural under any change in light or shadow, and the look and feel of the film itself implies that it was carefully placed to provide the most engaging experience you could hope for in an at home cinema viewing. It simply looks as it would have on the big screen.

At the beginning of the film color is a bit muted, light a bit off, but the film begins in a flashback. This kind of anomaly occurs in the film when certain contextual back flashes occur. When you see this change in film quality happen it is because your experiencing the films back story through a filter of sorts, it will make sense when you see the film. Unfortunately there are small minute occurrences of black levels fading in passing shots, but mostly ignorable stuff you will have forgotten by the time the film reaches its end. Color is organic looking; it never gets too bright, just stays a neutral proper color. Definition is sharp and revealing. It really is a fantastic film to admire for its capture quality.

Audio is also engaging with dialogue front heavy with ambient sound channeling through the side speakers (airplanes, cars, chatter). I didn’t notice much by way of rear channel immersion but the audio for the film works extremely well in placing you right in the thick of things, which isn’t to hard as the story is so enveloping.

I was a bit disappointed in the bonus section. A Look Inside the Debt, Every Secret Has A Price: Helen Mirren in The Debt, and The Berlin Affair: The Triangle At the Center of The Debt run a meager 3+ minutes each, give or take. A lot of the same footage and revelations are used in each giving them really an even lesser run time. Their basically just hints at the film, which you can’t blame them for, as the film really is fantastic as it unravels to reveal every detail and truth. You wouldn't want to give that away in some supplemental slip up. Also you have commentary with Madden and producer Kris Thykier, Pocket Blu app, and BD-Live functionality. Not much here that I would jump up and down for. The real gem is the film and its excellent BD transfer.



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