“Jack Strong” – A Nearly Perfect Cold War Spy Film

Quietly and without fanfare, Polish writer/director Wladyslaw Pasikowski has crafted an historical spy film for the ages.  Jack Strong rivals the very best spy films of the decade – from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to Skyfall.  The film dramatizes the life and actions of one of the most high-impact spies during the Cold War, the polish colonel Ryszard Kuklinski, who over the course of a decade provided over 35,000 pages of sensitive Soviet information to the Americans.  Impressively,  Jack Strong isn’t simply a circuitous celebration of tradecraft and cloak-and-dagger, either.  It delves further into the emotional and personal costs of the spy life than almost any spy film I have ever seen, detailing the damage that Kuklinski’s actions have on his family, friends, and colleagues.  The end product is a three-dimensional spy film that doesn’t resort to action set pieces or large explosions to capture the attention of the audience.  Thus, despite being relatively unknown, Jack Strong is an unequivocal example of the perfect Cold War spy film.

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