'The Debt' tackles themes of humanity, revenge and truth so successfully it's hard not to find it powerful - even if it's not the Oscar bait it might have hoped to be.
Anna Smith, Time Out, 2011-09-27
After a gripping first half, turns into one howler after another. And yet it's still gripping.
David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture, 2011-09-06
Vogel's introduction, 'This is my hand, and this is the speculum,' may at last have displaced the 'Is it safe?' of Christian Szell--another Mengele stand-in--as the most discomfiting sentence ever uttered by doctor to patient onscreen.
Christopher Orr, The Atlantic, 2011-09-02
Worthington shows a greater range and vulnerability here than he did in either Avatar or Clash of the Titans, where he mostly just flexed his pecs. He may be a genuine movie star yet.
Leah Rozen, TheWrap, 2011-09-02
The Debt has the overall air of an Oscar contender that never got into the ring -- well-made, but not spectacular. Still, it serves as a fine, full introduction to Chastain's potential.
Tom Long, Detroit News, 2011-09-01
The Debt roots itself in reality more plausibly than most contemporary spy films without sacrificing the genre's tense thrills.
John DeFore, Washington Post, 2011-09-01
The thrills work out better than the smarts.
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor, 2011-09-01
Helen Mirren pulls off the impressive trick of dominating the movie even while she's absent for huge chunks of its running time.
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times, 2011-09-01
Madden's version maintains all the literal and figurative scars left on these characters, but everything here is made at least one degree more obvious, even as the screenplay tries mightily to hide its secrets.
William Goss, Film.com, 2011-08-31
A Nazi-hunting thriller deepens into a meditation on conscience in The Debt, a movie that holds you in its grip.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, 2011-08-31
The Debt poses an arresting question: In a place that's as haunted by history as Israel is, can a lie ever really serve to prop up a larger truth?
Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, 2011-08-31
It's a wakeup face slap for a medium that has spent too many warm-weather nights dreaming of superheroes and frat boys.
Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine, 2011-08-31
There is an awkward, irresoluble tension between the movie's urge to thrill and the weighty pull of the historical obligations that it seeks to assume. How much, to be blunt, should we be enjoying ourselves?
Anthony Lane, New Yorker, 2011-09-06
Rather than focus on the evil of the Nazi villain, it wallows in the collective regret of three Israeli Mossad agents who in 1966 let the bad guy slip away when they had him in their clutches.
Michael Granberry, Dallas Morning News, 2011-09-01
There are movies you want to like that just won't let you.
John Anderson, Wall Street Journal, 2011-09-01
The direction and performances remain as solid as ever, but they're both growing obscured by the top-heavy plot.
Rick Groen, Globe and Mail, 2011-09-01
The movie drowns the deeper questions it raises in a sadistic procedural, an endless circular motion of fight scenes whose only justification is themselves.
Ella Taylor, NPR, 2011-09-01
A strong cast fails to rescue this ponderous Oscar bait.
J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, 2011-09-01
Awkwardly marrying "Munich"-style moral conundrums with cheesy Robert Ludlum stylings, the slow-paced thriller "The Debt" never pays off.
Kyle Smith, New York Post, 2011-09-01
The cast does what it can in the service of this assignment. But some jobs simply resist satisfying completion.
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 2011-08-31