Spy Game

Released 2001


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Movie Summary

Keely Christian
Robert Redford and Brad Pitt star in "Spy Game," a thriller about a frantic attempt by a veteran CIA officer to keep his former prot'g' from being executed. In "Spy Game," Nathan Muir (Redford) is a veteran CIA officer at Agency Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, who is about to retire. On his last day at work, Muir learns that his former prot'g' Tom Bishop (Pitt) is being held in custody in China, where he is scheduled to be executed in 24 hours. It soon becomes clear to Muir that the Agency brass would rather let Bishop die than risk having anything get in the way of a trade agreement between the United States and China. As Muir gradually discovers what's going on and wrestles with the problem of what to do about Bishop's predicament, the film intersperses long flashbacks that sketch the relationship between the two men over a period of years. The veteran and his former prot'g' are shown working together in Vietnam, Berlin, and finally Beirut, where Bishop had a romantic relationship with a British woman named Elizabeth Hadley (Catherine McCormack). It emerges that Bishop's current difficulties arose when he tried to spring Hadley from a Chinese prison and that her incarceration there was due to actions taken by Muir. With time running out, Muir must use everything he's learned over his long career as he tries to arrange a rescue for Bishop and Hadley.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Serves up a judicious blend of showy action, political intrigue, ticking-clock suspense and intramural CIA one-upsmanship for mainstream entertainment.

  • 60

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    What Spy Game turns out to be is the old reliable family car spruced up around the edges in an attempt to convince a new generation of buyers that it's a hot number.

  • 50

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    The problem lies in the calculating pretentiousness of using human misery to make shallow entertainment seem serious. It's worth comparing Spy Game with "The Tailor of Panama," Joh...

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