The Good Shepherd

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Released 2006

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Movie Summary

Director:
Robert De Niro
Released:
2006
Rating:
R

The Good Shepard is a 2006 thriller about the birth of counter-intelligence in the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). The film follows the story of senior CIA agent Edward Wilson (Matt Damon) from his recruitment while attending Yale University to his leadership of covert operations during the Bay of Pigs. The CIA believes President Castro was tipped to the invasion and so the CIA believes he was tipped by a leak in the department. Through a series of Flashbacks, Wilson tries to uncover the leak, but instead begins to suspect he is part of a greater conspiracy from within the agency. Influenced by the paranoia around the office stemmed by the current Cold War, Wilson unravels and begins to trust no one. He works his way to the top becoming an influential veteran operative but along the way manages to alienate friends and lose grasp of his family and ideals. Wilson character is loosely based on actual CIA agents James Angleton and Richard M. Bissell. The film has an all-star supporting cast that includes Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, Tammy Blanchard, Robert De Niro, William Hurt, Joe Pesci, and John Turturro.

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Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    It's taken a dozen years for Eric Roth's smart, thoughtful, psychologically complicated script to reach the screen under Robert De Niro's careful and methodical direction, and it i...

  • 60

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    The most interesting thing about The Good Shepherd is how hard the filmmakers work not only to demystify the agency, but also to strip it of its allure, its heat.

  • 50

    Variety

    Robert De Niro's second film as a director adopts a methodical approach and deliberate pace in attempting to grasp an almost forbiddingly intricate subject, with a result that is n...

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Themes

Historical, Thrillers