Best Spy Movies

by Pavan-3 | created - 04 Dec 2010 | updated - 17 Dec 2012 | Public

A biased look at the best spy/espionage movies ever made

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1. The Bourne Identity (2002)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Mystery, Thriller

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
68 Metascore

A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia, before racing to elude assassins and regain his memory.

Director: Doug Liman | Stars: Franka Potente, Matt Damon, Chris Cooper, Clive Owen

Votes: 448,458 | Gross: $121.66M

Identity combined the genre's realism and fantasy, redefining the espionage film. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

2. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

PG-13 | 108 min | Action, Mystery, Thriller

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
73 Metascore

When Jason Bourne is framed for a CIA operation gone awry, he is forced to resume his former life as a trained assassin to survive.

Director: Paul Greengrass | Stars: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Joan Allen, Brian Cox

Votes: 384,715 | Gross: $176.24M

Supremacy shattered the Hollywood mould, reminding us of what a spy thriller could be. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

3. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Mystery, Thriller

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
85 Metascore

Jason Bourne dodges a ruthless CIA official and his agents from a new assassination program while searching for the origins of his life as a trained killer.

Director: Paul Greengrass | Stars: Matt Damon, Edgar Ramírez, Joan Allen, Julia Stiles

Votes: 546,101 | Gross: $227.47M

Ultimatum built the action to its obvious crescendo, putting a good cap on the greatest spy series. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

4. Casino Royale (2006)

PG-13 | 144 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

8.0
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80 Metascore

Armed with a license to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007, and must defeat a private banker to terrorists in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, Montenegro, but things are not what they seem.

Director: Martin Campbell | Stars: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright

Votes: 510,416 | Gross: $167.45M

Campbell's Bond restart offered the series' greatest film, a near-perfect adaptation of the original novella. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

5. Quantum of Solace (2008)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
58 Metascore

James Bond descends into mystery as he tries to stop a mysterious organization from eliminating a country's most valuable resource.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench

Votes: 358,165 | Gross: $168.37M

Forster's direct sequel sadly made Bond into Bourne, but still beat all the other timely knock-offs. RENT IT!

6. Skyfall (2012)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

7.8
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81 Metascore

Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. When MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Judi Dench

Votes: 562,900 | Gross: $304.36M

Mendes' third brought it all back home, with a thrilling adventure that questioned Bond's modern relevance. RECOMMENDED!

7. Mission: Impossible (1996)

PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
59 Metascore

An American agent, under false suspicion of disloyalty, must discover and expose the real spy without the help of his organization.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart, Henry Czerny

Votes: 328,001 | Gross: $180.98M

DePalma's first reminded us of classic Euro-spies at a time when super-Bond was at his biggest - RECOMMENDED!

8. Mission: Impossible II (2000)

PG-13 | 123 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
59 Metascore

A secret agent is sent to Sydney, to find and destroy a genetically modified disease called "Chimera".

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames

Votes: 264,157 | Gross: $215.41M

Woo's second adopted the super-spy syndrome, beating the overblown Bond at his own game - RENT IT!

9. Mission: Impossible III (2006)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
66 Metascore

Agent Ethan Hunt comes into conflict with a dangerous and sadistic arms dealer who threatens his life and his fianceé in response .

Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Tom Cruise, Michelle Monaghan, Ving Rhames, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Votes: 279,342 | Gross: $134.03M

Abrams' third reined things in, combining the best of classic and modern for a pop-spy masterpiece - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

10. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
73 Metascore

The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization's name.

Director: Brad Bird | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton

Votes: 393,315 | Gross: $209.40M

Bird's fourth offered a true sequel, its globe-threatening plot heightening the adrenaline-filled action. RECOMMENDED!

11. Army of Shadows (1969)

Not Rated | 145 min | Drama, War

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
99 Metascore

An account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Simone Signoret

Votes: 16,416 | Gross: $0.74M

Very rarely seen, auteur Melville creates a accurate and very realistic depiction of espionage in WWII - clumsy assassinations, bleak environments and a world where no-one can be trusted. Unnerving and very worth the effort. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

12. Munich (2005)

R | 164 min | Drama, History, Thriller

7.6
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74 Metascore

Based on the true story of the Black September aftermath, about the five men chosen to eliminate the ones responsible for that fateful day.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Marie-Josée Croze, Ciarán Hinds

Votes: 188,707 | Gross: $47.40M

Spielberg weighs in with a thought-provoking film of realistic spies. A haunting tale of true events, this bleak revisionist thriller is a look at what is sometimes necessary and what we escapists might forget. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

13. Three Days of the Condor (1975)

R | 117 min | Mystery, Thriller

7.5
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A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, Max von Sydow

Votes: 39,061 | Gross: $41.51M

One of the best classic spy films - grim and gritty in its portrayal of a government cover-up, it played a heavy influence on the Bourne series. Redford and Dunaway are on top form, while von Sydow steals the show as the bureaucratic assassin. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

14. North by Northwest (1959)

Not Rated | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

8.4
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A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis

Votes: 245,201 | Gross: $13.28M

Both a send-up and a great inspiration to the genre, Grant and Hitchcock reteam is an action-studded affair. A well-paced script, great performances and a thrillingly predictable ending make you forget it's not really a spy flick. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

15. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

PG-13 | 126 min | Drama, Thriller

8.0
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94 Metascore

A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury

Votes: 64,757

The classic banned film - John Frankenheimer's assured direction and the cast's fantastic performances alone are worth the price. The plot makes it priceless - perfect for our bleak times. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

16. Ronin (1998)

R | 122 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
67 Metascore

A freelancing former U.S. Intelligence Agent tries to track down a mysterious package that is wanted by the Irish and the Russians.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 154,447 | Gross: $41.62M

Frankenheimer returns with a film of disavowed spies, set apart by its brilliant car chases and a David Mamet script that only falters in the third act. In true-to-life fashion, it's one of the few films to ignore characterizing its 'deep-cover' agents. RECOMMENDED!

17. Spartan (2004)

R | 106 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
60 Metascore

The investigation into a kidnapping of the daughter of a high-ranking US government official.

Director: David Mamet | Stars: Val Kilmer, Derek Luke, William H. Macy, Tia Texada

Votes: 27,525 | Gross: $4.43M

Mamet pens another brilliant spy flick, with Val Kilmer as a secret service agent caught up in a government conspiracy. Great "Ronin"-style dialogue and Kilmer at his best make this an underrated gem. RECOMMENDED!

18. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)

Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, Thriller

7.7
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British agent Alec Leamas refuses to come in from the Cold War during the 1960s, choosing to face another mission, which may prove to be his final one.

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Richard Burton, Oskar Werner, Claire Bloom, Sam Wanamaker

Votes: 12,054

The book that put Le Carre on the spy map, this faithful adaptation is a true masterpiece of realistic espionage fiction. Burton is brilliant as the washed-out spy, sent once more into the field for a cunning game of double-crosses. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

19. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

R | 122 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
85 Metascore

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6.

Director: Tomas Alfredson | Stars: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong

Votes: 163,310 | Gross: $24.15M

This dense adaptation of Le Carre's most popular book might cram too much into its all-too-short running time, but the sheer ambition of it and a brilliant lead performance from Gary Oldman make it worth the watch. RECOMMENDED!

20. True Lies (1994)

R | 141 min | Action, Comedy, Thriller

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
63 Metascore

A fearless, globe-trotting, terrorist-battling secret agent has his life turned upside down when he discovers his wife might be having an affair with a used car salesman while terrorists smuggle nuclear war heads into the United States.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton

Votes: 205,856 | Gross: $146.28M

SCHWARZENNEGER is... James Bond! Or close enough. RECOMMENDED!

21. Knight and Day (2010)

PG-13 | 109 min | Action, Comedy, Romance

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
46 Metascore

A young woman gets mixed up with a disgraced spy who is trying to clear his name.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Jordi Mollà

Votes: 159,787 | Gross: $76.42M

Cruise spoofs his own franchise, playing up his super spy role to great effect, in a film that never panders to the audience and always parodies with tongue firmly planted in cheek. RECOMMENDED!

22. Spy Game (2001)

R | 126 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

7.1
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63 Metascore

Retiring CIA agent Nathan Muir recalls his training of Tom Bishop while working against agency politics to free him from his Chinese captors.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Catherine McCormack, Stephen Dillane

Votes: 128,689 | Gross: $0.03M

Tony Scott's quickfire style adds an involving and original entry to the genre. Worldly locations paint a thrilling picture, while veteran Redford once again redefines his spy role. RECOMMENDED!

23. Body of Lies (2008)

R | 128 min | Action, Drama, Romance

7.1
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57 Metascore

A CIA agent on the ground in Jordan hunts down a powerful terrorist leader while being caught between the unclear intentions of his American supervisors and Jordan Intelligence.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani

Votes: 187,977 | Gross: $39.39M

Ridley Scott takes a cue from brother Tony in the first millennial spy flick. Quick-paced and cunning, its clever plot is augmented by two stunning performances and a script that authentically tackles current affairs. RECOMMENDED!

24. La Femme Nikita (1990)

R | 117 min | Action, Thriller

7.4
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56 Metascore

Convicted felon Nikita, instead of going to jail, is given a new identity and trained, stylishly, as a top secret spy/assassin.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Anne Parillaud, Marc Duret, Patrick Fontana, Alain Lathière

Votes: 59,360 | Gross: $5.02M

Besson's precursor to his Hollywood "Leon" is a tight-paced, bleak spy/assassin film that trades in sentimentality for pure adrenaline. Led to a remake and a long-running TV series. RECOMMENDED!

25. Taken (I) (2008)

PG-13 | 93 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

7.8
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50 Metascore

A retired CIA agent travels across Europe and relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been kidnapped while on a trip to Paris.

Director: Pierre Morel | Stars: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser

Votes: 515,101 | Gross: $145.00M

Besson returns to the world that made him famous, scripting and producing this highly derivative but deliciously entertaining thriller that's equal parts "Bourne" and "Death Wish". RECOMMENDED!

26. From Paris with Love (2010)

R | 92 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

6.5
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42 Metascore

In Paris, a young employee in the office of the US Ambassador hooks up with an American spy looking to stop a terrorist attack in the city.

Director: Pierre Morel | Stars: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak, Richard Durden

Votes: 103,087 | Gross: $23.98M

Besson's third spy flick is absurd, ridiculous and endlessly entertaining - Travolta hams it up to epic proportions as the veteran agent, a fat, bald, kung fu-fighting spy who always saves the day. RECOMMENDED!

27. Colombiana (2011)

PG-13 | 108 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
45 Metascore

A young woman, after witnessing her parents' murder as a child in Bogota, grows up to be a stone-cold assassin.

Director: Olivier Megaton | Stars: Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Callum Blue, Jordi Mollà

Votes: 82,186 | Gross: $36.67M

Besson's fourth spy flick once again sees the action producer treading well-worn ground. Not nearly as entertaining as his last few espionage efforts, it nonetheless has its moments. RENT IT!

28. Where Eagles Dare (1968)

PG | 158 min | Action, Adventure, War

7.7
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Allied agents stage a daring raid on a castle where the Nazis are holding an American General prisoner... but that's not all that's really going on.

Director: Brian G. Hutton | Stars: Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure, Patrick Wymark

Votes: 44,119

Not really a "classic spy film", but the idea of Burton's agents sent deep undercover as Nazis qualifies it for inclusion in the espionage genre. It's also one hell of a great adventure film, with Eastwood mowing down krauts by the dozen. RECOMMENDED!

29. Black Book (2006)

R | 145 min | Drama, Thriller, War

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
71 Metascore

In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch, Thom Hoffman, Halina Reijn

Votes: 64,814 | Gross: $4.40M

Verhoeven's bloody, brutal return back to the Netherlands follows a gorgeous Dutch spy sent deep undercover in this thrilling WWII espionage film. RECOMMENDED!

30. The Good Shepherd (2006)

R | 167 min | Drama, History, Thriller

6.7
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61 Metascore

The tumultuous early history of the Central Intelligence Agency is viewed through the prism of one man's life.

Director: Robert De Niro | Stars: Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin

Votes: 90,969 | Gross: $59.95M

Damon's antithesis to the Bourne series - the Godfather of spy movies, not in greatness but in intrigue, depth and realism. A stunning cast keeps the overly-long running time from being noticed. RECOMMENDED!

31. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

R | 113 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime

7.1
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67 Metascore

An adaptation of the cult memoir of game show impresario Chuck Barris, in which he purports to have been a CIA hitman.

Director: George Clooney | Stars: Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney, Julia Roberts

Votes: 75,524 | Gross: $16.00M

Barris' 'autobiography' balances spy thriller and black humor, with all the genre's trappings: Eastern Europe, femme fatales and Clooney's grimy direction. But a great script with decent performances makes it a nice homage. RECOMMENDED!

32. Syriana (2005)

R | 128 min | Drama, Thriller

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
76 Metascore

A politically charged epic about the state of the oil industry in the hands of those personally involved and affected by it.

Director: Stephen Gaghan | Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet, Kayvan Novak

Votes: 115,897 | Gross: $50.82M

Again, not purely a spy flick - but the subplot following Clooney's aging government agent sent to kill an oil baron's son is as close to a modern-day agent as one can get. The rest of the film isn't too bad either. RECOMMENDED!

33. The American (2010)

R | 105 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
61 Metascore

An assassin hides out in Italy for one last assignment.

Director: Anton Corbijn | Stars: George Clooney, Paolo Bonacelli, Violante Placido, Irina Björklund

Votes: 83,801 | Gross: $35.61M

Clooney perfects the ageing spy, sent to hide out in a small Italian town before accepting one last job. An homage to classic '70s spy films, it's as beautifully acted and directed as the backdrop scenery. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

34. The Rock (1996)

R | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
58 Metascore

A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.

Director: Michael Bay | Stars: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer

Votes: 277,505 | Gross: $134.07M

Connery as an incarcerated British spy released to save the world - sound familiar? Surprisingly clever for a popcorn flick, Michael Bay's addition to the spy genre comes in this assault of action and espionage. RECOMMENDED!

35. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

6.5
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55 Metascore

A bored married couple is surprised to learn that they are both assassins hired by competing agencies to kill each other.

Director: Doug Liman | Stars: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Adam Brody, Vince Vaughn

Votes: 386,447 | Gross: $186.34M

Liman's follow-up to Bourne sees another spy thriller, exchanging suspense for explosions and domestic hijinks. Entertaining on first viewing, it falters upon repeat, mainly due to a problematic production history. RECOMMENDED!

36. Salt (2010)

PG-13 | 100 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
65 Metascore

A CIA agent goes on the run after a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy.

Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Olbrychski

Votes: 263,105 | Gross: $118.31M

Angelina Jolie tries her hand at building a spy franchise, and sadly fails, in this over-the-top, absolutely ridiculous espionage adventure that crams in every possible cliche into its running time. RENT IT!

37. The Assignment (1997)

R | 115 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

6.9
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An American naval officer is recruited for an operation to eliminate his lookalike, the infamous terrorist Carlos The Jackal.

Director: Christian Duguay | Stars: Aidan Quinn, Donald Sutherland, Ben Kingsley, Claudia Ferri

Votes: 7,913 | Gross: $0.54M

An involving and fancifully-directed film about Carlos the Jackal, mixing both fact and fiction. Quinn piles on the cheese in the dual roles, but the veteran chops of Kingsley and Sutherland barely save it from disaster. RENT IT

38. The Day of the Jackal (1973)

PG | 143 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.8
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80 Metascore

A professional assassin codenamed "Jackal" plots to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Edward Fox, Terence Alexander, Michel Auclair, Alan Badel

Votes: 31,976 | Gross: $16.06M

The classic cat-and-mouse spy film, with the cunning Edward Fox playing a professional assassin named the Jackal, carefully planning his plot to kill the French president. RECOMMENDED!

39. The Incredibles (2004)

PG | 115 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

8.0
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90 Metascore

A family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, are forced into action to save the world.

Director: Brad Bird | Stars: Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Jason Lee

Votes: 531,245 | Gross: $261.44M

More superhero than spy, Brad Bird's first foray into the espionage world still pays loving tribute to classic '60s Connery/Bond films, blending their best elements with a rousing score and a brilliant script to create the best animated spy film so far. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

40. Inception (2010)

PG-13 | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

8.8
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74 Metascore

A thief, who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe

Votes: 1,664,402 | Gross: $292.58M

More sci-fi than spy, Inception's influences are heavy on the espionage - and one could argue that that there's no greater form of spying than sending people into your dreams. RECOMMENDED!

41. Haywire (2011)

R | 93 min | Action, Thriller

5.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
67 Metascore

A black ops super soldier seeks payback after she is betrayed and set up during a mission.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Angarano

Votes: 76,070 | Gross: $18.94M

Soderbergh finally joins the spy ranks, with this brutally efficient female spy film that sees professional fighter Gina Carano headlining her first film. The story might be tired (spy is betrayed and wants revenge), but a great cast makes it all worthwhile. RECOMMENDED!

42. Hanna (2011)

PG-13 | 111 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
65 Metascore

A sixteen-year-old girl who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Vicky Krieps

Votes: 168,679 | Gross: $40.26M

A fairy tale-like spy film about a girl trained in the espionage arts from a young age, Hanna added a new twist to an old genre. It might not succeed in every step, but the addition of Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett offer true talent. RECOMMENDED!

43. The Bourne Legacy (2012)

PG-13 | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
61 Metascore

An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum's novels, centered on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films.

Director: Tony Gilroy | Stars: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Scott Glenn

Votes: 253,582 | Gross: $113.20M

A weak attempt to cash-in on the Bourne name, Legacy cast the decent Renner as a new spy in this mildly entertaining adventure - unfortunately, a poor script highlighted by the impetus to just find some medicine makes it unappealing. RENT IT!

44. Safe House (2012)

R | 115 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

6.8
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52 Metascore

A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge.

Director: Daniel Espinosa | Stars: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Patrick, Vera Farmiga

Votes: 179,920 | Gross: $126.37M

A Bourne rip-off, even down to the poster, Safe House might not have an original bone in its entire running time, but it nevertheless steals very well. Denzel is ageing but still amazing, and Ryan Reynolds continues to build credibility. RECOMMENDED!

45. Traitor (2008)

PG-13 | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
60 Metascore

When straight arrow FBI agent Roy Clayton heads up the investigation into a dangerous international conspiracy, all clues seem to lead back to former U.S. Special Operations officer, Samir Horn.

Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff | Stars: Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Archie Panjabi, Saïd Taghmaoui

Votes: 51,328 | Gross: $23.53M

A cat-and-mouse spy flick heavy on the religious issues, Traitor keeps its pace and priority in predictable spy flick fashion, never daring to take any risks. Nevertheless, still entertaining for its look at current affairs. RENT IT!

46. The Debt (I) (2010)

R | 113 min | Drama, Thriller

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
65 Metascore

In 1965, three Mossad agents cross into East Berlin to apprehend a notorious Nazi war criminal. Thirty years later, the secrets the agents share come back to haunt them.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Tom Wilkinson, Ciarán Hinds

Votes: 58,651 | Gross: $31.18M

Mossad agents are sent to murder a Nazi doctor, in this film that jumps back and forth between the past and the present - it might not break new ground, but The Debt's cast and its few scenes of classic espionage make it worth a watch. RECOMMENDED!

47. The Ipcress File (1965)

Approved | 109 min | Thriller

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In London, a counter espionage agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd

Votes: 11,390

Caine challenges Connery as the working-class Bond, flipping the 007 formula. Unfortunately, some aspects of it's tale of a downtrodden agent haven't aged well, with 60s psychedelia sticking out amongst its realistic feel. But still, essential viewing for spy genre context. Sequels: "Funeral in Berlin" and "Billion Dollar Brain". RECOMMENDED!

48. The Tailor of Panama (2001)

R | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Thriller

6.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
66 Metascore

A tailor living in Panama reluctantly becomes a spy for a British Agent.

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis, Leonor Varela

Votes: 25,259 | Gross: $13.73M

A strange adaptation of LeCarre. Brosnan plays on his Bond stereotype as a slimy secret agent in this low-key and slow-paced thriller. More espionage than action, and worth a look for that, if nothing else. RENT IT

49. The Matador (2005)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
65 Metascore

A globetrotting hitman and a crestfallen businessman meet in a hotel bar in Mexico City in an encounter that draws them together in a way neither expected.

Director: Richard Shepard | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Hope Davis, Arlin Miller

Votes: 41,728 | Gross: $12.59M

Brosnan again playing a spy, this time to much more audience-friendly effect. An ageing assassin befriends a bereaved businessman - much better than it sounds. RECOMMENDED!

50. The 39 Steps (1935)

Not Rated | 86 min | Mystery, Thriller

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle

Votes: 43,580

Hitchcock's dated but brilliant spy thriller - snail-paced but immediate in its tension, it paved the way for all spy thrillers since. A classic and should be viewed as such. RECOMMENDED!

51. Notorious (1946)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern

Votes: 79,907 | Gross: $10.46M

Although dated, Hitchcock's film has brilliant characterization, a nail-biting plot (Woo's MI2 stole its story from this film) and Grant at his sleazy best. RECOMMENDED!

52. OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (2006)

Not Rated | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
62 Metascore

Secret agent OSS 117 foils Nazis, beds local beauties, and brings peace to the Middle East.

Director: Michel Hazanavicius | Stars: Jean Dujardin, François Damiens, Khalid Maadour, Youssef Hamid

Votes: 15,194 | Gross: $0.30M

A ingenious parody of classic Bond movies, OSS 117 takes an extremely French approach to its misogynistic, idiotic secret agent. Much more clever and original than its English-speaking counterparts, this parody nails its humourous tone perfectly. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

53. Top Secret! (1984)

PG | 90 min | Comedy

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
68 Metascore

Parody of WWII spy movies in which an American rock and roll singer becomes involved in a Resistance plot to rescue a scientist imprisoned in East Germany.

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker | Stars: Val Kilmer, Lucy Gutteridge, Peter Cushing, Jeremy Kemp

Votes: 50,590 | Gross: $20.50M

A parody throwback to the pre-Bond spy films of the '50s, the team behind 'Naked Gun' create a hilarious romp through World War II, with an in-the-know cast led by the underrated Val Kilmer. RECOMMENDED!

54. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

PG-13 | 89 min | Adventure, Comedy

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
51 Metascore

A 1960s hipster secret agent is brought out of cryofreeze to oppose his greatest enemy in the 1990s, where his social attitudes are glaringly out of place.

Director: Jay Roach | Stars: Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York, Mimi Rogers

Votes: 195,778 | Gross: $53.88M

The most popular spy spoofs - Myer's loving tribute to his favorite 60s spy flicks has everything a fan of the genre needs. The first is a classic, second is gross-out funny while Caine & Cruise barely save the third. RECOMMENDED!

55. Burn After Reading (2008)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
63 Metascore

A disk containing mysterious information from a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous and daft gym employees who attempt to sell it.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney, John Malkovich

Votes: 268,406 | Gross: $60.36M

The Coens parody the action-heavy spy genre, calling in endless favours for its star-heavy cast and then giving them a script where they all play idiots. Brilliant and hilarious. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

56. The Deadly Affair (1967)

Not Rated | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A British agent sets out to uncover the hidden facts behind a British government employee's suicide.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: James Mason, Maximilian Schell, Simone Signoret, Harriet Andersson

Votes: 2,251

Sidney Lumet directs James Mason in this adaptation of Le Carre's first novel - haven't seen it.

57. The Looking Glass War (1970)

M | 108 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

6.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

From the John le Carré novel about a British spy, who sends a Polish defector to East Germany, to verify missile sites.

Director: Frank Pierson | Stars: Christopher Jones, Pia Degermark, Ralph Richardson, Paul Rogers

Votes: 779

Another Le Carre novel-turned-film - haven't seen it.

58. The Counterfeit Traitor (1962)

Not Rated | 140 min | Drama, Thriller, War

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Blacklisted in modern day WW2, a Swedish oil trader opts to assist British Allies, by means of infiltrating and surveying Nazi Germany.

Director: George Seaton | Stars: William Holden, Lilli Palmer, Hugh Griffith, Carl Raddatz

Votes: 1,955

Holden as a WW2 spy - haven't seen it.

59. The Quiller Memorandum (1966)

Approved | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the West Berlin of the 1960s, two British agents are killed by a Nazi group, prompting British Intelligence to dispatch agent Quiller to investigate.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: George Segal, Alec Guinness, Max von Sydow, Senta Berger

Votes: 2,709

George Segal as a coldwar spy against neo-Nazi's - haven't seen it.

60. The Kremlin Letter (1970)

M | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

During the Cold War a Naval Intelligence officer endowed with a powerful photographic memory is transferred to the CIA to participate in a covert operation in Moscow.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Bibi Andersson, Richard Boone, Nigel Green, Dean Jagger

Votes: 1,482

Another realist cold war spy film - haven't seen it.

61. The Serpent (1973)

PG | 113 min | Thriller

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A soviet diplomat hatches a complicated plan to enable him to defect to the West.

Director: Henri Verneuil | Stars: Yul Brynner, Henry Fonda, Dirk Bogarde, Philippe Noiret

Votes: 758

Yet another realist coldwar spy flick - haven't seen it.

62. The Black Windmill (1974)

PG | 106 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A British Agent's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Michael Caine, Donald Pleasence, Delphine Seyrig, Clive Revill

Votes: 2,017

Caine as his classic secret agent in this 70s thriller - haven't seen it.

63. The Fourth Protocol (1987)

R | 119 min | Thriller

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

John Preston is a British Agent with the task of preventing the Russians detonating a nuclear explosion next to an American base in the UK. The Russians are hoping this will shatter the "special relationship" between the two countries.

Director: John Mackenzie | Stars: Michael Caine, Pierce Brosnan, Ned Beatty, Joanna Cassidy

Votes: 7,659 | Gross: $12.42M

Caine and Brosnan in this cold war spy flick - haven't seen it.

64. The Killer Elite (1975)

PG | 122 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

6.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Mike Locke, who works for a private security firm affiliated with the C.I.A., is betrayed by his partner and left apparently crippled for life.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: James Caan, Robert Duvall, Arthur Hill, Bo Hopkins

Votes: 4,559

Peckinpah directs Duvall and Caan in this freelance spy flick - haven't seen it.

65. The Eiger Sanction (1975)

R | 129 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
61 Metascore

A classical art professor and collector, who doubles as a professional assassin, is coerced out of retirement to avenge the murder of an old friend.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, George Kennedy, Vonetta McGee, Jack Cassidy

Votes: 14,416

Eastwood as an American Bond - haven't seen it

66. The Lives of Others (2006)

R | 137 min | Drama, Thriller

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
89 Metascore

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck | Stars: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 292,006 | Gross: $11.29M

A supposedly brilliantly depressing look at Berlin Wall-era Germany - haven't seen it.

67. The Russia House (1990)

R | 123 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

6.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An expatriate British publisher unexpectedly finds himself working for British intelligence to investigate people in Russia.

Director: Fred Schepisi | Stars: Sean Connery, Michelle Pfeiffer, Roy Scheider, James Fox

Votes: 12,476 | Gross: $23.00M

Connery stars in this Le Carre adaptation - haven't seen it.

68. The Quiet American (2002)

R | 101 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
84 Metascore

An older British reporter vies with a young U.S. doctor for the affections of a beautiful Vietnamese woman.

Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, Do Thi Hai Yen, Rade Serbedzija

Votes: 24,998 | Gross: $12.99M

Caine yet again, in this Graham Greene adaptation - haven't seen it.