20 Best CIA/FBI Movies!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section! Movies I should watch/add or maybe some criticism on the movies I chose for the list. Thanks!

(These movies are in no particular order)

Check out some of my reviews/lists at arnoldbriseno.wordpress.com
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1.
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L.s Team 6 in May 2011. (157 mins.)
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
“ An incredibly well-crafted film that should be considered a masterpiece of the CIA genre. The driving force of the film is Jessica Chastain; she's absolutely superb in the role of Maya. Bigelow's direction also shines and elevates this film - especially when the boots hit the ground. The tone of the film shifts, yet she is able to keep the movie from veering off track. She is able to direct 25 minutes of the most tense and thrilling action sequences I have ever watched.

One of the biggest issues that I feel I have to address, is the way that IMDb users attack this film for being "boring, inaccurate," and so on... The thing is, Boal's screenplay, like Fair Game (which I've included in this list) is very matter-of-fact, but the difference between the two films is the writing. Fair Game could have been much more, but it doesn't go far enough. The complaint for ZDT is that it's "boring" and I think that's unfair.

What people were expecting was quick-cut editing, a loud score, and something like the CIA scenes in the Bourne movies. You don't get that here - what you get is people working at desks analyzing data for a period of 10 years. They're not hunting Jason Bourne and have access to every possible camera on earth. These CIA analysts comb over data and analyze it, and the movie condenses 10 years into a little over 2 hours.

I just think this film is unfairly criticized, and is not taken at face value. If you can set aside politics, and stop pulling the propaganda card, you will find a solid film with great acting, direction, and an excellent screenplay.

4/4 ” - steven_101
 
2.
Clear and Present Danger (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
CIA Analyst Jack Ryan is drawn into an illegal war fought by the US government against a Colombian drug cartel. (141 mins.)
Director: Phillip Noyce
“ The BEST Jack Ryan movie! The SUV is one of my favorite action scenes of all-time; it's very memorable.

3/4 ” - steven_101
 
3.
Argo (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980. (120 mins.)
Director: Ben Affleck
“ Great character development, tight script, great direction. It's tense, thrilling, and has funny moments. Definitely one of the best films of 2012 and Affleck's best film.

3.5/4 ” - steven_101
 
4.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A young F.B.I. cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims. (118 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
“ You cannot have one of these lists without including this film. The scenes between Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins are electric.

4/4 ” - steven_101
 
5.
Donnie Brasco (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An FBI undercover agent infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life, at the expense of his regular one. (127 mins.)
Director: Mike Newell
“ This is one of Depp's underrated performances, and I feel like not many people have watched this film. The transformation that his character goes through is interesting to watch.

4/4 ” - steven_101
 
6.
Spy Game (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Retiring CIA agent Nathan Muir recalls his training of Tom Bishop while working against agency politics to free him from his Chinese captors. (126 mins.)
Director: Tony Scott
“ 3/4 ” - steven_101
 
7.
Fair Game (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
CIA operative Valerie Plame discovers her identity is allegedly leaked by the government as payback for an op-ed article her husband wrote criticizing the Bush administration. (108 mins.)
Director: Doug Liman
“ It's very matter-of-fact, and that's what hurts this movie. It is devoid of emotion, and I feel that it doesn't go far enough with the material. This had the potential to be a great film.

3/4 ” - steven_101
 
8.
Body of Lies (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
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. (128 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ This is definitely one of the most ridiculous movies on the list. Leonardo DiCaprio is basically another Bourne - he goes through a lot *beep* but never dies. I recommend this film based on the action scenes and the whole CIA angle of it.

3/4 ” - steven_101
 
9.
The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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. (108 mins.)
Director: Paul Greengrass
“ Out of the three films, I feel that Supremacy is the most focused and tight of the three. You feel like there's much more at stake.

3.5/4 ” - steven_101
 
10.
Syriana (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A politically charged epic about the state of the oil industry in the hands of those personally involved and affected by it. (128 mins.)
Director: Stephen Gaghan
“ 3/4 ” - steven_101
 
11.
The Recruit (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A brilliant young CIA trainee is asked by his mentor to help find a mole in the Agency. (115 mins.)
Director: Roger Donaldson
“ The final act is a bit on the stupid side, but the rest of the film is enjoyable.

2.5/4 ” - steven_101
 
12.
Breach (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
FBI upstart Eric O'Neill enters into a power game with his boss, Robert Hanssen, an agent who was put on trial for selling secrets to the Soviet Union. (110 mins.)
Director: Billy Ray
“ Not action-packed, but it's a different kind of spy movie. Chris Cooper's performance is excellent.

3/4 ” - steven_101
 
13.
Red Dragon (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A retired FBI agent with psychological gifts is assigned to help track down "The Tooth Fairy", a mysterious serial killer; aiding him is imprisoned forensic psychiatrist Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter. (124 mins.)
Director: Brett Ratner
“ Ratner knows how to handle the material here, and he gives us these very sinister moments with Fiennes' character. I think this film is far superior to Hannibal, and that's why I excluded it from this list.

3.5/4 ” - steven_101
 
14.
Traitor (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
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. (114 mins.)
“ A bit ridiculous, yet thrilling and fast-paced. Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce are both very talented actors.

And yes - there are plot holes.

3/4 ” - steven_101
 
15.
Untraceable (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
FBI agent Jennifer Marsh is tasked with hunting down a seemingly untraceable serial killer who posts live videos of his victims on the Internet. As time runs out, the cat and mouse chase becomes more personal. (101 mins.)
Director: Gregory Hoblit
“ A surprisingly good movie! I was expecting one of those crappy thrillers with a bad screenplay, but I was actually entertained by the story. Diane Lane is great!

3/4 ” - steven_101
 
16.
Salt (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A CIA agent goes on the run after a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. (100 mins.)
Director: Phillip Noyce
“ Absolutely ridiculous and over-the-top, but... It's action-packed and entertaining. There's no denying that Angelina Jolie makes a great secret agent. And it's directed by Noyce, who knows how to craft a good action movie.

3/4 ” - steven_101
 
17.
Three Days of the Condor (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust. (117 mins.)
Director: Sydney Pollack
 
18.
The Bourne Identity (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia, before racing to elude assassins and regain his memory. (119 mins.)
Director: Doug Liman
“ No list is complete without the Bourne trilogy. Doug Liman helms this first installment of the trilogy, and it's clear that his direction is tonally different than Greengrass, and that's quite alright.

3/4 ” - steven_101
 
19.
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
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. (115 mins.)
Director: Paul Greengrass
“ The trilogy comes to an action-packed close. Aided by incredible action sequences and great performances, this is definitely a great action movie.

3.5/4 ” - steven_101
 
20.
J. Edgar (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life. (137 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ I didn't particularly love this film, but it's an interesting watch.

3/4 ” - steven_101