The Perfect Spy

A list of my favorite espionage films.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A dramatization of the missions and adventures of the greatest spy in British history. (720 mins.)
 
2.
A Perfect Spy (1987 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
This is the story of Magnus Pym, from his childhood to the end of his career in middle age. As a young man... (374 mins.)
Director: Peter Smith
 
3.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6. (122 mins.)
Director: Tomas Alfredson
 
4.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced out of semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6's echelons. (290 mins.)
 
5.
Army of Shadows (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France. (145 mins.)
 
6.
The Lives of Others (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
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. (137 mins.)
 
7.
Army of Crime (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The poet Missak Manouchian leads a mixed bag of youngsters and immigrants in a clandestine battle against the Nazi occupation... (139 mins.)
 
8.
The Good Shepherd (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The tumultuous early history of the Central Intelligence Agency is viewed through the prism of one man's life. (167 mins.)
Director: Robert De Niro
 
9.
The Innocent (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
A young engineer is sent to post World War II Berlin to help the Americans, in spying on the Russians... (119 mins.)
 
10.
Bridge of Spies (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers. (142 mins.)
 
11.
The Company (2007 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Real-life figures from the Cold War era mix with a fictional story based on a group of CIA operatives and their counterparts in the KGB, MI6, and the Mossad. (286 mins.)
 
12.
Flame & Citron (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A drama centered on two fighters in the Holger Danske World War II resistance group. (130 mins.)
 
13.
Enigma (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A young genius frantically races against time to crack an enemy code and solve the mystery surrounding the woman he loves. (119 mins.)
Director: Michael Apted
 
14.
Glorious 39 (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
The adopted daughter of a privileged British politician uncovers a family secret in the weeks leading up to World War II. (129 mins.)
 
15.
The Tailor of Panama (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A tailor living in Panama reluctantly becomes a spy for a British agent. (109 mins.)
Director: John Boorman
 
16.
The Constant Gardener (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate corruption. (129 mins.)
 
17.
The Quiet American (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An older British reporter vies with a young U.S. doctor for the affections of a beautiful Vietnamese woman. (101 mins.)
Director: Phillip Noyce
 
18.
Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects. (102 mins.)
Director: Mike Nichols
 
19.
The Honourable Woman (2014 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Centers on Nessa Stein, a woman who inherits her father's arms business and finds herself in a international maelstrom when as she continues to promote the reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. (60 mins.)
 
20.
Smiley's People (1982 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Called out of retirement to settle the affairs of a friend, Smiley finds his old organization, the Circus... (360 mins.)
 
21.
The Sandbaggers (1978 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
The missions of an elite British Intelligence covert operations unit. (60 mins.)
 
22.
The Prisoner (1967 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
After resigning, a secret agent is abducted and taken to what looks like an idyllic village, but is really a bizarre prison. His warders demand information. He gives them nothing, but only tries to escape. (50 mins.)
 
23.
Journey Into Fear (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
An American ballistics expert in Turkey finds himself targeted by Nazi agents. Safe passage home by ship is arranged for him, but he soon discovers that his pursuers are also on board. (68 mins.)
Director: Norman Foster
 
24.
The Third Man (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime. (104 mins.)
Director: Carol Reed
 
25.
The Riddle of the Sands (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
In the early years of the 20th Century, two British yachtsmen (Michael York and Simon MacCorkindale)... (102 mins.)
Director: Tony Maylam
 
26.
The Night Manager (2016 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The night manager of a Cairo hotel is recruited to infiltrate an arms dealer's inner circle. (358 mins.)
 
27.
Eye of the Needle (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A ruthless German spy, trying to get out of Britain with vital information about D-Day, must spend time with a young woman and her crippled husband. (112 mins.)
 
28.
The Debt (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
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. (113 mins.)
Director: John Madden
 
29.
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
 
30.
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
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. (112 mins.)
Director: Martin Ritt
 
31.
The American (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
An assassin hides out in Italy for one last assignment. (105 mins.)
Director: Anton Corbijn
 
32.
No Way Out (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A coverup and witchhunt occur after a politician accidentally kills his mistress. (114 mins.)
Director: Roger Donaldson
 
33.
Spies of Warsaw (2013 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A military attaché at the French embassy is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of Warsaw. (120 mins.)
 
34.
The Russia House (1990)
    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. (123 mins.)
Director: Fred Schepisi
 
35.
Haywire (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A black ops super soldier seeks payback after she is betrayed and set up during a mission. (93 mins.)
 
36.
Ashenden (1991 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Four-part drama about a writer recruited into espionage work by British intelligence during the First World War... (220 mins.)
 
37.
The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Mystery writer Cornelius Leyden becomes intrigued when the murdered body of a vicious career criminal washes up in the Bosphorus. (95 mins.)
Director: Jean Negulesco
 
38.
London Spy (2015 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A chance romance between two men from very different worlds, one from the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service, the other from a world of clubbing and youthful excess, leads into mystery after one of them is found murdered. (60 mins.)