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Spy Game (2001)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 103,916 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 349 user | 136 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

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

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Gladys Jennip
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Dr. William Byars
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Robert Aiken
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Vincent Vy Ngo
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CIA Director Cy Wilson
Andrew Grainger ...
Andrew Unger
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Fred Kappler
...
Henry Pollard
...
CIA Administrator
Tom Hodgkins ...
CIA Lobby Guard
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Storyline

CIA operative Nathan Muir (Redford) is on the brink of retirement when he finds out that his protege Tom Bishop (Pitt) has been arrested in China for espionage. No stranger to the machinations of the CIA's top echelon, Muir hones all his skills and irreverent manner in order to find a way to free Bishop. As he embarks on his mission to free Bishop, Muir recalls how he recruited and trained the young rookie, at that time a sergeant in Vietnam, their turbulent times together as operatives and the woman who threatened their friendship. Written by ck

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the end, only friendship matters! See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| | |

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

21 November 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Juego de espías  »

Box Office

Budget:

$92,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$170,187 (Brazil) (2 August 2002)

Gross:

$982,874 (Brazil) (9 August 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The building identified as the US Embassy in Hong Kong is actually the headquarters of HSBC - the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. See more »

Goofs

When posing as a photojournalist, Tom Bishop carried two cameras: a Nikon and a Leica. While in photographing the doctor and an injured child in Lebanon, Tom's camera switches back and forth between his Leica and his Nikon, depending on the camera angle. From the front he is shown shooting with his Lecia (with external range finder), then in the same moment he is shown shooting with his Nikon (the silver body and empty hot shoe are visible), then again with his Leica. See more »

Quotes

Gladys Jennip: I've got Commander Wiley.
Nathan Muir: Ok, connect us.
Commander Wiley - Rescue Sequence: Commander Wiley Sir. Package received, what's the verdict?
Nathan Muir: We're on for tonight.
Commander Wiley - Rescue Sequence: Roger sir, understand. Operation Dinner Out is a GO. Confirm.
Nathan Muir: Correct, Dinner out is a go.
Dr. William Byars: Dinner Out is a go? Hell of a way to speak to your wife.
Vincent Vy Ngo: Why do you think they keep dumping him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, many of the credits are each preceded by a jumble of letters flickering on the screen. This may be a reference to the opening credit sequence of one of Robert Redford's earlier spy movies, Sneakers (1992). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lizzie McGuire: And the Winner Is (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Ti Zitas
("Nour El Chams")
Written by Nikos Terzis, Tassos Vougiatzis
Additional lyrics for "Nour El Chams" by Adel Raffoul
Performed by Pascale Machaalani
Courtesy of Music Master International
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Better the n-th time around.
4 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I made the mistake of only watching this film once the first time around. I did end up buying it, though I was never sure why. Then, years later, I got around to watching it again... and again... and again... While Spy Game is so fast-paced that it's difficult to keep up the first time around, I think that's what makes it such a great DVD.

There are performances in this movie that defy description. You almost get a sense that if you were to meet him in the street, you'd get someone named Nathan Muir playing the part of Robert Redford - the transformation is that complete. In several scenes, but especially the scene on the Berlin rooftop, Redford gives a performance that is unlike almost anything I've ever seen in cinema. It's that perfect. Brad Pitt also does an amazing job, but Redford steals the whole movie.

I had to re-watch Spy Game three times before I felt I got a complete understanding of everything going on. There is almost nothing given away for free in this movie - none of the standard Hollywood "shove-it-in-your-face-so-you're-sure-to-get-it" fare. Every decision, most plot points, and a lot of what would normally be called "meaningful looks" are written on Muir's face for a split second, then they're gone.

This is one of the few movies that's intellectually challenging to watch. It takes patience and a quick assessment of each scene to understand and keep up. None of the acting is over the top or explicit; most everything is controlled, subtle, and delicately handled.

All in all, Spy Game is an exceptional movie, IMO, to watch and in some ways to study.


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