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The Good Shepherd (2006)

R  |   |  Drama, History, Thriller  |  22 December 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 84,490 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 479 user | 197 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

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



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


Laconic and self-contained, Edward Wilson heads CIA covert operations during the Bay of Pigs. The agency suspects that Castro was tipped, so Wilson looks for the leak. As he investigates, he recalls, in a series of flashbacks, his father's death, student days at Yale (poetry; Skull and Bones), recruitment into the fledgling OSS, truncated affairs, a shotgun marriage, cutting his teeth on spy craft in London, distance from his son, the emergence of the Cold War, and relationships with agency, British, and Soviet counterparts. We watch his idealism give way to something else: disclosing the nature of that something else is at the heart of the film's narration as he closes in on the leak. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


All our dirty secrets start here. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





| | | |

Release Date:

22 December 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El buen pastor  »

Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$14,142,760 (USA) (22 December 2006)


£1,709,530 (UK) (9 March 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Robert De Niro had been working on this film for ten years as his "pet project." See more »


During Edward's stay in London during WW2 he is listening to a radio broadcast from a brown and cream colored Bakelite radio. The model, a Bush DAC10, wasn't introduced into the UK until 1950. See more »


Philip Allen: You are going to have to learn, and as quickly and thoroughly as possible, the English system of intelligence, the black arts, particularly counterintelligence - the uses of information, disinformation, and how their use is ultimately... power. They have agreed to open up their operations to us - they can't win the war without us - but they don't really want us here... Intelligence is their mother's milk, and they don't like sharing the royal tit with people that don't have titles.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits feature the dedication "In memory of Gretchen Rau". See more »


Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: All About Politics (2011) See more »


Ofrenda de Amor
Performed by St. Louis African Chorus
Recorded at Sheldon Concert Hall, St. Louis, MO
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

2 January 2007 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews


The good shepherd is an excellent film. The reason this film was dubbed the "Godfather of spy movies" is because ala the "Godfather" De Niro uses real life situations involving the CIA and blends them together creating a story around the lead character played by Matt Damon. In addition,several great performances in character parts complement Damon's performance, notably Michael Gambon and John Turturro were both superb. You shouldn't view this film expecting to be blown out of your seats, it is deep, and requires strict attention to detail. My wife and I viewed this film in a packed movie house and we were very certain that half the people in the audience didn't understand or appreciate what they had just seen. I am not saying you need to be of great intellect to enjoy this film, but one of the things De Niro manages to do is bring back a thinking man's drama that is often not seen in today's attention deficit, shoot them up, bang – bang movies. This film makes it obvious that Directors Bertolucci and Leone have left a huge impression on De Niro and the result is a movie that both would be proud of.

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