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The Good Shepherd (2006)

R  |   |  Drama, History, Thriller  |  22 December 2006 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 83,690 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 4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Who is the good shepherd? The one who looks after his family or the one who looks after his country? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

22 December 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El buen pastor  »

Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

£1,709,530 (UK) (9 March 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Swiss born actor Philippe Vonlanthen was requested by director Robert De Niro to be seen for the role of the "Cambridge Club Butler" after their initial meeting in Brooklyn NY. The part ultimately went to an older actor Robert Ian Mackenzie. See more »

Goofs

When Edward first meets General Sullivan, the General's cane moves around between shots. See more »

Quotes

Arch Cummings: How did the Irish poet say it, hmm? "E'er friend for today, is tomorrow's heartbreak."
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Anche-Lej-Amaleh
(Trad.)
Courtesy of Rounder Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Know In Advance This Is Not An Action Film, And Then Sit Back & Enjoy It
15 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I had a huge advantage before watching this on DVD. I was told by a good friend that it was extremely slow, and be prepared to be bored out of "my mind." Well, I wasn't bored, maybe because I now expected a slower, non-action-packed CIA-type film....and I wasn't disappointed. Actually, I liked it, mainly because of the cinematography. This is stunning in its photography. Kudos to Director Robert De Niro and Director of Photography Robert Richardson for their work in here.

I also appreciated the low profanity in here. After watching "The Departed," this far-cleaner film was a treat for the ears, too. Yes, there are a handful of 'f-words," but not much else including no blasphemy.

But, I agree that this is a very slow film and it helps to know that in advance. It's also one you have to follow closely and time periods shift back and forth, mainly from 1961 back to the early 1940s.

The story winds up presenting an interesting question which is posed to Matt Damon's character, "Edward Wilson." He plays an extremely loyal CIA man, a guy who is straight-arrow and one whose priority is country-first. The dilemma occurs at the end when he must choose between what's best for his son or his country.

It's a thought-out, interesting story that takes a few sides to the left of center more than the right, but is not really a movie with any heavy-handed political agenda, mainly pointing out what it takes to be a successful "spy" and that this unemotional detachment can be rough on some people and their families.

Damon heads an all-star cast that includes Angeline Jolie (who looks spectacular as a woman in the early 1940s), Billy Crudup, Alec Baldwin, William Hurt, Timothy Hutton and many others.

This movie, I suspect, will either put you to sleep or fascinate you.


64 of 95 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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