MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 120 this week

The Good Shepherd (2006)

6.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 78,346 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 471 user | 195 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

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

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 42 titles
created 13 Nov 2011
 
a list of 23 titles
created 27 Nov 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 25 Jun 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 26 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Good Shepherd (2006)

The Good Shepherd (2006) on IMDb 6.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Good Shepherd.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Syriana (2005)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A politically-charged epic about the state of the oil industry in the hands of those personally involved and affected by it.

Director: Stephen Gaghan
Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer
The Debt I (2010)
Drama | Thriller
    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.

Director: John Madden
Stars: Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Tom Wilkinson
The Firm (1993)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young lawyer joins a prestigious law firm only to discover that it has a sinister dark side.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman
Taxi Driver (1976)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd
Runaway Jury (2003)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A juror on the inside and a woman on the outside manipulate a court trial involving a major gun manufacturer.

Director: Gary Fleder
Stars: John Cusack, Rachel Weisz, Gene Hackman
Crime | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born with a superior olfactory sense, creates the world's finest perfume. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he searches for the ultimate scent.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship.

Director: Richard Eyre
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Andrew Simpson
Black Swan (2010)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A ballet dancer wins the lead in "Swan Lake" and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan - Princess Odette - but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In Washington, D.C., a female reporter faces a possible jail sentence for outing a CIA agent and refusing to reveal her source.

Director: Rod Lurie
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon, Vera Farmiga
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The movie is based on the infamous "Stanford Prison Experiment" conducted in 1971. A makeshift prison is set up in a research lab, complete with cells, bars and surveillance cameras. For ... See full summary »

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Stars: Moritz Bleibtreu, Christian Berkel, Oliver Stokowski
The Wave (2008)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A high school teacher's unusual experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control when he forms a social unit with a life of its own.

Director: Dennis Gansel
Stars: Frederick Lau, Max Riemelt, Jennifer Ulrich
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Edit

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:

Edward Wilson believed in America, and he would sacrifice everything he loved to protect it. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

22 December 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Good Shepherd  »

Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£629,863 (UK) (23 February 2007)

Gross:

£1,709,530 (UK) (9 March 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Eric Roth penned the screenplay in 1994 for Francis Ford Coppola and Columbia Pictures. Coppola left the project because, he said, he could not relate to the characters finding them "unemotional", (although he retained a credit as co-executive producer). See more »

Goofs

In the first of the Berlin scenes, set in 1945, in the background are two Soviet soldiers holding SKS rifles which were not adopted by the Soviet Army until 1949. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Fredericks: How do I know I can trust you?
Dr. Fredericks: You won't. I mean I hope you're lucky enough to meet someone you trust. I regret to say, I haven't.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Middleman: The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Skies
Written by Irving Berlin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An incredibly complex work and one of 06's finest...
24 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Good Shepherd 3.5/4 4/5

The Good Shepherd is an incredibly complex work and one of the finest films of a quality ripe 2006. Oscar winner Eric Roth continues his brilliant work with this original screenplay, named one of the best unproduced scripts in Hollywood in the late 90's. A film about one of the CIA's founding officers isn't a dream project commercially for a studio but thankfully, the quality of the script was too great to ignore.

Shepherd follows the life of Edward Wilson (Damon) through his college years at Yale to his ascension as one of the CIA's founding officers and trusted veterans. His extraordinary dedication to his work comes with an unbearable price as he must sacrifice his family to protect his country. At one point in the film, Wilson faces an enormous choice- does he abandon his ideals for what he believes is right? Would this abandonment render his life, almost solely devoted to his country, meaningless? This, as well as a depiction of the result of Wilson's decision, are just two of the moments of brilliance in The Good Shepherd.

Wilson inhabits a world of betrayal and secrecies only enhancing the irony of the biblical quote inscribed on the CIA's wall- "And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free". While we are given a glimpse into the life of a younger, more vital Wilson, the world he occupies creates the characteristically stolid, humorless man we come to know.

With its vast emotional core, the film seemingly effortlessly navigates one of the most volatile periods in the history of American intelligence while remaining character based. At 165 minutes, it is overlong but remains engaging for the vast majority of its running time. Had a few relatively insignificant scenes been cut, Shepherd could have retained the thrilling and energetic pace it often possesses. However, the length is justifiable as the scope of the film is incredibly large and very few scenes can be deemed unnecessary or dull.

Robert DeNiro's direction far exceeds that in his debut, 1993's "A Bronx Tale". Normally portrayed as a brute, here, DeNiro assuredly handles every moment with an innate tenderness we rarely see in his work. He appropriately treats Shepherd with a precise attention to detail often attributed to some of the greatest directors of our time.

A silently haunting Matt Damon carries the film on his shoulders. Edward Wilson is completely introverted and while Damon internalizes his thoughts, some of the films greatest moments are when emotion unknowingly pours out of Wilson through a mere flicker in his eyes. Angelina Jolie and Michael Gambon deliver very strong turns amidst a one of a kind cast topped off by the return of Joe Pesci, whose last acting stint was 1998's "Lethal Weapon 4".

The Good Shepherd is a film that demands to be seen. It is surprisingly apolitical as Wilson's life and its disintegration are the true story of this epic. While some call it "unsentimental", exactly the opposite is true. It is a testament to Roth's script that a film with such an introverted protagonist provides such a visceral, affecting experience. Shepherd is an intelligent, poignant look at the cost of blind dedication and constant secrecy. The effect this has on Wilson's life is irrevocable as we are taken on a remarkable cinematic journey, one that should be remembered as one of 06's greatest.


251 of 324 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Has anyone seen similar films to this? all_eyes_on_xanadu
'The Most Boring, Tedious, Solemn, Self-Important Film Ever Made' vbader67-2
True Story? jzurita3
the rest of you are just visiting subotai1
couldn't watch it; should I try again? CChopper
Ulysses book dorota-4
Discuss The Good Shepherd (2006) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page