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The Good Shepherd (2006)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 80,872 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 472 user | 196 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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Title: The Good Shepherd (2006)

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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:

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:

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Details

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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:

£629,863 (UK) (23 February 2007)

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

William Hurt's character, Phillip Allen, is partly based on Allen Dulles, OSS operative and later CIA director during the Bay of Pigs invasion. Contrary to common belief President Kennedy was fascinated with the world of espionage and unconventional warfare, granting the US Special Forces their trademark Green Berets whilst his enthusiasm for the James Bond novels helped to popularize them. However during the CIA's Pay of Pigs operation he refused to allow overt military support for the mission and severely limited the number of air strikes allowed to be flown by the CIA's own aircraft for fear of revealing the US government's role. Both decisions are widely considered to have doomed the entire enterprise to failure from the start. Ironically, Allan Dulles was appointed to the Warren Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy, Dulles' former boss. Kennedy had fired Allan Dulles as head of the CIA. See more »

Goofs

During a hallway scene early in the movie we see a water fountain that was not available in 1961. See more »

Quotes

Philip Allen: [Explaining to Wilson about the U.S./G.B. espionage relationship] They've 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 »

Connections

Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

So in Love
Written by Bruce Fowler, Harry Garfield
Produced by Bruce Fowler
Performed by Vince Giordano and His Nighthawks Orchestra (as Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks Orchestra)
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An intelligent tale of duty and loyalty
1 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I went into the theatre with little knowledge but that I was going to be watching a film about a man who was one of the founders of the CIA. Expecting this, I thought this movie was outstanding and a mind game from start to finish.

What one has to understand about the movie itself is that it is as complicated as the storyline. It starts out with two different time lines, decades apart and slowly one reaches the other. That in itself can be difficult to follow, but it is well worth the effort to pay attention because if you can leave the theatre understanding what took place, you walk away with a little more knowledge about the human complex.

Because this is a story more about the soul and our humanity than it is about spies and country. Those are just the means by which De Niro uses.

Every actor is placed remarkably well and no more so than Matt Damon himself. It is his acting that gives us Edward Wilson; a man without airs who doesn't compromise. The movie spans over twenty years and fortunately we see those years reflected in most of the characters. Angelina Jolie does the neglected, alcoholic wife superbly. William Hurt and Lee Pace as Richard Hayes both give a wonderful performance taking their character's flaws from subtle to substantial by the end.

Some might wonder how so many actors could be recruited for such small roles, like Alec Baldwin, Michael Gambon, and Joe Pesci, but one only has to see as far as the director to get their answer. Don't let the big names and the anagram CIA get you. This movie is as edgy as it is intricate with twists and turns that take the viewer through the world of trust and the human element. A man like Edward Wilson is just the perfect vessel for the journey.


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