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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 83,989 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 479 user | 197 critic | 33 from

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 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 <>

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?


Matt Damon specifically noted that this film, along with Syriana (2005), was a risky and hard-hitting project that he was able to do in the wake of massive success of The Bourne Identity (2002) and The Bourne Supremacy (2004)). See more »


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


Philip Allen: [Referring to the chocolates he's eating] They're from Switzerland. I had them sent with the pouch to Berlin.
Philip Allen: [He offers one but is declined] They're a weakness of mine. When I was a child, my mother would always reward me with a chocolate.
Philip Allen: [He takes another] It's a dreadful habit.
Edward Wilson: Chocolates or seeking approval?
Philip Allen: Both.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in Casting By (2012) See more »


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)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not for the dim or distracted, an outstanding film.
30 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Not for the dim or distracted, this outstanding trans-generational exploration of father/son paranoia and betrayal fueled by unresolved oedipal turmoil takes us on a historical tour of US Intelligence from the OSS of World War II to the Bay of Pigs. Acting, editing and directing are all superb. The characters are complex and vital, and the relationships textured.

No narrative spoon-feeding here. The viewer shares in the protagonist's bewilderment of who's who and what's what, which may be more than the viewer bargained for. If a second screening is needed to sort out the nuance of it all, consider it well worth the cost of the ticket. -Doug

72 of 110 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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