MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 78 this week

The Good Shepherd (2006)

R  |   |  Drama, History, Thriller  |  22 December 2006 (USA)
6.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 83,225 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 479 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.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 02 Jan 2011
 
a list of 27 titles
created 07 Aug 2011
 
a list of 39 titles
created 29 Aug 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 19 Mar 2013
 
a list of 31 titles
created 25 Jul 2013
 

Related Items

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 4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Mariane Pearl embarks on a frantic search to locate her journalist husband, Daniel, when he goes missing in Pakistan.

Director: Michael Winterbottom
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Dan Futterman, Irrfan Khan
Love Ranch (2010)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A drama centered around a married couple who opened the first legal brothel in Nevada.

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Helen Mirren, Joe Pesci, Sergio Peris-Mencheta
The Fever (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Tells the story of a woman who gets involved in politics with no previous contact with world events.

Director: Carlo Gabriel Nero
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Cameron D'Angelo, Kiera D'Angelo
A Bronx Tale (1993)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A father becomes worried when a local gangster befriends his son in the Bronx in the 1960s.

Director: Robert De Niro
Stars: Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Lillo Brancato
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The U.S. government decides to go after an agro-business giant with a price-fixing accusation, based on the evidence submitted by their star witness, vice president-turned-informant Mark Whitacre.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Matt Damon, Tony Hale, Patton Oswalt
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
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A reporter interviews a psychic, who tells her that she's going to die and her life is meaningless.

Director: Stephen Herek
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Edward Burns, Tony Shalhoub
Taking Lives (2004)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An FBI profiler is called in by French Canadian police to catch a serial killer who takes on the identity of each new victim.

Director: D.J. Caruso
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke, Kiefer Sutherland
Original Sin (2001)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young man is plunged into a life of subterfuge, deceit and mistaken identity in pursuit of a femme fatale whose heart is never quite within his grasp. Remake of François Truffaut's 1969 film 'Mississippi Mermaid'

Director: Michael Cristofer
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie, Thomas Jane
Changeling (2008)
Drama | History | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it stubbornly tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child, while also refusing to give up hope that she will find him one day.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Colm Feore, Amy Ryan
Green Zone (2010)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Discovering covert and faulty intelligence causes a U.S. Army officer to go rogue as he hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction in an unstable region.

Director: Paul Greengrass
Stars: Matt Damon, Jason Isaacs, Greg Kinnear
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Beyond Borders is an epic tale of the turbulent romance between two star-crossed lovers set against the backdrop of the world's most dangerous hot spots. Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie... See full summary »

Director: Martin Campbell
Stars: Clive Owen, Angelina Jolie, Linus Roache
Edit

Cast

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

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:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When Wilson is transferred to Berlin, the first original footage of the ruins of the city is subtitled "Soviet Sector, Berlin". In fact, the footage shows the area around the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which was in the American Sector, and later on the center of West Berlin. See more »

Quotes

[from trailer]
Edward Wilson: It isn't about dedication and loyalty, it's about belief in what we do.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in HBO First Look: The Good Shepherd (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

No Rain a Fallin'
Written and 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

 
We are all boot-makers to kings.
6 April 2007 | by (Minneapolis, USA) – See all my reviews

"The mental facility to detect conspiracies and betrayal are the same qualities most likely to corrode natural judgment." Almost every year, there is one great film that slips under my radar. I usually wait for it to hit DVD because it keeps getting passed over for other films I'd rather watch. However, when I finally get around to seeing it, I wonder to myself how I ever let it pass me by.

In 2006, that film is Robert De Niro's "The Good Shepherd". Here is a cinematic gem that hits all the right notes. It is a study in detail. It is a master-class in mood and tone and style. This movie is a fascinating character study and a riveting story of trust, loyalty and betrayal -- both personally and politically.

Edward Wilson (Matt Damon) is a gifted young man whose keen intellect and sharp observational skills soon catch the attentions of some important people. While attending Yale University, Edward is recruited into the uber-secretive college society known as the Skull and Bones. During the initiation ritual, he is asked to recount a secret that he has never before revealed -- a pledge of trust and brotherhood. He describes his father's suicide as a result of being a disgraced naval officer.

The FBI becomes aware of Edward's abilities. His encounter with a poetry professor only serves to expedite his venture into the world of espionage.

Edward's ties to that secretive community cost him his first love, Laura, a beautiful young deaf girl with a heart of gold and a pure spirit. Instead, a relationship seems forced upon him with Clover (Angelina Jolie), sister to one of his fraternity colleagues. An unplanned pregnancy rushes along the marriage plans. It becomes a loveless relationship between strangers.

The film follows Edward's life, shifting between the 1940's and the 1960's, counterbalancing the eager early loyalty with the paranoid, lonely and resentful man he becomes later in life. "The Good Shepherd" is a finite analysis of a man who knows what the important things in life are (family, love, friendship, parenting), but substitutes them for patriotism and duty -- perhaps as a way of restoring his father's honor.

What De Niro does so well is to patiently, rather microscopically, dissect Edward's life in the world of intelligence. Every detail of this man's soul is laid bare for us to see. It allows the viewer to respect and pity him at the same time. It is probably the greatest cinematic exploration of espionage ever made. We are privy to this character's very core.

Consider the multiple virtuoso sequences in which the CIA lab technicians systematically analyze a fuzzy black & white photograph in conjunction with a low grade audio tape. It is a fascinating study in detail that serves as a microcosm to the entire movie. De Niro's legendary attention to the details of his portrayed characters has quite obviously transferred to his directing. Everything of value in "The Good Shepherd" lays in the subtle moments... the momentary glances... the uncomfortable silences... the verbal hints and clues.

Also note the fabulous exchange in a covert London counter-intelligence office between Matt Damon and John Turturro. It is a fantastic exercise in screen writing, rapid rhythmic delivery and understated, yet mesmerizing, acting. It was wonderful to watch the "Rounders" duo reunite and square off with some great dialogue once again.

This may be De Niro's epic creation, but in terms of acting, this is Matt Damon's film. What he achieves here is nothing short of... well, nothing short of De Niro at his very best. Damon picks the bones of his character clean. It is a performance that establishes him as one of the greats of a generation. None of his contemporary peers can carry the face of solemnity and gravitas quite as powerfully as he. This role is Damon's "Raging Bull"... albeit a quiet rage. This is the best performance of 2006... from either sex.

There are many fine supporting roles on display. Most noteworthy are the turns by Alec Baldwin as the all-knowing FBI agent, Tammy Blanchard as Edward's regrettably lost first love, and Michael Gambon as the wise professor who has been in the game too long. It was also a welcome sight to see Joe Pesci in a feature film for the first time in a long while. The entire cast is first rate -- an obvious sign that De Niro knows how to cast a film with actors as precise as he.

This film truly captures how lonely it must be to work in the intelligence community, especially at that time. Half way through the film, Edward receives the news that his first son has been born. The resulting phone call to his wife is interrupted by air-raid sirens and horrible static. His wife asks if he is busy saving the world. He replies, "Sometimes. What color are his eyes?" When the line is cut off before she answers, we empathize with Edward's decision to sacrifice his own happiness for the good of his ungrateful government.

When Edward unexpectedly runs into Laura, some years after their college romance, she confesses that she often wonders what life would have been like had they stayed together. It is a poignant scene, filled with regrets of what might have been.

I watched two other films in the past week that were within touching distance of greatness. "The Painted Veil" and "Goya's Ghosts" were both in need of a little more patience -- maybe they were afraid to go much beyond the two hour mark for fear of being commercially unviable. At two hours and forty-five minutes, "The Good Shepherd" goes the extra mile, resulting in a complete filmgoing experience. Quite frankly, it is an unassailable masterpiece.

TC Candler IndependentCritics.com.


30 of 41 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? Jitsoo_Nobunaga
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

Create a character page for:
?