Up 466 this week

The Good Shepherd (2006)

R  |   |  Drama, History, Thriller  |  22 December 2006 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 84,526 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.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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
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
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
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
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
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
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.

Director: Anthony Minghella
Stars: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
The Rainmaker (1997)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An underdog lawyer takes on a fraudulent Insurance company.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Claire Danes
Ronin (1998)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A freelancing former US intelligence agent tries to track down a mysterious package that is wanted by both the Irish and the Russians.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Invictus (2009)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge


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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The untold story of the most powerful covert agency in the world. 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?


First cinema film of Eddie Redmayne. See more »


While a Soviet spy is being interrogated, he makes reference to America's "military-industrial complex." The scene is set in January 1960. The term "military-industrial complex" was not used until outgoing President Dwight D. Eisenhower included it in a televised speech on January 17, 1961. 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 »


Embraceable You
Written by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The murky world of CIA deception as seen by one family man...
24 December 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Before I go on to praise the good points of THE GOOD SHEPHERD, I should mention at the start that the film badly needed some judicious editing. There are many scenes that go on for too long a time and are badly in need of some artful editing to get the point across just as well.

Aside from length, everything else about the film is on the plus side--the handsome cinematography, the vast amount of settings, the background score that adds to the drama, and the performances of the entire cast which are uniformly good. I'm not a great admirer of ANGELINA JOLIE as an actress, but here I think she demonstrated skill at suggesting the loneliness, frustrations and jealousies of a woman whose life has to remain outside the boundaries of her husband's job with the CIA. Through a series of detailed vignettes, the murky world of an agent's life of deception within the government is sharply observed.

More of a character study of Edward Wilson (played in stolid, very serious fashion by MATT DAMON) than a straightforward spy yarn, it manages to hold the interest even though it uses the flashback method of storytelling that is apt to confuse a viewer if it isn't done well. But here again, there is a flaw--it covers a span of twenty or more years but the aging of the central character is never quite convincing enough. Damon never looks that much older than his grown son--whereas a few gray hairs might have helped considerably. As his grown son, EDDIE REDMAYNE does reasonably well as the man seeking his father's approval.

As for the supporting players in this story about one man's experiences in the newly developing CIA, JOHN TURTURRO does an outstanding job as a tough inquisitor and MICHAEL GAMBON is outstanding as a security risk with homosexual tendencies. ALEC BALDWIN has little to do but is intense enough as one of the agency's top men and others in the cast maintain credibility all the way through.

The story itself is rather problematic in that nothing is what it seems and not all the information is readily given to the viewer in a way that makes sense. This is partly the fault of the script and partly the fault of director Robert De Niro who also assumes a small role effectively.

But still, despite the handicap of being too long (and a bit too involved at certain points), it makes for fascinating viewing and is the kind of film you dare not divert your attention from for a moment. If you do, you are liable to miss an essential plot point.

Summing up: Highly recommended for anyone with a keen interest in espionage dramas.

134 of 188 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
the rest of you are just visiting subotai1
True Story? Jitsoo_Nobunaga
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: