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The Good Shepherd (2006)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 78,368 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.

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Title: The Good Shepherd (2006)

The Good Shepherd (2006) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 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:

Who is the good shepherd? The one who looks after his family or the one who looks after his country? 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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Language:

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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:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Gambon's character, Dr. Fredricks, is partly inspired by Alan Turing, a British mathematician who helped to crack the German "Enigma" code during World War II, and who is considered one of the founders of modern computer science. In 1952, Turing was expelled from the British secret service after being prosecuted for his homosexual affairs. In 1954, he died after eating a cyanide-laced apple, but it is unknown if he was murdered or committed suicide. See more »

Goofs

In the TELEX scene, the word "know" is incorrectly spelled "KONW". See more »

Quotes

Clover Wilson: [Clover and Edward, who only met for the first time hours earlier, are starting to have sex] Do you love me?
Edward Wilson: What?
Clover Wilson: Tell me you love me!
Edward Wilson: [mumbles] I love you.
Clover Wilson: [Emphatically] Do you love me?
Edward Wilson: I do, I love you.
Clover Wilson: No, I still don't believe you!
Edward Wilson: [repeatedly] I love you, I love you...
Clover Wilson: Say it, Say it... Look at me, Look at me.
[Wilson tries to keep kissing her but she resists]
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.90 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Where or When
Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
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

 
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.


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