Critic Reviews

61

Metascore

Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
A remarkable study of the corrosive effects of fear and power on an establishment insider who puts duty above all else.
88
De Niro pulls the viewer into the world he has created and holds him there, sometimes spellbound, until the story is over and the end credits roll.
80
The Hollywood Reporter
While a bit unwieldy at nearly three hours and at times slow going, the film is absolutely fascinating for anyone who shares De Niro's passions.
75
Entertainment Weekly
Here, he's (Damon) the ultimate enigma machine, a man willing to erase himself for his country. Does that make him a hero? The Good Shepherd is too closemouthed to let on.
75
Deliberately paced, epic and ambitious, The Good Shepherd feels related in tone, mood and style to "The Godfather."
75
Philadelphia Inquirer
A cool-headed thriller, and a richly detailed character study that traces the birth and evolution of America's foreign espionage bureaucracy, The Good Shepherd also marks a significantly more mature, assured directing turn from Robert De Niro.
75
Roth's screenplay, steeped in the peculiar rituals, lock-jawed repression and smug sense of superiority of the WASP ruling class that both shaped America's intelligence community and made it vulnerable, is less interested in derring-do than back-room deals and the day-to-day drudgery of spying, driven by the notion that espionage is a cynical high-stakes game played with people's lives and the ante is human decency and connectedness.
63
Shepherd wants to say something profound about the effect of a deceitful government on human values. But it's tough to slog through a movie that has no pulse.
63
New York Daily News
Even with its first-rate cast, current political relevance and tangled mysteries, The Good Shepherd remains as remote as Wilson himself. But frankly, if the lives of CIA spies are really this dreary, they may as well keep their secrets to themselves.
63
Chicago Tribune
It's fitting that a drama trading in classified information would turn out to be such a cryptic bugger.
63
Leaves you longing for the other, better political thrillers it evokes.

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