7.1/10
147,568
404 user 92 critic

Spy Game (2001)

Retiring CIA agent Nathan Muir recalls his training of Tom Bishop while working against agency politics to free him from his Chinese captors.

Director:

Tony Scott

Writers:

Michael Frost Beckner (story), Michael Frost Beckner (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,734 ( 878)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Nathan Muir
Brad Pitt ... Tom Bishop
Catherine McCormack ... Elizabeth Hadley
Stephen Dillane ... Charles Harker
Larry Bryggman ... Troy Folger
Marianne Jean-Baptiste ... Gladys Jennip
Matthew Marsh ... Dr. Byars
Todd Boyce ... Robert Aiken
Michael Paul Chan ... Vincent Vy Ngo
Garrick Hagon ... Cy Wilson
Andrew Grainger Andrew Grainger ... Andrew Unger
Bill Buell ... Fred Kappler
Colin Stinton ... Henry Pollard
Ted Maynard Ted Maynard ... CIA Administrator
Tom Hodgkins Tom Hodgkins ... CIA Lobby Guard
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Storyline

CIA operative Nathan Muir (Redford) is on the brink of retirement when he finds out that his protege Tom Bishop (Pitt) has been arrested in China for espionage. No stranger to the machinations of the CIA's top echelon, Muir hones all his skills and irreverent manner in order to find a way to free Bishop. As he embarks on his mission to free Bishop, Muir recalls how he recruited and trained the young rookie, at that time a sergeant in Vietnam, their turbulent times together as operatives and the woman who threatened their friendship. Written by ck

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not how you play the game. It's how the game plays you. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tony Scott inserted the flask sequence to give the audience an emotional reminder of Bishop. See more »

Goofs

By April 1975, the US air base at Danang had been evacuated See more »

Quotes

Tom Bishop: So, when do I get my first assignment?
Nathan Muir: When I decide you're ready.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, many of the credits are each preceded by a jumble of letters flickering on the screen. This may be a reference to the opening credit sequence of one of Robert Redford's earlier spy movies, Sneakers (1992). See more »

Connections

References Enemy of the State (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Ti Zitas
("Nour El Chams")
Written by Nikos Terzis and Tassos Vougiatzis
Additional lyrics for "Nour El Chams" by Adel Raffoul
Performed by Pascale Machaalani
Courtesy of Music Master International
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User Reviews

 
this is a whole different game...
31 March 2005 | by hapioresSee all my reviews

There are many reasons why we like a movie or not. For me, this is the case in witch small things were enough to like it: the two main actors, the places in which the action occurs, and the fact that it has more to do with a love affair, in a tragic atmosphere than about spies. Well, of course this is about spies - two of them - and mostly about the relation between them; if they are similar enough to understand each other, they are also different enough to generate some tension in the relation.

Maybe this is more about how the characters move around each others than about action or intrigue. In fact this is so obvious that the way in which the story is told is mostly in flashback, with Muir (Robert Redford) introducing all of them and narrating part. So, the story is the story and the spy game is what Muir does within the CIA, in 24 hours or so. The distinction is important because if you think of this as a traditional spy movie (maybe like the Bourne Identity or Supremacy) it has two obvious flaws for the genre: the plot is very simple (maybe predictable) and there's no bad guy, no one to kill or to revenge; there's also almost no genuine action, and, as far as I can remember, Bishop (Brad Pitt) only fires one weapon in the whole movie. Maybe what mislead most of the people was the title of the movie, and maybe that's why most of them didn't like it. However, in my opinion, this is a very good movie, with strong leading roles and a compelling story.

No gadgets, no arms, no villains, no action...oh, no,this is a whole different game, and it's a serious and a dangerous game: the game of people and their relations.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | Germany | Japan | France | UK

Language:

English | German | Arabic | French | Cantonese

Release Date:

21 November 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

SpyGame See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$115,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,689,125, 25 November 2001

Gross USA:

$62,362,560

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$143,049,560
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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