6.7/10
97,055
510 user 195 critic

The Good Shepherd (2006)

The tumultuous early history of the Central Intelligence Agency is viewed through the prism of one man's life.

Director:

Robert De Niro

Writer:

Eric Roth
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Popularity
2,852 ( 239)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Damon ... Edward Wilson
Angelina Jolie ... Margaret 'Clover' Russell
Alec Baldwin ... Sam Murach
Tammy Blanchard ... Laura
Billy Crudup ... Arch Cummings
Robert De Niro ... Bill Sullivan
Keir Dullea ... Senator John Russell, Sr.
Michael Gambon ... Dr. Fredericks
Martina Gedeck ... Hanna Schiller
William Hurt ... Philip Allen
Timothy Hutton ... Thomas Wilson
Mark Ivanir ... Valentin Mironov #2
Gabriel Macht ... John Russell, Jr.
Lee Pace ... Richard Hayes
Joe Pesci ... Joseph Palmi
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Storyline

Laconic and self-contained, Edward Wilson (Matt Damon) heads C.I.A. covert operations during the Bay of Pigs. The agency suspects that Fidel 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 O.S.S., 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 this movie'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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edward Wilson's (Matt Damon's) name is close to that of real-life CIA agent Edwin Wilson, who was involved in one of the most controversial episodes in the agency's history. An ex-Marine and Korean War veteran, the real Ed Wilson left the CIA and was subsequently jailed for supplying arms and ex-Green Beret mercenaries as trainers to Libyan terrorist training camps. Wilson always claimed he was acting on CIA orders and gathering intelligence on their behalf, later being exonerated and freed when released documents proved the CIA had lied about severing all links with Wilson before the events occurred. A former CIA officer, David Adler, was the lawyer who got Wilson's conviction overturned. See more »

Goofs

When the dollar bill serial number code is matched to the code sheet, the word "altar" on the sheet is misspelled "alter". See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 23 August 2016 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Ofrenda de Amor
Written, Arranged and Conducted by Fred Onovwerosuoke
Performed by St. Louis African Chorus
Recorded at Sheldon Concert Hall, St. Louis, MO
See more »

User Reviews

 
Know In Advance This Is Not An Action Film, And Then Sit Back & Enjoy It
15 April 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

I had a huge advantage before watching this on DVD. I was told by a good friend that it was extremely slow, and be prepared to be bored out of "my mind." Well, I wasn't bored, maybe because I now expected a slower, non-action-packed CIA-type film....and I wasn't disappointed. Actually, I liked it, mainly because of the cinematography. This is stunning in its photography. Kudos to Director Robert De Niro and Director of Photography Robert Richardson for their work in here.

I also appreciated the low profanity in here. After watching "The Departed," this far-cleaner film was a treat for the ears, too. Yes, there are a handful of 'f-words," but not much else including no blasphemy.

But, I agree that this is a very slow film and it helps to know that in advance. It's also one you have to follow closely and time periods shift back and forth, mainly from 1961 back to the early 1940s.

The story winds up presenting an interesting question which is posed to Matt Damon's character, "Edward Wilson." He plays an extremely loyal CIA man, a guy who is straight-arrow and one whose priority is country-first. The dilemma occurs at the end when he must choose between what's best for his son or his country.

It's a thought-out, interesting story that takes a few sides to the left of center more than the right, but is not really a movie with any heavy-handed political agenda, mainly pointing out what it takes to be a successful "spy" and that this unemotional detachment can be rough on some people and their families.

Damon heads an all-star cast that includes Angeline Jolie (who looks spectacular as a woman in the early 1940s), Billy Crudup, Alec Baldwin, William Hurt, Timothy Hutton and many others.

This movie, I suspect, will either put you to sleep or fascinate you.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Universal [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Russian | German | Lingala

Release Date:

22 December 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Good Shepherd See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$110,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,912,110, 24 December 2006

Gross USA:

$59,952,835

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$100,266,865
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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