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
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 »
When the dollar bill serial number code is matched to the code sheet, the word "altar" on the sheet is misspelled "alter". See more »
It isn't about dedication and loyalty, it's about belief in what we do.
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Know In Advance This Is Not An Action Film, And Then Sit Back & Enjoy It
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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