The Good Shepherd (2006)

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Recruited straight out of his college fraternity into the US counter intelligence service of World War II, a major player in the early days of the C.I.A. recalls the events leading up to the Bay Of Pigs fiasco.

The Good Shepherd is an examination of the role of espionage in the United States and its dealings with the world during the Cold War period and the toll it takes on the life of a once moral and idealistic young man. Robert DeNiro’s direction owes an obvious debt to Martin Scorsese and the cinematography is excellent, making for a very visually appealing film. What it does lack is a real sense of edginess or menace in what should be an atmosphere of suspicion and paranoia and its dour protagonist makes it difficult to engage with the characters. But the fantastic cast are always watchable and it is a very interesting insight into the history of the intelligence community.

Thoughtful and intelligent rather than thrill-filled, The Good Shepherd will dismay the action junkie but fans of Le Carre style spy stories will not be disappointed.

7/10

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