The Good Shepherd
THE GOOD SHEPHERD (15)
D: Robert DeNiro
Universal/Morgan Creek/TriBeCa/American Zoetrope (James G. Robinson, Jane Rosenthal & Robert DeNiro)
USA 🇺🇸 2006
W: Eric Roth
DP: Robert Richardson
Ed: Tariq Anwar
Mus: Bruce Fowler & Marcelo Zarvos
PD: Jeannine Oppewall
Cos: Ann Roth
Matt Damon (Edward Wilson, Sr.), Angelina Jolie (Margaret Russell Wilson), Tammy Blanchard (Laura), Robert DeNiro (Gen. William Sullivan), Alec Baldwin (FBI Agent Samuel Murach), William Hurt (CIA director Philip Allen), Joe Pesci (Joseph Balmi), Eddie Redmayne (Edward Wilson, Jr.)
Robert DeNiro directs this American political thriller charting the birth of the CIA, from its inception through to the Kennedy Administration and the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
Seen through the eyes of the laconic and staid head of CIA operations, Edward Wilson, throughout his own life, from his father's death, his experiences at Yale University's Skull & Bones society, a shotgun marriage and his first missions, cutting his teeth as a spy in London.
Though the performances are all excellent and the production design and photography flawless, the narrative of this film does drag, especially through the mid-section, as it attempts to be an American version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
This was a pet project for Robert DeNiro, and you can tell that a lot of care went into the production itself, but it really could have been half-an-hour shorter without losing too much narrative drive.
Fans of spy movies will certainly enjoy it, but for everyone else, you could take it or leave it.