User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 59
  2. Negative: 3 out of 59
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  1. Aug 17, 2014
    5
    This one is alright. Robert Redford is very good, Brad Pitt is solid, and the plot is interesting, but beyond that, things struggle. First off, the plot is a little overcomplicated. There is so much going on that it can be hard to follow, even if you are paying attention. In addition to being overly complicated, the plot is 100% implausible. Some elements likely ring true, but the wayThis one is alright. Robert Redford is very good, Brad Pitt is solid, and the plot is interesting, but beyond that, things struggle. First off, the plot is a little overcomplicated. There is so much going on that it can be hard to follow, even if you are paying attention. In addition to being overly complicated, the plot is 100% implausible. Some elements likely ring true, but the way things turn out and the events leading to the ending are completely implausible and simply not believeable. Speaking of the plot, it is entirely formulaic. I usually do not mind formulaic films, but this one is obnoxiously so. At times, it works and at others, it simply becomes too predictable. In terms of the direction, I am not a huge fan of Tony Scott. His storytelling here is sketchy and then other elements of this one are simply not for me. As with many of his films, he is simply too formulaic of a director and does nothing extraordinarily well. The editing is also bad, which is almost a guarantee in a Tony Scott film. In one scene in particular, it just kept cutting from a two-shot to close ups obnoxiously and without need, which was very distracting. Bad editing is usually when it is distracting and in many scenes here, it is distracting. Ultimately, however, Spy Game is in fact entertaining and fun to follow. Thanks to great performances and a satisfying ending and premise, this one is just mediocre, rather than a complete and utter disaster. Expand
  2. Jul 8, 2012
    6
    Although far from Tony Scott's best work, Spy Game makes for an entertaining movie. It gets too convoluted at times and also stretches it's timeline a bit too thin for any sustained emotional impact. On the plus side, seeing Robert Redford slinking his way around the CIA HQ, covertly giving his superiors the finger is a very amusing prospect indeed. Fun but inessential viewing.
  3. Dec 25, 2011
    10
    A masterpiece. Redford's performance was outstanding. Redford showed that how strong the nerves can be of a person who is in espionage. Awesome realistic performance from Redford and Pitt supported him well.
  4. Sep 29, 2011
    8
    Après l'excellent et palpitant Ennemi d'Etat, Tony Scott nous dévoile une autre facette du monde de l'espionnage avec Spy Game. Utilisant sa mise en scène habituel qui se rapproche d'un clip (qui est le point faible du film), le frère de Ridley nous livre, certes un film conventionnel, mais qui possède tout ce qui faut pourAprès l'excellent et palpitant Ennemi d'Etat, Tony Scott nous dévoile une autre facette du monde de l'espionnage avec Spy Game. Utilisant sa mise en scène habituel qui se rapproche d'un clip (qui est le point faible du film), le frère de Ridley nous livre, certes un film conventionnel, mais qui possède tout ce qui faut pour être un très bon divertissement de suspense et d'espionnage, musclé et intelligent, desservi par une brochette d'acteur de qualité. De plus, le scénario se montre ingénieux, nous présentant de nombreux flashes-back qui se montrent être de petites intrigues indépendantes du reste. Plusieurs histoires en une seule, c'est plutôt ingénieux. Enfin bref, Spy Game est un très bon film à rajouter dans la filmographie de Tony Scott! Expand
  5. Dec 16, 2010
    7
    Wahoo score! I liked this movie a lot even though not perfect. The flashback to Nam scenes were a little hard to believe even with the attempt to make RR look somewhat younger. Some dialogue was poor.. " Why do you think they keep dumping him" Great story idea though and loved the cat and mouse. RR is back in this one with a role i really liked and Brad P did a nice job. Duncan was castWahoo score! I liked this movie a lot even though not perfect. The flashback to Nam scenes were a little hard to believe even with the attempt to make RR look somewhat younger. Some dialogue was poor.. " Why do you think they keep dumping him" Great story idea though and loved the cat and mouse. RR is back in this one with a role i really liked and Brad P did a nice job. Duncan was cast well as well as the director of CIA. One weak link was the opponent to RR from CIA.. can't remember his name now lol. Expand
  6. MichaelL.
    Feb 26, 2008
    7
    Excellent taut thriller with new-millennium A-list star Brad Pitt teaming with 70's A-lister Robert Redford (smartly casted in a 'Buddy picture' after Pitt took direction from Redford in his memorable yet under-appreciated "A River Runs Through it" from 1994) in an entertaining spy film directed by action-obsessed Tony Scott which will have you at times on the edge of your Excellent taut thriller with new-millennium A-list star Brad Pitt teaming with 70's A-lister Robert Redford (smartly casted in a 'Buddy picture' after Pitt took direction from Redford in his memorable yet under-appreciated "A River Runs Through it" from 1994) in an entertaining spy film directed by action-obsessed Tony Scott which will have you at times on the edge of your seat. Scott rewards his action hungry audience in calculated doses as the picture is laced with lots of intrigue, and second guessing including a clever use of flashback sequences for additional suspense to this international thriller. Catherine McCormack is appealing as the love interest for Pitt's character which goes beyond obligatory since the joining of the two conflicts with his mentor's guidelines for espionage survival. The chemistry of all the players along with Scott's exciting action input make this an above average Pitt/Redford 'Buddy flick'. Expand
  7. RC
    Oct 15, 2004
    10
    How can anyone say this film is boring. It's fantastic from beginning to end - gripping, brilliantly acted and intelligent. See it straightaway.
  8. JasonN.
    Jul 13, 2004
    9
    I thought the overall atmosphere that the movie emits was quite astonishing. Pitt fits his role perfrectly, as does Redford. Fairly well-organised plot to back it up as well. Lastly, I thought the character development of Brad Pitt (Tom Bishop) over the course of the movie was nothing short of brilliant.
  9. MichaelP.
    Jul 10, 2004
    9
    This is a CIA sort of movie that you will either love or hate. Very smartly done, the only thing worng is that the flash backs go for too long. Otherwise, brillant movie!
  10. Jack
    May 10, 2003
    5
    Slick but empty, just passably entertaining.
  11. LeeEdwardM.
    Nov 30, 2002
    10
    The smartest, most poignant espionage film in at least the last couple of years. Both charming and informal, and far less glitzy or glamourous than either the naysaying pundits or the punters seem to think. This movie reminded me of every truly gripping and gritty 'international incident' film I have ever seen, in that all of the field scenarios were very grave and miserable, The smartest, most poignant espionage film in at least the last couple of years. Both charming and informal, and far less glitzy or glamourous than either the naysaying pundits or the punters seem to think. This movie reminded me of every truly gripping and gritty 'international incident' film I have ever seen, in that all of the field scenarios were very grave and miserable, and the heroes were neither perfect nor pathetic. As for the supposedly confusing and/or boring story... huh? Which movie were you watching? This was a character study written on the world stage, but without the fate of the world hanging in the balance. If anything, I would think that was a refreshing change of pace. It was about as confusing and dull as a classic episode of MASH. I'm genuinely offended. I've seen several modern espionage thrillers in the last litle while, and I am satisfied that this is the most savvy and powerful of the bunch. I'll not be starting up a fansite or anything of that nature, but nonetheless, I truly believe that even the cream of the current crop take a back seat to this movie. Expand
  12. AsteriskV.
    Sep 3, 2002
    10
    Extremely exciting, and excellent conclusion.
  13. LanceE.
    Aug 28, 2002
    9
    Slick action, great cinematography, and more realism in a spy movie in a long time.
  14. BangkokDave
    Jul 23, 2002
    9
    Excellent. Intelligent writing, compelling cinematography. Robert Redford at his best.
  15. JimC.
    Jul 7, 2002
    1
    What an incredible disappointment. goofy plot, way sub-par acting, and godawful dialogue. if the plot or cinematography were half-decent it might have saved this dull, soon-to-be-forgotten spy flick.
  16. TarikT.
    Apr 30, 2002
    0
    Extremely Boring.
  17. JohnO.
    Apr 12, 2002
    6
    About half way through I realized I really didn't care, but I want to see the sequel - Not what happens to Mr Redford or Mr Pitts, but the reaction of the Chinese Government.
  18. AndrewC.
    Feb 4, 2002
    5
    Very disappointing.
  19. DamianP.
    Dec 14, 2001
    7
    One of the few American movies which is not likely to insult your intelligence, it still sent the guy beside me to sleep. I thought it was good.
  20. MichaelF.
    Nov 26, 2001
    8
    I was shocked at the quality of thi film! It was exciting, fun, fast, intelligent. The slick style of Scott's direction was a little over-the-top at times but it gave the film life.
  21. JacquesR.
    Nov 24, 2001
    8
    This film reminded me of the fun and games style of "Sneakers," but with a strong dramatic edge provided by Brad Pitt. In a year of average films, this one's a must-see. Have fun with it!
  22. SheriA.
    Nov 23, 2001
    6
    I liked the premise, but the not the execution. It was too long, too draggy in places and had too much exposition.
  23. MarcB.
    Nov 21, 2001
    4
    Redford is telling a story. Isn't that nice. Movie had some good moments, but slow. Come on folks, too many movies in a year.
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. It's well-plotted, acted with a charismatic flair and right on the zeitgeist.
  2. Fans of swooping helicopter shots, alleys filled with backlit geysers of steam, and jump-cut editing that makes MTV look like Ingmar Bergman will relish the intercontinental intrigue and huggermugger that is Spy Game.
  3. The script provides an excellent payoff, although action fans may not agree, because that payoff is the equivalent of a Cheshire cat's grin.