The Good Shepherd

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 162 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 162
  2. Negative: 35 out of 162

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User Reviews

  1. J.S.
    Feb 1, 2008
    0
    To a teenager, this would be (and it is) an extremely boring movie. The movie focuses on one thing: a man and his boring life as a CIA operative. Although, it is intended for older audiences, but it doesn't please the action-movie goers who look for spy shootouts, automatic pick-ups of beautiful women, and, of course, a diabolical villain. Not a good choice to buy or rent. I made To a teenager, this would be (and it is) an extremely boring movie. The movie focuses on one thing: a man and his boring life as a CIA operative. Although, it is intended for older audiences, but it doesn't please the action-movie goers who look for spy shootouts, automatic pick-ups of beautiful women, and, of course, a diabolical villain. Not a good choice to buy or rent. I made this mistake. Expand
  2. JoeFi.
    Jan 1, 2007
    3
    Very slow moving, confusing. While it has an impressive list of stars they are all rather wooden in their performances especially Damon whom I like a lot but not in this pic. He wanders through this film as a morose character wearing a felt hat and rain coat carrying a briefcase that looks almost too heavy. De Niro and Joe Pesce don't comprise 10 minutes of screen time. All in all, Very slow moving, confusing. While it has an impressive list of stars they are all rather wooden in their performances especially Damon whom I like a lot but not in this pic. He wanders through this film as a morose character wearing a felt hat and rain coat carrying a briefcase that looks almost too heavy. De Niro and Joe Pesce don't comprise 10 minutes of screen time. All in all, way too long. The only word that comes to mind to accurately describe this film is tedious. Expand
  3. JeffA.
    Jan 2, 2007
    0
    Honestly, I've never seen so many people walk out of a movie. What a waste of a wonderful cast. Once again, I was fooled by the critics. They got my hard earned cash. I can save you all 3 hours of your life. Here's the entire film in 3 words. Trust no one. Go watch Departed or 007 for the second time instead.
  4. DWilly
    Jan 6, 2007
    2
    As the movie got started and was immediately bad, I sat there thinking, what an odd story for Robert DeNiro, a man of limited intellect and scope, to direct. And the script is terrible. You can tell a lot of money was spent on the technical aspects and storyboarding and all, but it is corny, inhuman and nearly all the performances are poor. It's frightening to hear Damon sing the As the movie got started and was immediately bad, I sat there thinking, what an odd story for Robert DeNiro, a man of limited intellect and scope, to direct. And the script is terrible. You can tell a lot of money was spent on the technical aspects and storyboarding and all, but it is corny, inhuman and nearly all the performances are poor. It's frightening to hear Damon sing the praises of DeNiro's direction in interviews and think he'll continue this approach in the future; because it nearly obliterated his talent. As a sidenote, having thought DeNiro's acting itself was of such poor quality these last years because he was phoning it in, it was stunning to learn that, even in a project you knew he would want to come off well, his acting is now bad. Collapse
  5. AJ
    Jan 6, 2007
    0
    This movie was boring, tedious, confusing, and slow. There, I said it. It's no thriller, and the drama is forced. The directing is horrible (2 words surrounded by 30 second pad of silence is not a dialog). The writing was painful. Instead of give us meaningful dialog, whenever there's a sex scene (roughly 4 or 5 I think) It always goes like this: him: stone faced her: "Do you This movie was boring, tedious, confusing, and slow. There, I said it. It's no thriller, and the drama is forced. The directing is horrible (2 words surrounded by 30 second pad of silence is not a dialog). The writing was painful. Instead of give us meaningful dialog, whenever there's a sex scene (roughly 4 or 5 I think) It always goes like this: him: stone faced her: "Do you want (stay/get a room)?" him: "Do you want me to?" her: "very much so" and then a brief sex scene. I don't mean to offend anyone, but this movie is for old people. The pace is slow, there is very little visual distraction or movement. It's based in the 40's and 60's, and did portray a lot of the "good ol days" when America was young and strong. After the movie was over, I looked through the theater and everyone was over 60 -- except me, at 26. Unless you're retired, think twice about watching this movie. Expand
  6. MattK.
    Apr 7, 2007
    3
    This was a terrible movie!! I have no clue what happened. I watch movies all the time and I can honestly say that this is only the second film that I found impossible to follow. The first was a David Lynch film! Dinero should stick to acting. If anyone can PLEASE tell me anything about what happened in this movie, I'd appreciate it.
  7. NickName
    Jun 18, 2007
    2
    ZZZZZZ.... Sorry fell asleep just thinking about the boring movie. I just rented the DVD good thing they trimmed off the extra 16 minutes of yet another subplot or I would have wasted over 3 hours of my life. Angelina
  8. TomM.
    Jul 5, 2007
    3
    A movie tracing the early origins and eventual development of what we now know as the CIA, with performances by Robert DeNiro, Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, William Hurt, and Alec Baldwin--including bit parts by Timothy Dalton and Joe Pesci--certainly appears to have the elements of a very promising and intriguing film that couldn't possibly miss. Yet, that's precisely what A movie tracing the early origins and eventual development of what we now know as the CIA, with performances by Robert DeNiro, Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, William Hurt, and Alec Baldwin--including bit parts by Timothy Dalton and Joe Pesci--certainly appears to have the elements of a very promising and intriguing film that couldn't possibly miss. Yet, that's precisely what happens here. Muddled dialogue in scene after scene, baffling story structure, one serious case of miscasting (Eddie Redmayne as the main character's son), unreadable graphics, and film editing that must have been phoned in all combine for a major disappointment. Strangely, after I viewed it, I couldn't help thinking of Ted Williams, who many believe to be the greatest hitter of all time, yet he was a surprising flop as a manager. Could it be that DeNiro, who many consider our finest living actor, is doomed to the same fate when it comes to directing? Hey, Bobby, give Scorsese a call. Expand
  9. VanB.
    Dec 27, 2006
    1
    Slow, boring. No action, very little suspense or intrigue. If you've seen the trailer, you've seen every interesting moment in the movie. Can sum up the story line in a sentence or two: Anyone who works for the CIA is evil/corrupt, or becomes evil/corrupt eventually if they work there long enough. That's what happens when you are overly patriotic, so beware of patriotism!
  10. SteveP.
    Dec 29, 2006
    3
    So over the top that it becomes laughable. Great acting, but the directing is trying way too hard. The silence as subtlety is so beyond the pale. You can almost hear the director shouting, "give me nothing." Angelina is great as usual, though under used. It left me wishing for the movie I thought I was paying to see. They keep trying for complexity and wind up with an almost laughable one So over the top that it becomes laughable. Great acting, but the directing is trying way too hard. The silence as subtlety is so beyond the pale. You can almost hear the director shouting, "give me nothing." Angelina is great as usual, though under used. It left me wishing for the movie I thought I was paying to see. They keep trying for complexity and wind up with an almost laughable one dimensional baddness. Expand
  11. AaronM.
    Apr 11, 2007
    3
    This movie is long and very slow paced. Though the movie has great intentions and a great cast, it is rarely engaging and walks the line between drama and documentary.
  12. IndyraG.
    Apr 8, 2007
    3
    An episodic mess with no central narrative thread and completely devoid of compelling characters. The actors deliberately underplay their roles and mumble through most of their lines, which are in turn drowned out by the wall-to-wall ominous soundtrack that's meant to be foreboding and ends up anything but. You can put a lot of talented actors on screen and throw money at them, but An episodic mess with no central narrative thread and completely devoid of compelling characters. The actors deliberately underplay their roles and mumble through most of their lines, which are in turn drowned out by the wall-to-wall ominous soundtrack that's meant to be foreboding and ends up anything but. You can put a lot of talented actors on screen and throw money at them, but that does not guarantee a good movie. What a mess. Expand
  13. MarkK.
    Jun 17, 2007
    3
    An intelligent spy film made without intelligence. There are numerous scenes and subplot lines that if they were cut would have improved the movie. The subplots really don't improve the main plot line, as do many of the characters. For its 148 minute running time, it asks too much and delivers too little. If it were cut to just under 2 hours, it would have been much better.
  14. KasparH.
    Jul 2, 2007
    1
    Why no mention of the milestone Mohammed Mossadegh overthrow in Iran? Matt Damon cast as the spy-master was a comical touch. Crispin Glover should have had that role.
  15. FedUp
    Dec 23, 2006
    2
    Great actors but about as inspirational to the viewer as watching moss grow on a rock.
  16. LukeTheDuke
    Dec 28, 2006
    3
    Really lame. Angelina alone is great for 1/3 of the movie, and after that there is nothing credible or believable. All the stars could not save this dog. A slow, tedious, tale about characters none of whom are worth caring one hoot about.
  17. JohnnyB.
    Dec 30, 2006
    1
    Decent movie, but at times confusing and difficult to follow. Once this mvie comes to DVD nobody will understand it, as it is too long (3 hours), and you have to pay full attention to every detail of this movie or you will be completely lost.
  18. JuanF.
    Mar 21, 2007
    2
    Slooooow , great actors don't save a bad movie, but the worst isthat it's very antihistorical: Castro didn´t get or need an unlikely "leak" : U.S. government said they were going to invade, bombed Cuba and invaded two full days later and the invasion ships, (commercial banana cargos, white painted) took three days to reach Cuba!!!
  19. DonW
    Dec 25, 2006
    3
    A real snoozefest.
  20. Jan 25, 2015
    3
    On paper, The Good Shepherd is a can't miss film. I mean how could you go wrong with a film about the beginnings of the C.I.A., directed by Robert De Niro, and starring multiple Academy Award Winners? I was really excited about finally sitting down to watch this three hour epic, the critics raved about, but sadly, it the case of the Good Shepherd, it was the user reviews that were spot on.On paper, The Good Shepherd is a can't miss film. I mean how could you go wrong with a film about the beginnings of the C.I.A., directed by Robert De Niro, and starring multiple Academy Award Winners? I was really excited about finally sitting down to watch this three hour epic, the critics raved about, but sadly, it the case of the Good Shepherd, it was the user reviews that were spot on. Matt Damon portrays one of the C.I.A.'s top agents, a man whose life revolves around his work. The story is based on an investigation into what went wrong during the Bay of Pigs invasion, while at the same time flashing back to how Damon's character got his start in the spy agency. We see everything from his childhood trauma's to his recruitment in college, his actions in World War II, and everything else he did leading up to the Bay of Pigs. Matt Damon was absolutely the perfect choice to play Agent Edward Wilson, as his natural personality was a perfect fit for the characters. If Damon wasn't good enough, he's surrounded by a cast of Hollywood legends that any film would be hard pressed to duplicate, so why the low rating? Even the premise of the film was excellent, but it's downfall is in the story itself. The Good Shepherd is over three hours long and easily feels like it was double that, as the film moves at an absolute snails pace. While the story and the actors were phenomenal, the film itself is done in such a way that it's one long conversation after another, with little if any action in between. Every time an angle is built up, we're sent to the other part of the story and simply have to assume the conclusion, without actually seeing it. The lack of resolution wasn't the only issue, as the film's large cast comes back to haunt it. There are so many people in this movie that are all dressed the same, who all act the same, and who all look the same. I couldn't keep track of who was who. While the Good Shepherd has the makings of an award winning film, the truth is that everyone behind the scenes blew it. This film is much too long, much too slow, and much too confusing to ever be enjoyable, and personally I think it is one of the biggest disappointments to come along in a very long time. Expand
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Despite successfully creating the illusion of forbidden glimpses, The Good Shepherd slogs through most of its lengthy running time.
  2. In some ways, De Niro does a competent job in his second directorial effort but his characterizations are clumsy, and his members of the Power Elite always seem less real people than stick figures in a propaganda movie.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Deliberately paced, epic and ambitious, The Good Shepherd feels related in tone, mood and style to "The Godfather."