Universal Pictures | Release Date: December 22, 2006
6.6
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 163 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
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100
Mixed:
28
Negative:
35
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10
Alexander_FredDec 8, 2011
The Good Shepherd is very much a difficult film to understand. At first glance, it is over 2 and a half hours of boring, sluggish history tracing the early history of counterintelligence within the CIA. But upon second glance, the filmThe Good Shepherd is very much a difficult film to understand. At first glance, it is over 2 and a half hours of boring, sluggish history tracing the early history of counterintelligence within the CIA. But upon second glance, the film emerges as something quite different. Is it at all entertaining? No. Is it at all thrilling? For brief moments. But all in all, the film is not meant to be entertaining or thrilling. It is meant to be what film once thrived to be: pure art. It becomes difficult when first seeing this film to see the artistic majesty because most of us have become accustomed to watching a monkey throw **** on a wall and then calling that art. The Good Shepherd becomes like the Mona Lisa, but we must first remember that the Mona Lisa is art and **** on a wall is just **** on a wall. Then we see that this film is perfect because it is art, a true artistic piece of cinema. Expand
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All this user's reviews
9
HelenM.Jan 1, 2007
Thought-provoking, intense movie with Matt Damon's performance deserving of an oscar. The complexity of the character and the moral implications of the story deserves this high rating.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
KlunkoJJan 19, 2010
The Good Shepherd certainly isn
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
WolfiefishM.Mar 19, 2007
A film about how the CIA was formed out of dodgy dealings and shadey characters with vested interests. Tell us something we don't know. This film was a pancake disguised as a fancy crepe, with Jolie as the chocolate sauce that covered A film about how the CIA was formed out of dodgy dealings and shadey characters with vested interests. Tell us something we don't know. This film was a pancake disguised as a fancy crepe, with Jolie as the chocolate sauce that covered the banana that is Damon. DeNiro added one too many eggs into this mixture. He must of thought that by adding a bit of cheddar he would give it a savoury flavour, but instead we were exposed to too many cheesy moments. Too many cooks spoilt the pancake. (I fell asleep at one point, I might have missed the best bit). Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
SethW.Apr 6, 2007
Don't understand why so many people and critics didn't get into this. It does demand a certain intellectual curiosity and understanding of history, but outside of that I didn't think it was slow or uninteresting at all. I was Don't understand why so many people and critics didn't get into this. It does demand a certain intellectual curiosity and understanding of history, but outside of that I didn't think it was slow or uninteresting at all. I was impressed with everything about it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
J.S.Feb 1, 2008
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JohnD.Dec 25, 2006
This is an exceptional motion picture that might be lost on the majority of today's movie audience unfortunately. An intriguing story and a fascinating historical background, filmed with beautiful camera work and a great musical score. This is an exceptional motion picture that might be lost on the majority of today's movie audience unfortunately. An intriguing story and a fascinating historical background, filmed with beautiful camera work and a great musical score. Some great performances from the cast make this one of the best films of the year. I'm actually surprised by its lukewarm critical reception; critics are often accused of being out touch with the general audience, but this time, it seems as if The Good Shepherd was even too sophisticated for them. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
edb.Dec 30, 2006
Intriging, suspensful through out, For those who did not like it perhaps they did not want to think. Matt Damon was teriffic.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
Rev.RikardJan 13, 2007
The fall from heaven to earth is only a decision away; a decision of allegence. DeNiro reveals that humanity has fallen from truth into delusion, honor into shame, from passion into a plastic-existence. As much as we find it easier to create The fall from heaven to earth is only a decision away; a decision of allegence. DeNiro reveals that humanity has fallen from truth into delusion, honor into shame, from passion into a plastic-existence. As much as we find it easier to create a dichotomy for humanity of light and darkness, DeNiro reveals in this great film that we live in murkier, more confusing waters than that. Those representing a nation's belief in its goodness appear plastic, emtionless, secretive while the darkness of the "bad guys" lurks beneath. This movie leaves us asking, "Is allegence to a nation a high and noble trait, or is there just as much darkness as in the clandestine world that challenges that nation's values?" Is it noble to sacrifice passion, truth and life for any cause other than love in its purest expression? This film leaves the viewer with the belief that genuine love cannot coexist with allegence to anything or anyone that stands in contrast and contradiction to that love. Damon perfectly plays the role of the passionless man who no longer knows how to live, as Jolie represents the challenge to such a life. Yes, it is long and plodding, but so is the fall into utter delusion. "First there is country, then God." Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
JoeFi.Jan 1, 2007
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
AliceF.Jan 1, 2007
Complicated and intriguing, somewhat plodding but entertaining. Matt Damon could have had a little bit more personality, he was directed to be too flat, he appears to have a personality disorder.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
JeffA.Jan 2, 2007
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
PaulL.Jan 3, 2007
You really get a great sense of unease and mistrust that surrounds the lives of modern day spies. It's a long movie, but it needed to be long to give us the depth that is required of this film. Matt Damon is truly excellent in this film You really get a great sense of unease and mistrust that surrounds the lives of modern day spies. It's a long movie, but it needed to be long to give us the depth that is required of this film. Matt Damon is truly excellent in this film despite looking too young to be an older man. He plays the laconic yet deep thinking protagonist perfectly. You truly get a sense of how these men utterly give up their lives to serve their country without ever being able to confide or reveal their true selves to anyone and without ever expecting any kind of recognition for their sacrafice nor influence on our lives. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
DWillyJan 6, 2007
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
AJJan 6, 2007
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. 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
BitBurnJan 7, 2007
It was alright. A little slow at the beginning and a bit confusing too but the pace picks up. Damon's performance was strong and the rest of the cast as well. Was great to see Joe Pesci again!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
DanZ.Mar 26, 2007
Everyone that gave this movie below a 5 is a complete moron. This movie is not for 13 year olds wanting to see Terminator. If you have the patience to appreciate some great acting, notably on Damon's part, then you will love it. Everyone that gave this movie below a 5 is a complete moron. This movie is not for 13 year olds wanting to see Terminator. If you have the patience to appreciate some great acting, notably on Damon's part, then you will love it. Moreover, its the subtleties of the movie that make it great, not Americans blowing shit up left and right and saving the world from evil. Shows you how stupid people are. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
JohnO.Apr 11, 2007
I don't think this is a bad film or, as some viewers have said, a mess. It just lacks the artistry and depth of the films it is aspiring to, such as The Godfather II. Ultimately, poor character development and De Niro's inability I don't think this is a bad film or, as some viewers have said, a mess. It just lacks the artistry and depth of the films it is aspiring to, such as The Godfather II. Ultimately, poor character development and De Niro's inability to change pace and provide tension at key moments left me feeling that although it was watchable, in the hands of a more capable director it might have been memorable. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
DanB.Apr 14, 2007
It is slow but never boring. I don't really get why it wasn't better liked. I have a feeling, too, that if you dig into it you'll find a lot of irony and no clear answers. (Which is a good thing, or, in this case it is.) About It is slow but never boring. I don't really get why it wasn't better liked. I have a feeling, too, that if you dig into it you'll find a lot of irony and no clear answers. (Which is a good thing, or, in this case it is.) About the only fault I can think of is, perhaps, in one scene with Ulysses, the music kicks up a bit too loud and there's a sense of too much 'drama' schmaltzed on to the scene, as if the director wasn't sure the point would come across without the music. But it's a small thing. Overall I found it absorbing from the get go. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
MattK.Apr 7, 2007
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
PnArdyPnArdyMay 13, 2007
I would call it a great movie with espionage and political flavor. Dull and long as it may seem, it realistically portrays the early history of CIA through the eyes of main character. "We've got the United States. The rest of you are I would call it a great movie with espionage and political flavor. Dull and long as it may seem, it realistically portrays the early history of CIA through the eyes of main character. "We've got the United States. The rest of you are just visitors", "The Agency comes first, God second" - the film features many brilliant taglines and outstanding cast. However, Matt Damon looks too young both for the position of CIA director and for the role of father. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
NickEMay 8, 2007
This was a poor film and not worth the time and effort of following it (and before anyone says anything about my taste in films, my 2 favorites in the past year have been "Zodiac" and "Inland Empire"). It is beautifully shot, but it has no This was a poor film and not worth the time and effort of following it (and before anyone says anything about my taste in films, my 2 favorites in the past year have been "Zodiac" and "Inland Empire"). It is beautifully shot, but it has no discernable plot; though it's oriented around a what-if concerning a CIA leak and the Bay of Pigs, most of the 3 hours is spent in tangents away from this storyline, to the point that you forget about it until you're reminded again. These tangents (the old college flame, is the defector who he says he is, Pesci's character) are presented as subplots, but they're all so abbreviated that none of them goes anywhere. A film like this can work if the characters are compelling; however, other than Damon, everyone in the film is on-screen so briefly that they feel like stick figures rather than human beings. And Damon, whom I usually like, plays his role with such emotional restraint that it's not clear that the events of the film have any effect on him. Insofar as the movie lacks a clear plot and fleshed-out characters, and that it asks you to identify with a protagonist who's both unlikable and improbably inhuman, it just doesn't work. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
TonyB.Jun 10, 2007
Not nearly as good as some think it is and certainly not as bad as others see it, "The Good Shepherd" plods along at a snail-like pace as it jumps from one plot line to another.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
NickNameJun 18, 2007
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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
BrunoAJul 29, 2007
I only just saw The Good Shepherd, some weeks after its release here in France. I thought it was excellent. Was anyone else struck by the importance of father/son relationships in the film? I agree that Matt Damon doesn't look old I only just saw The Good Shepherd, some weeks after its release here in France. I thought it was excellent. Was anyone else struck by the importance of father/son relationships in the film? I agree that Matt Damon doesn't look old enough to be a father (at his son's wedding, for example), and that his character is emotionally cold and totally unfatherly. But so many relationships in the film were based on this theme, or on the theme of abandonment by the father. Maybe I'm just projecting my own issues, but I found the film all the richer for this. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
TomM.Jul 5, 2007
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
SamAug 4, 2007
This film -- which I watched again last night for a second time -- is clearly not your typical spy thriller movie that many reviewers seem to have expected. It's too bad that more people don't have patience for careful filmmaking, This film -- which I watched again last night for a second time -- is clearly not your typical spy thriller movie that many reviewers seem to have expected. It's too bad that more people don't have patience for careful filmmaking, thoughful exposition, great acting, and extraordinary ambiguity. This is the genius of the story and how DeNiro realized it. What many seem to complain about -- it is slow, it is enigmatic, it is confusing, it is even dull -- is true, in the same sense that reading LeCarre is slow, enigmatic, confusing, and even dull. But let that not detract from a powerful evocation -- a much truer evocation than most "spy" movies -- of what espionage is all about, and the true human emotions that must be faced and overcome (or not) by a protagonist in Wilson (Damon's) position. This is a psychological thriller of great magnitude that probably suffered by being marketed as a spy movie. Painstakingly made, detailed, and very true to the human experience if not the Bond one. I like Bond, and Bourne, but for gut-wrenching truth, give me more movies like this. A tour de force. Damon is terrific, Angelina Jolie perfectly cast as either the jilted spouse or the conniving college girl ensuring her future by entrapping a promising husband. She's both. It's an enigma -- the movie is an enigma, and life is an enigma. Nothing is what it seems to anyone at the time -- and this is perfectly conveyed throughout this excellent movie. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
TedK.Jun 20, 2008
A very good movie if you're in the right mood for it (cerebral, patient). Hard to follow, but that's part of the charm (and it's not a mess like Syriana). The bulk of it will be comprehensible in one viewing, but it took a A very good movie if you're in the right mood for it (cerebral, patient). Hard to follow, but that's part of the charm (and it's not a mess like Syriana). The bulk of it will be comprehensible in one viewing, but it took a second time for me to catch some of the stuff. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
SteveB.Dec 23, 2006
It creates the illusion and setting and atmosphere of a thriller--but there aren't any thrills. Other than the history of Matt Damon's career in the CIA and of his marriage, the only thiller plot line involves trying to decrypt a It creates the illusion and setting and atmosphere of a thriller--but there aren't any thrills. Other than the history of Matt Damon's career in the CIA and of his marriage, the only thiller plot line involves trying to decrypt a piece of intelligence, which can be figured out by the end and is only of minor interest. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
VanB.Dec 27, 2006
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, 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! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful