This past week we were all treated to Phillip Noyce‘s latest spy film Salt. While I enjoyed myself with it, our very own Jordan Raup didn’t. To make him feel all better about himself I decided to cook up this list of my Top Ten Spy Films. Check it out below:
This list could be named my Stirred, not Shaken List since I’ve decided to leave all James Bond properties off the list. I know the first spy in cinema will always be James Bond. There are currently 22 films that he’s featured in and already 6 actors have played the role. So let’s take him as a given and move on with our lives.
10. The Matador (2005) (dir. Richard Shephard)
This movie always struck me for some reason. I know a lot of people would write it off as an average comedy film, but since it’s Pierce Brosnan‘s first film out of the massive James Bond franchise it was a hit for me. Brosnan was crazy enough to keep me laughing throughout. Julian Noble is a spy that’s finally lost it and just can’t seem to do the job anymore. He ends up meeting Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear) who’s a regular guy trying to make a living for him and his family. The two become odd friends and end up helping each other out in a big way after their chance meeting in Mexico City.
9. Spies Like Us (1985) (dir. John Landis)
Who doesn’t like a good 80s John Landis comedy? Everytime I watch the The Other Guys trailer all I can think about is this movie. Chevy Chase and Dan Akroyd are two bad spies. However, they are sent on a decoy mission to keep the bad guys focus on them as opposed to the real spies who’re trying to save the day. But somehow they end up saving the day anyways. It’s a fun movie and it reminds me that Chevy Chase was once a funny actor.
8. Top Secret! (1984) (dir. Jim Abrahams & David Zucker)
When an American rock n’ roll singer goes to East Germany and becomes involved in the resistance during WWII we’re in for a fun ride. In one of Val Kilmer‘s earliest roles he shows us his comedic talent. I still can’t forget the scene where he is dancing with the love interest and it starts out as a regular everyday 1940s ballroom dance scene and slowly the dance moves become things like making fart noises and all that jazz. The movie is slapstick humour at its best, inclusive of underwater saloon fight scenes.
7. The Good Shepherd (2006) (dir. Robert De Niro)
The film that portrays the beginning of the CIA. Edward Wilson (Matt Damon) is a regular citizen who enlists in the army and eventually is groomed to be one of the founding members of the Central Intelligence Agency as we see the early days of the US trying to figure out what the rest of the world does in their free time.
6. Taken (2009) (dir. Pierre Morel)
Lesson of the day; when you kidnap a hot American girl to sell on the black market try to make sure her father isn’t a former spy that can come and find you and kill you. Liam Neeson reminds us that he can still be a grade-A action star. The film takes us through the streets of France in an action packed Spy film with a ticking clock as a man tries to find his daughter.
Hitting theaters in wide release this weekend is John Wick, a film I fell for at Fantastic Fest and I’ve since revisited. The actioner, from first-time filmmakers Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, follows Keanu Reeves’ title character who left behind a life as a hitman for Russian mobsters to settle down for a quiet life with […]
Welcome to the latest episode of our official podcast, The Film Stage Show. This week, editor Nick Newman, writer Danny King, and I discuss Alex Ross Perry‘s Listen Up Philip, which is now in limited release and available on VOD. After that, we take a look at the films coming to theaters and home video in […]
As my review can attest to, I’m looking forward to not only watch John Wick again but also see how the film hits with general audiences when it arrives this weekend. The actioner stars Keanu Reeves as an ex-hitman who is crossed by the son of his old employer. When everything is taken from him, he decides to […]
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