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Top 100 Best Spy Movies Of All Time

Shivam ParasharShivam-Posted Nov 25, 2021


Spy Movies

 

Since the beginning of the silent era in motion pictures, spy films have managed to deliver a specific kind of escapist entertainment for the ardent fans of cinema worldwide.

 

These films, which originally attempted to cast a light on real-life events in war, also emphasized the heightening international frictions in the 20th century; two vital reasons that laid the biggest foundation for the spy film genre to pick up in such a big way that it is now considered the most sought after genre in the world of cinema.

 

A plethora of spy films that revolved around the two great wars and the Nazi scourge were produced in the 1940s.

 

These flicks helped the classic James Bond films to come into the picture which, in turn, helped open the doors for modern-day blockbuster spy features like the 'Mission: Impossible' and the 'Jason Bourne' series.

 

That said, what adds to the class and charm of these spy films is the fact that they rely on mystery, action, and thrills to create a long-lasting impact.

 

Often, these motion pictures cut across genres and, yet, keep the excitement and intellect of espionage fully intact.

 

Needless to mention, with the number of spy movies populating the cinematic universe today, one cannot help but deduce that spies and movies were made for one another.

 

And, as long as there are major international incidents, the viewers will leave no stone unturned to line up to catch the movies based on those occurrences in the cinemas.

 

It is safe to say then that these movies will never go out of fashion and will, in fact, continue to be trendsetters of sorts in the years to come.

 

So, starting from number 100, let us take a look at the finest spy feature films that have managed to enthrall audiences globally.

 

 

100. Unlocked (2017)

 

Unlocked (2017)

 

Entity Detail
Title Unlocked
Year 2017
Watch time 98 min
Directors Michael Apted
Cast Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette, John Malkovich
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 6.3
Metascore 46
Writers Peter O'Brien
Music By Stephen Barton
Cinematography By George Richmond
Costume By Ondrej Nekvasil

 

This Michael Apted directional venture stars Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette, John Malkovich, and Michael Douglas in crucial roles and tells the story of a CIA agent, Alice Racine, who is assigned the task of scrutinizing an intelligence alert regarding a looming lethal biological attack in a football stadium in London.

 

This espionage flick has an intelligent plot, several twists and turns within that plot and good acting performances by an A-list cast.

 

In addition, a relevant storyline and quick execution of the same manage to hold the attention of the viewers right through to the very end.

 

The film truly scores in keeping the friction in the screenplay undamaged, all while doing a good job of dealing with some very sensitive issues.

 

 

99. The American (2010)

 

The American (2010)

 

Entity Detail
Title The American
Year 2010
Watch time 105 min
Directors Anton Corbijn
Cast George Clooney, Paolo Bonacelli, Violante Placido, Irina Björklund
Box Office $35.61M
IMDb Rating 6.3
Metascore 61
Writers Rowan Joffe
Music By Herbert Grönemeyer
Cinematography By Martin Ruhe
Costume By Mark Digby

 

This George Clooney starrer has been helmed by Anton Corbijn and traces the journey of an assassin who is hiding out in Italy for one last assignment.

 

Like many George Clooney movies, this one is cinematically superb as well; proving Clooney's undeniable influence behind the scenes.

 

The movie has a decent narrative pace and a wonderful visual flow. Also, the screenplay showcases the countryside so beautifully that the viewers might be satisfied with that alone.

 

Overall, 'The American' may not be as exciting as other sharp nail-biters in the genre, but it is an engaging slow-paced thriller laced with a tinge of romance.

 

 

98. The November Man (2014)

 

The November Man (2014)

 

Entity Detail
Title The November Man
Year 2014
Watch time 108 min
Directors Roger Donaldson
Cast Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko, Bill Smitrovich
Box Office $24.98M
IMDb Rating 6.3
Metascore 38
Writers Michael Finch
Music By Marco Beltrami
Cinematography By Romain Lacourbas
Costume By Kevin Kavanaugh

 

Directed by Roger Donaldson and starring Pierce Brosnan in the lead, this motion picture tells the story of an ex-C.I.A. operative who is brought back in on a very private mission.

 

Soon enough, he finds himself pitted against his former pupil in a lethal game involving high-level C.I.A. officials and the Russian President-elect.

 

The plot which is full of twists, turns, and betrayals is also aided by a gritty performance by Pierce Brosnan; one that ranks amongst his finest.

 

The fast-paced action and the graphics succeed in engrossing the viewers from the start to finish.

 

Overall, 'The November Man' feels like a persuasive Jason Bourne-style story in which Pierce Brosnan is ineffably smooth and suave.

 

 

97. Taken 2 (2012)

 

Taken 2 (2012)

 

Entity Detail
Title Taken 2
Year 2012
Watch time 92 min
Directors Olivier Megaton
Cast Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Leland Orser
Box Office $139.85M
IMDb Rating 6.3
Metascore 45
Writers Luc Besson
Music By Nathaniel Méchaly
Cinematography By Romain Lacourbas
Costume By Sébastien Inizan

 

Helmed by Olivier Megaton, this Liam Neeson starrer traces the journey of Bryan Mills; a former CIA agent who is taken hostage along with his ex-wife, Lenore, by a ruthless gang in Albania.

 

However, their daughter Kim helps Bryan break free and rescue Lenore. First things first, this sequel to 'Taken' aims to build suspense and tension in its screenplay, rather than trying to rely too much on relentless fight scenes to make an impact.

 

There are elements in this motion picture that make it come across as a classic espionage thriller, courtesy of its frantic atmosphere and exotic setting - in this case, Istanbul.

 

Even though it is not as re-watchable as its predecessor, it still is entertaining enough for the average viewer.

 

 

96. The Siege (1998)

 

The Siege (1998)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Siege
Year 1998
Watch time 116 min
Directors Edward Zwick
Cast Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, Annette Bening, Tony Shalhoub
Box Office $40.98M
IMDb Rating 6.4
Metascore 53
Writers Lawrence Wright
Music By Graeme Revell
Cinematography By Roger Deakins
Costume By Lilly Kilvert

 

Starring Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, and Bruce Willis in crucial roles, this Edward Zwick directorial venture traces the journey of an FBI agent who races against time to stop a group of terrorists that is responsible for a string of bombings in New York City.

 

Banking on its plausible storyline that is also suitably complex, this motion picture strives to analyze the "culture" of terrorists in the most genuine way possible.

 

The responsible Denzel Washington is outstanding here as the FBI agent on the trail of terrorists.

 

In addition, 'The Siege' also comprises some great set pieces and a tension-inducing atmosphere.

 

 

95. The Interpreter (2005)

 

The Interpreter (2005)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Interpreter
Year 2005
Watch time 128 min
Directors Sydney Pollack
Cast Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Jesper Christensen
Box Office $72.71M
IMDb Rating 6.4
Metascore 62
Writers Martin Stellman
Music By James Newton Howard
Cinematography By Darius Khondji
Costume By

Jon Hutman

 

In this Sydney Pollack-helmed venture that stars Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn as the main protagonists, political intrigue and betrayal unfold inside the United Nations, where a U.S. Secret Service agent is assigned to analyze an interpreter who overhears an assassination plan.

 

For the major part of the screenplay, the film works as a sleek thriller; one that is adequately photographed and fairly executed.

 

And, even though a political thriller at heart, it is also a story on withstanding personal losses, dealing with the past in an effective manner, and moving on.

 

Needless to say, 'The Interpreter' comes across as professional and is made with lots of talent and flair.

 

 

94. The Sum of All Fears (2002)

 

The Sum of All Fears (2002)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Sum of All Fears
Year 2002
Watch time 124 min
Directors Phil Alden Robinson
Cast Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Ian Mongrain, Russell Bobbitt
Box Office $118.91M
IMDb Rating 6.4
Metascore 45
Writers Tom Clancy
Music By Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography By John Lindley
Costume By Jeannine Oppewall

 

This Phil Alden Robinson directorial venture is based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name.

 

It traces the journey of Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst, who must stop a terrorist group from causing destruction and planting a nuclear weapon at a football game in Baltimore.

 

Headlined by Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, and Liev Schreiber, this feature film is a fresh interpretation of a popular Tom Clancy novel.

 

The suspense in this enjoyable flick is as high as it can get and the young and good-looking Ben Affleck portrays Jack Ryan comfortably.

 

Morgan Freeman, who plays the trademark mentor in this thriller as well, does justice to his character play.

 

 

93. Salt (2010)

 

Salt (2010)

 

Entity Detail
Title Salt
Year 2010
Watch time 100 min
Directors Phillip Noyce
Cast Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Olbrychski
Box Office $118.31M
IMDb Rating 6.4
Metascore 65
Writers Kurt Wimmer
Music By James Newton Howard
Cinematography By Robert Elswit
Costume By Scott Chambliss

 

Director Phillip Noyce's 'Salt' tracks the journey of a CIA agent who goes on the run after a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy.

 

Headlined by Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie, this feature film tries its best to make its viewers believe in the deepest of conspiracies.

 

Jolie has no problem fitting the role with that laid-back humor and toughness to go with her already effervescent on-screen persona.

 

The movie proves to be highly captivating courtesy of its lightning-fast pace that has no time for irrelevant sub-plots or dreaded romance.

 

This is precisely what makes the screenplay come across as both focused and fluid, thus, bringing in a lot of energy and keeping the tempo until the finale.

 

 

92. The World Is Not Enough (1999)

 

The World Is Not Enough (1999)

 

Entity Detail
Title The World Is Not Enough
Year 1999
Watch time 128 min
Directors Michael Apted
Cast Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards
Box Office $126.94M
IMDb Rating 6.4
Metascore 57
Writers Neal Purvis
Music By David Arnold
Cinematography By Adrian Biddle
Costume By Peter Lamont

 

In this Michael Apted directorial venture, the story follows how James Bond is entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding the daughter of an oil tycoon.

 

However, while on his duty, he learns about an even more risky plot. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Denise Richards, and Sophie Marceau in significant roles, 'The World Is Not Enough' thrives on its spectacular stunts and adrenaline-pumping action, effortless cinematography, and splendid scenery to make an impact.

 

While the music and theme song are certainly memorable, the performances too are very well done.

 

Pierce Brosnan is both very likable and pleasing here as James Bond, and Sophie Marceau matches up to his antics faultlessly.

 

 

91. Spartan (2004)

 

Spartan (2004)

 

Entity Detail
Title Spartan
Year 2004
Watch time 106 min
Directors David Mamet
Cast Val Kilmer, Derek Luke, William H. Macy, Tia Texada
Box Office $4.43M
IMDb Rating 6.5
Metascore 60
Writers David Mamet
Music By Mark Isham
Cinematography By Juan Ruiz Anchía
Costume By Gemma Jackson

 

Written and helmed for the screen by David Mamet, this spy feature film tracks the inquiry into the kidnapping of the daughter of a high-ranking US government official.

 

The suspense in this motion picture is quite good and the screenplay does its best to keep it moving like an engine of the script.

 

That said, some of the situations and characters are given far less screen time and detail to be able to make the kind of impact that the film originally intended them to.

 

But, even though the plot of this enjoyable thriller may be full of gaps, it does maintain a great pace from the start to the somber and appeasing climax.

 

 

90. Octopussy (1983)

 

Octopussy (1983)

 

Entity Detail
Title Octopussy
Year 1983
Watch time 131 min
Directors John Glen
Cast Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jourdan, Kristina Wayborn
Box Office $67.90M
IMDb Rating 6.5
Metascore 63
Writers George MacDonald Fraser
Music By John Barry
Cinematography By Alan Hume
Costume By Peter Lamont

 

This John Glen-helmed spy action-drama stars Roger Moore and Maud Adams in significant roles and tracks the journey of James Bond, who sets out to thwart a nuclear onslaught on NATO.

 

However, in order to do so, he has to enlist the help of a circus group and its elusive leader, Octopussy.

 

The plus point here is that the motion picture has a very good core story that comprises intelligent political overtones that were prevalent at that time.

 

While the cast assembled is most impressive and the photography in the film is outstanding, the title song also manages to make quite an impression.

 

Overall, it would be safe to state that 'Octopussy' has a bit of something for the hardcore fans of the James Bond series of movies.

 

 

89. The International (2009)

 

The International (2009)

 

Entity Detail
Title The International
Year 2009
Watch time 118 min
Directors Tom Tykwer
Cast Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Ulrich Thomsen
Box Office $25.45M
IMDb Rating 6.5
Metascore 52
Writers Eric Warren Singer
Music By Reinhold Heil Johnny Klimek Tom Tykwer
Cinematography By Frank Griebe
Costume By Uli Hanisch

 

Directed by Tom Tykwer, this feature film tracks the journey of an Interpol agent who endeavors to expose a high-profile financial institution's role in a global arms dealing ring.

 

Headlined by Clive Owens and Naomi Watts, 'The International' is like a breath of fresh air to fans of the thriller genre.

 

Essentially a spy movie with bankers trying to make up for the spies, the motion picture relies heavily on its tense setting to make an impact.

 

Even though the complicated story of corruption and greed has its flaws, it still manages to hold the attention of the viewer until the very last scene.

 

 

88. The Expendables (2010)

 

The Expendables (2010)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Expendables
Year 2010
Watch time 103 min
Directors Sylvester Stallone
Cast Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren
Box Office $103.07M
IMDb Rating 6.5
Metascore 45
Writers Dave Callaham
Music By Brian Tyler
Cinematography By Jeffrey L. Kimball
Costume By Franco-Giacomo Carbone

 

Director Sylvester Stallone's 'The Expendables' tracks how a CIA mercenary team is sanctioned to slay the dictator of a South American island without noticing that their mission is wickedly planned by a vengeful CIA officer, James Monroe.

 

There is no argument contesting the fact that this one was the most anticipated action film in quite some time due to all the legends of the 80s coming back together on the big screen.

 

Fans of the 80s action are going to have a good time here courtesy of the well-executed action sequences and fast-paced screenplay.

 

Everything infused in the story here is meant for fun and on that level, it works quite well.

 

 

87. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

 

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

 

Entity Detail
Title Tomorrow Never Dies
Year 1997
Watch time 119 min
Directors Roger Spottiswoode
Cast Pierce Brosnan, Jonathan Pryce, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher
Box Office $125.33M
IMDb Rating 6.5
Metascore 52
Writers Bruce Feirstein
Music By David Arnold
Cinematography By Robert Elswit
Costume By Allan Cameron

 

Headlined by Pierce Brosnan, this Roger Spottiswoode-helmed spy drama traces the journey of James Bond, an undercover agent who sets out to deter a media baron, Elliot Carver, from waging a war between China and the United Kingdom after he is summoned by the Secret Intelligence Service.

 

'Tomorrow Never Dies' banks on its terrific cinematography and locations, a great background score and theme song, a good script, and excellent action to make an impact.

 

The first half is both engaging and plausible and Pierce Brosnan makes an outstanding Bond in this one.

 

Furthermore, both Terri Hatcher and Judi Dench are good among the supporting actors. The average action fan is certain to be entertained by the theatrics in this espionage flick.

 

 

86. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

 

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

 

Entity Detail
Title Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Year 2005
Watch time 120 min
Directors Doug Liman
Cast Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Adam Brody, Vince Vaughn
Box Office $186.34M
IMDb Rating 6.5
Metascore 55
Writers Simon Kinberg
Music By John Powell
Cinematography By Bojan Bazelli
Costume By Jeff Mann

 

Starring famous industry names like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in the lead roles, Mr. & Mrs. Smith tracks the journey of a husband and wife who are struggling to keep their marriage alive.

 

However, they soon discover that they are both discreetly working as assassins. Now, their respective assignments require them to kill each other.

 

The clever cinematography and the obvious chemistry between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt make this "undercover" film a more than entertaining viewing experience.

 

Even though the storyline can come across as both absurd and exaggerated, it still manages to appeal to the fans of both the lead stars.

 

Needless to mention, this popcorn entertainer lives entirely on the surface and never loses its momentum.

 

 

85. Cloak & Dagger (1984)

 

Cloak & Dagger (1984)

 

Entity Detail
Title Cloak & Dagger
Year 1984
Watch time 101 min
Directors Richard Franklin
Cast Henry Thomas, Dabney Coleman, Michael Murphy, Christina Nigra
Box Office $9.72M
IMDb Rating 6.6
Metascore 64
Writers Tom Holland
Music By Brian May
Cinematography By Victor J. Kemper
Costume By William H. Tuntke

 

Helmed by Richard Franklin, 'Cloak & Dagger' tells the story of a young boy and his imaginary friend who end up on the run while in possession of a top-secret spy gadget.

 

There are several well-performing and competent character actors who make up the supporting cast for this film.

 

The script, which tries to keep one foot in reality and one in fantasy, continues to hold up well even today; especially to the kids who admire going back to this rare spy feature film.

 

This motion picture, which can still feel like a pleasant surprise from the start to finish, provides entertainment with the classic old vibe intact in its screenplay.

 

 

84. Red Sparrow (2018)

 

Red Sparrow (2018)

 

Entity Detail
Title Red Sparrow
Year 2018
Watch time 140 min
Directors Francis Lawrence
Cast Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling
Box Office $46.87M
IMDb Rating 6.6
Metascore 53
Writers Justin Haythe
Music By James Newton Howard
Cinematography By Jo Willems
Costume By Maria Djurkovic

 

Directed by Francis Lawrence and based on Jason Matthews's novel of the same name, 'Red Sparrow' tracks the journey of Dominika Egorova; a former ballerina who enrolls in a Russian Intelligence program and becomes a sparrow, using her body as a weapon to entrap a CIA agent.

 

This motion picture may not have a thrilling script, but the storytelling does manage to suck you in.

 

The plot and pace are steady and engaging enough to keep the screenplay exciting. Executed with a cold and suspenseful touch, the movie has an elaborate and suitably challenging story with a decent number of twists and turns infused in its storytelling; the most shocking being the ending which will complicate some and haunt the others.

 

 

83. Salting the Battlefield (2014)

 

Salting the Battlefield (2014)

 

Written and directed by David Hare, this motion picture tells the story of MI5 officer Johnny Worricker and Margot Tyrell who are on the run together across Europe.

 

But Worricker understands that his only chance of settling his problems is to return home and confront his nemesis, the prime minister.

 

Featuring Ralph Fiennes, Shazad Latif, and Felicity Jones in prominent roles, 'Salting the Battlefield' is an intelligent spy drama with an enjoyable plot and an intriguing finale.

 

The acting and the production values are both excellent and the sensitive camera work duly substantiates the intricate mood changes in the storytelling, thus, ensuring that this espionage flick maintains its rhythm right until the very end.

 

 

82. The Fourth Protocol (1987)

 

The Fourth Protocol (1987)

 

This John Mackenzie-helmed spy movie traces the journey of John Preston, a British Agent who is assigned the task of preventing the Russians from detonating a nuclear explosion next to an American base in the United Kingdom.

 

The Russians are dreaming that this will shatter the "special relationship" between the two countries. 'The Fourth Protocol' is a fine film that lies somewhere beneath the best of the espionage genre.

 

Pierce Brosnan is promising as a freezing cold spy and Michael Caine fits the bill perfectly as the operative.

 

Even though this motion picture lacks the gritty authenticity of the best spy mysteries, it does manage to make a statement successfully.

 

Moreover, the limited action is welcome but it is not good enough to make this feature film come across as an exciting action thriller.

 

 

81. Turks & Caicos (2014)

 

Turks & Caicos (2014)

 

This David Hare directorial venture traces the journey of Johnny, an ex-MI5 officer, who encounters a businessman on the beach where he is hiding from his previous employer.

 

Soon after, he uncovers a dead body and has no knowledge of how the events unraveled.

 

Winona Ryder and Christopher Walken are the standout performers here. Needless to say, it was refreshing to see Wynona Ryder in a good role for a change.

 

The plot is interesting in this well-acted spy drama and the pacing is fair. However, this is a motion picture with minimal action, and those who enjoy a heavy-on-action spy thriller might have to look somewhere else for the same.

 

 

80. Red 2 (2013)

 

Red 2 (2013)

 

Entity Detail
Title RED 2
Year 2013
Watch time 116 min
Directors Dean Parisot
Cast Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins
Box Office $53.26M
IMDb Rating 6.6
Metascore 47
Writers Jon Hoeber
Music By Alan Silvestri
Cinematography By Enrique Chediak
Costume By Jim Clay

 

Helmed by Dean Parisot and featuring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker, and Anthony Hopkins in significant roles, 'Red 2' tells the story of Frank Moses, a retired CIA agent who is approached by his companion, Marvin Boggs, to track down a nuclear weapon that has been smuggled into Russia.

 

The supporting cast fares a little better in this motion picture with Anthony Hopkins and Brian Cox making the evident effort each.

 

Also, Mary-Louise Parker's comic timing is often seen driving the movie. A sequel to 'Red', this action thriller keeps the same level of entertainment that was palpable in its predecessor.

 

The plot here is full of action and humor and works appropriately, especially after being supported by a stellar cast and stunning locations.

 

 

79. The Bourne Legacy (2012)

 

The Bourne Legacy (2012)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Bourne Legacy
Year 2012
Watch time 135 min
Directors Tony Gilroy
Cast Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Scott Glenn
Box Office $113.20M
IMDb Rating 6.6
Metascore 61
Writers Tony Gilroy
Music By James Newton Howard
Cinematography By Robert Elswit
Costume By Kevin Thompson

 

This Tony Gilroy-helmed spy feature film stars Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, and Oscar Isaac in pivotal roles and traces the journey of The US Department of Defense which runs clandestine operations and offers stimulants to its field operatives for favorable results.

 

However, after learning about this secret, an English reporter scheme to expose these activities. 'The Bourne Legacy' is an entertaining spy movie that thrives on its well-handled action sequences, among which a showdown in a house is a highlight, and a lengthy motorbike chase in the climax is brilliantly executed.

 

Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz both turn in decent, character-driven performances and help in making the film more watchable.

 

 

78. License to Kill (1989)

 

Licence to Kill (1989)

 

Entity Detail
Title License to Kill
Year 1989
Watch time 133 min
Directors John Glen
Cast Timothy Dalton, Robert Davi, Carey Lowell, Talisa Soto
Box Office $34.67M
IMDb Rating 6.6
Metascore 58
Writers Michael G. Wilson
Music By Michael Kamen
Cinematography By Alec Mills
Costume By Peter Lamont

 

This John Glen directorial venture traces the journey of how agent James Bond plans to seek revenge after his friend, Felix Leiter, is gravely maimed by a drug lord.

 

However, with the MI6 refusing to back him, Bond has no option but to take matters into his own hands.

 

Starring Timothy Dalton in the lead, this installment into the series is incredibly dark and violent.

 

The entire movie features one memorable sequence after another, and a brilliant opening scene is followed by plenty of memorable sequences that ensure an edge-of-your-seat viewing experience through to the very end.

 

Timothy Dalton's second appearance as James Bond (after 'The Living Daylights') is a surprising spy thriller with a mean and dark heart that will instantly appeal to the older and wiser fans of the franchise.

 

 

77. Breakheart Pass (1975)

 

Breakheart Pass (1975)

 

Entity Detail
Title Breakheart Pass
Year 1975
Watch time 95 min
Directors Tom Gries
Cast Charles Bronson, Ben Johnson, Richard Crenna, Jill Ireland
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 6.7
Metascore ---
Writers Alistair MacLean
Music By Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography By Lucien Ballard
Costume By Tambi Larsen

 

Based on a novel by spy-master Alistair MacLean and featuring Charles Bronson in the main lead, this Tom Gries directorial venture is one of those twisty suspense feature films in which nobody is really whom they first appear to be.

 

Like most of MacLean's stories, this one too is packed with action. The film is set entirely on a train and the dialogues and characterization hold little importance in this one.

 

The suspense story, which is both involving and thrilling, is assisted by a series of action set-pieces that really add to the impact that the film manages to make.

 

Overall, it is a decent time filler for an action flick that is more of a mystery than a Western drama.

 

 

76. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

 

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

 

Director John Glen's directorial debut feature tracks how after a British information-gathering vessel gets sunk into the sea, Agent 007 is given the responsibility of finding the lost encryption device and preventing it from entering unfavorable hands.

 

Starring Roger Moore and Carole Bouquet in the lead roles, this spy drama thrives on its strong characters and impressive direction.

 

That said, even though some chase sequences are fun and pulse-raising, they are stretched and given more screen time than they require.

 

The set pieces here are truly fantastic and the cinematography and scenery are excellent, to say the least.

 

Also, 'For Your Eyes Only' tones down the usage of gadgetry and banks on the gutsy portrayal of its lead character to make an impact.

 

 

75. Atomic Blonde (2017)

 

Atomic Blonde (2017)

 

Entity Detail
Title Atomic Blonde
Year 2017
Watch time 115 min
Directors David Leitch
Cast Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Eddie Marsan
Box Office $51.69M
IMDb Rating 6.7
Metascore 63
Writers Kurt Johnstad
Music By Tyler Bates
Cinematography By Jonathan Sela
Costume By David Scheunemann

 

This David Leitch directorial venture stars Charlize Theron and James McAvoy in crucial roles and traces the journey of Lorraine Broughton; someone who works as a spy for MI6 and who is sent on a mission to Berlin just before the collapse of the wall, to get hold of a stolen list, which has the names of special secret agents.

 

This spy action drama, which thrives on its music, action, and visuals, comprises some well-shot sequences.

 

Even though the execution of the screenplay is a tad confusing, 'Atomic Blonde' carries the advantage of being headlined by Charlize Theron and is entertaining enough courtesy of its action and stylized direction.

 

 

74. The Man with the Golden Gun (1955)

 

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

 

This Guy Hamilton directorial venture stars Roger Moore, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, and Maud Adams in prominent roles and tracks how James Bond is targeted by the world's most expensive assassin while he is struggling to recover susceptible solar cell technology that is being sold to the highest bidder.

 

This motion picture may not be the favorite among the fans of Agent James Bond, but it certainly is one of the better Bond movies with Roger Moore in the title role.

 

The film benefits from its beautiful locations, neatly executed stunts, and solid character enactments. While both Maud Adams and Britt Ekland manage to make an impression, it is Roger Moore who is convincing enough as our favorite special agent.

 

 

73. The Good Shepherd (2006)

 

The Good Shepherd (2006)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Good Shepherd
Year 2006
Watch time 167 min
Directors Robert De Niro
Cast Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin
Box Office $59.95M
IMDb Rating 6.7
Metascore 61
Writers Eric Roth
Music By Bruce Fowler Marcelo Zarvos
Cinematography By Robert Richardson
Costume By Jeannine Oppewall

 

Directed by the iconic screen actor Robert De Niro, 'The Good Shepherd' traces the journey of Edward Wilson, a spy, who lays the foundation for the CIA as he works in the OSS.

 

However, as the Cold War begins, he realizes that he has to pay a price for his commitment to duty over family.

 

One has to understand the fact that this one is no James Bond movie. It does not depend on the usage of flashy gadgets to make an impact.

 

In fact, The Good Shepherd feels like the real deal for its attempt to ensure that the internalization and the paranoia hit the right notes.

 

That said, Matt Damon puts in a solid performance in this excitingly quiet spy movie.

 

Therefore, those who may be looking for a whole lot of action in this espionage flick might be left disappointed with the rather intriguing silence that often dominates the screenplay.

 

 

72. The Living Daylights (1987)

 

The Living Daylights (1987)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Living Daylights
Year 1987
Watch time 130 min
Directors John Glen
Cast Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Jeroen Krabbé, Joe Don Baker
Box Office $51.19M
IMDb Rating 6.7
Metascore 60
Writers Richard Maibaum
Music By John Barry
Cinematography By Alec Mills
Costume By Peter Lamont

 

Directed by John Glen, this motion picture talks about how when James Bond is sent to scrutinize a KGB policy to kill all enemy spies, he uncovers an arms deal that potentially has major global ramifications.

 

The plot in this movie is different from the past James Bond films. This is because there is no world domination or global destruction in focus in the screenplay.

 

The script rather revolves around Soviet defection and people conspiring together to commit treason. This welcome change to the formula induces a sense of suspense in the minds of the viewers; a large number of who are familiar with plots in James Bond movies.

 

The Living Daylights is an important film in the series because it pushes it towards storytelling and action, all while attempting to establish James Bond as a dark and gritty character.

 

 

71. Fair Game (2010)

 

Fair Game (2010)

 

Entity Detail
Title Fair Game
Year 2010
Watch time 108 min
Directors Doug Liman
Cast Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Sonya Davison, Vanessa Chong
Box Office $9.53M
IMDb Rating 6.8
Metascore 69
Writers Jez Butterworth
Music By John Powell
Cinematography By Doug Liman
Costume By Jess Gonchor

 

Helmed by Doug Liman, 'Fair Game' features Sean Penn and Naomi Watts in the lead and tracks the journey of Valerie Plame: a CIA operative who is investigating the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

 

However, her cover is blown after her husband writes a contentious article about the sale of uranium.

 

This spy flick allows both Naomi Watts and Sean Penn to let loose and take over the screen with their respective performing abilities.

 

Watts, who does a fantastic job with her portrayal of the headstrong Valerie Plame, is also able to create an adamant exterior to her character sketch while also showing its personal side effectively.

 

Overall, this one is a good motion picture that strives to convey a vital message about both government and freedom, and that how the latter belongs to the global population and not to just an elected few.

 

 

70. Live and Let Die (1973)

 

Live and Let Die (1973)

 

Another Guy Hamilton-helmed spy feature to make it to this list is 'Live and Let Die'.

 

Headlined by Roger Moore, it traces the journey of Agent James Bond who is sent to stop a diabolically brilliant heroin mogul armed with a complicated organization and a credible psychic tarot card reader.

 

Spiced with the fashion of the 70s, this motion picture is a peculiar James Bond film.

 

The characters and the settings that it embodies are rather unusual and it also flirts with voodoo culture.

 

That said, the movie certainly is visually remarkable, has some cool gadgets and exciting one-liners in its list of the cinematic arsenal, and is aided by decent direction.

 

In addition, a fun theme song and a beautiful Bond girl played elegantly by the lovely Jane Seymour work big time.

 

 

69. Green Zone (2010)

 

Green Zone (2010)

 

Entity Detail
Title Green Zone
Year 2010
Watch time 115 min
Directors Paul Greengrass
Cast Matt Damon, Jason Isaacs, Greg Kinnear, Igal Naor
Box Office $35.05M
IMDb Rating 6.8
Metascore 63
Writers Brian Helgeland
Music By John Powell
Cinematography By Barry Ackroyd
Costume By Dominic Watkins

 

This Paul Greengrass directorial venture stars Matt Damon as the main protagonist and talks about how discovering covert and faulty intelligence prompts a U.S. Army officer to go, rogue, as he searches for Weapons of Mass Destruction in a volatile region.

 

This motion picture is a well-written and provoking action thriller with a political conscience that breaks down the absurdity of war perceptively.

 

The action grabs you right from the first sequence and keeps you in its grasp for the ensuing two hours.

 

Matt Damon, who portrays an Army Warrant Officer who truly cares about the justifications for his actions, delivers a strong performance in this one.

 

What makes this feature film come across as even more authentic is the fact that it is not just a constant action title, but one with unique implications and a message.

 

 

68. You Only Live Twice (1967)

 

You Only Live Twice (1967)

 

Starring Sean Connery in the main lead, this Lewis Gilbert directorial venture tells the story of an American space capsule that is seemingly swallowed by a Russian spaceship.

 

However, James Bond uncovers that SPECTRE is behind the theft and ventures to find out the purpose behind it.

 

Even though not the most popular James Bond movie, this one too thrives on its cinematography and wonderful locations to make an impact.

 

The music and the memorable theme song are aided by the brisk pacing, eventful story, and a dynamic Sean Connery who is still his suave and charismatic self.

 

That said, Donald Pleasance's Blofeld comes off as one of the better screen villains in this one and adds to the final product effectively.

 

 

67. A Most Wanted Man (2014)

 

A Most Wanted Man (2014)

 

Entity Detail
Title A Most Wanted Man
Year 2014
Watch time 122 min
Directors Anton Corbijn
Cast Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Daniel Brühl, Robin Wright
Box Office $17.24M
IMDb Rating 6.8
Metascore 73
Writers Andrew Bovell
Music By Herbert Grönemeyer
Cinematography By Benoît Delhomme
Costume By Sebastian T. Krawinkel

 

Helmed by Anton Corbijn, this espionage thriller is based on John le Carré's novel of the same name.

 

It tracks the journey of Issa Karpov, a Muslim refugee from Chechnya who illegally enters Hamburg, Germany, to start a new life.

 

However, he faces various challenges when he is presumed to be a dangerous terrorist. This motion picture stars an impeccable cast that includes the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Robin Wright among others.

 

The final moments of this tension-driven and decently paced spy thriller are both gratifying and lyrical in equal measure.

 

Having said that, where this movie truly succeeds is that it allows its plot to unfold with anticipation and excitement, all while challenging the audience to follow every detail and grasp what is going on in the story.

 

 

66. Spectre (2015)

 

Spectre (2015)

 

Entity Detail
Title Spectre
Year 2015
Watch time 148 min
Directors Sam Mendes
Cast Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes
Box Office $200.07M
IMDb Rating 6.8
Metascore 60
Writers John Logan
Music By Thomas Newman
Cinematography By Hoyte Van Hoytema
Costume By Dennis Gassner

 

Directed by Sam Mendes, 'Spectre' stars an ensemble cast headlined by popular names like Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci, and Ralph Fiennes among others.

 

This spy thriller tracks how James Bond obtains an obscure message from M about an ominous organization, SPECTRE.

 

With the help of Madeleine, he discovers the conspiracy, only to face an unpleasant truth.

 

This motion picture thrives first and foremost on the sophistication of its lead actor, as is common with most James Bond flicks.

 

That said, even though it is not the most intelligent film of the long-running franchise, Spectre still has all the ingredients to appeal to the masses.

 

The film has a globetrotting feel to it and is a resolutely entertaining picture that has enough momentum in its screenplay to keep the viewers engrossed throughout.

 

 

65. Page Eight (2011)

 

Page Eight (2011)

 

Written and directed by David Hare and starring Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, and Ralph Fiennes in prominent roles, this espionage flick tells the story of Johnny Worricker, a seasoned MI5 officer who is required to walk out of his job and identity.

 

However, he soon embarks on a journey to find the truth after his boss dies, leaving behind a bewildering file.

 

If one is fond of the cold war spy movies that populated the 60s and if they need a break from the 'Jason Bourne' and 'Mission: Impossible' kind of blockbusters, then this motion picture would fit the bill perfectly.

 

It is intelligent, beautifully paced and acted, and overall, a pleasant break from the action-packed spy movies.

 

This film, which is very British in its tone and in its look, banks on an outstanding cast and a realistic plot to deliver a thrilling experience to its viewers.

 

 

64. Syriana (2005)

 

Syriana (2005)

 

Entity Detail
Title Syriana
Year 2005
Watch time 128 min
Directors Stephen Gaghan
Cast George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet, Kayvan Novak
Box Office $50.82M
IMDb Rating 6.9
Metascore 76
Writers Stephen Gaghan
Music By Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography By Robert Elswit
Costume By Dan Weil

 

Helmed by Stephen Gaghan, this geopolitical thriller traces the journey of Bob Barnes, a veteran CIA agent who is nearing the end of a towering and respected career.

 

However, he is unaware of the fact that he has been used as a scapegoat and a puppet by the CIA.

 

Loosely based on Robert Baer's memoir titled "See No Evil", this film stars a cast headlined by actors like George Clooney, Matt Damon, Chris Cooper, and Christopher Plummer among others.

 

It is an ambitious motion picture that would confuse the most fanatical of conspiracy theorists with its series of complicated interconnected stories.

 

In fact, the only major drawback of this movie is that it is too complex for only 126 minutes of its run time; owing to the number of plots, subplots, and characters injected into the screenplay.

 

 

63. Kill the Messenger (2014)

 

Kill the Messenger (2014)

 

Entity Detail
Title Kill the Messenger
Year 2014
Watch time 112 min
Directors Michael Cuesta
Cast Jeremy Renner, Robert Patrick, Jena Sims, Robert Pralgo
Box Office $2.45M
IMDb Rating 6.9
Metascore 60
Writers Peter Landesman
Music By Nathan Johnson
Cinematography By Sean Bobbitt
Costume By John Paino

 

This Michael Cuesta directorial venture traces the journey of Gary Webb, a journalist who discovers that the CIA is involved in a drug racket that funds contra rebels.

 

However, he is forced by higher authorities to not publish the story. The fact that this motion picture is based on true events gives it an edge over the minds of its viewers.

 

This one is both a very gripping and an equally important film that does very well in making a complicated story come across as straightforward.

 

Kill the Messenger is full of suspense from the beginning to the end and will be liked by the viewers who have an affinity for historical dramas, undercover stories, or conspiracy theories.

 

 

62. Patriot Games (1992)

 

Patriot Games (1992)

 

Entity Detail
Title Patriot Games
Year 1992
Watch time 117 min
Directors Phillip Noyce
Cast Harrison Ford, Sean Bean, Anne Archer, Patrick Bergin
Box Office $83.29M
IMDb Rating 6.9
Metascore 64
Writers Tom Clancy
Music By James Horner
Cinematography By Donald McAlpine
Costume By Joseph C. Nemec III

 

Directed by Phillip Noyce, 'Patriot Games' tracks how ex-CIA agent, Jack Ryan, deters an attack by the IRA in London and ends up slaying one of the terrorists.

 

However, things go haywire after the dead man's brother escapes and vows revenge against Jack.

 

This one is a solidly effective Tom Clancy thriller whose reliable action-man Harrison Ford comes to its aid by making it even more entertaining with his commendable screen presence.

 

The situation in the screenplay is set up wonderfully and the terror feels omnipresent, keeping the viewers at the edge of their seats at all times.

 

Also, it is important to mention the fact that Sean Bean is excellent as the revenge-obsessed villain and his character play makes this feature film all the more engrossing.

 

 

61. Mission: Impossible III (2006)

 

Mission: Impossible III (2006)

 

Entity Detail
Title Mission: Impossible III
Year 2006
Watch time 126 min
Directors J.J. Abrams
Cast Tom Cruise, Michelle Monaghan, Ving Rhames, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Box Office $134.03M
IMDb Rating 6.9
Metascore 66
Writers Alex Kurtzman
Music By Michael Giacchino
Cinematography By Dan Mindel
Costume By Scott Chambliss

 

This action spy film has been directed by J. J. Abrams and stars Tom Cruise and Michelle Monaghan in the lead.

 

The story tracks the journey of IMF agent Ethan Hunt who is called out of retirement to rescue one of his students and confront Owen Davian, a vicious arms dealer who has abducted his wife.

 

Filmmaker J. J. Abrams and his co-writers inject a decent amount of humor and emotions in this motion picture.

 

Moreover, 'Mission: Impossible III' is supposed to be a form of escapist cinema and it duly achieves that purpose.

 

The action scenes and the visual effects here are handled in an explosively stylish way; irrespective of the fact that the script is slightly uneven.

 

 

60. Clear and Present Danger (1994)

 

Clear and Present Danger (1994)

 

Entity Detail
Title Clear and Present Danger
Year 1994
Watch time 141 min
Directors Phillip Noyce
Cast Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, Anne Archer, Joaquim de Almeida
Box Office $122.19M
IMDb Rating 6.9
Metascore 74
Writers Tom Clancy
Music By James Horner
Cinematography By Donald McAlpine
Costume By Terence Marsh

 

Helmed by Phillip Noyce and headlined by Harrison Ford, 'Clear and Present Danger' tracks the journey of Jack Ryan, who unearths an illicit operation against drug cartels within the CIA.

 

Caught in a web of conspiracies, he is coerced into risking both his life and his career in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.

 

Based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name, this movie has a complex plot and proves to be a fine watch for the fans of action, drama, and Harrison Ford, respectively.

 

The film, which starts slowly and picks up dramatically in the second half, is well shot and thoroughly engaging.

 

Overall, it is an intriguing Tom Clancy espionage motion picture with some well-executed action sequences.

 

 

59. Red (2010)

 

Red (2010)

 

Entity Detail
Title RED
Year 2010
Watch time 111 min
Directors Robert Schwentke
Cast Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Mary-Louise Parker
Box Office $90.38M
IMDb Rating 7
Metascore 60
Writers Jon Hoeber
Music By Christophe Beck
Cinematography By Florian Ballhaus
Costume By Alec Hammond

 

Helmed by Robert Schwentke, this motion picture tells the story of Frank Moses, a former black-ops agent, who realizes that his life is under threat from an assassin.

 

In a bid to safeguard himself, he reunites with his old team to apprehend the man who has pledged to destroy him. 'Red' works not only because the plot has some clever twists, but more importantly because some of the supporting characters truly make this movie worth watching.

 

It is a lightweight but entertaining "undercover" action picture that does not intend to take itself too seriously.

 

That said, this feature film is definitely not a masterpiece but if one appreciates any of the cast members, then they should end up having a good time.

 

 

58. Breach (2007)

 

Breach (2007)

 

Entity Detail
Title Breach
Year 2007
Watch time 110 min
Directors Billy Ray
Cast Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe, Dennis Haysbert, Laura Linney
Box Office $33.23M
IMDb Rating 7
Metascore 74
Writers Adam Mazer
Music By Mychael Danna
Cinematography By Tak Fujimoto
Costume By Wynn Thomas

 

This Billy Ray-helmed feature film traces the journey of Eric O'Neil - a rookie FBI agent who is assigned to work with Robert Hanssen, an old-timer who is doubted of leaking vital information to the Russians.

 

It is important to mention that this motion picture does not really rely on violence to make an impact.

 

Instead, it comes across as a character study of two men who seem to be fighting an erratic battle of wits.

 

Even though the storytelling might get a bit slow at times, the viewers will still enjoy the great acting duel with Chris Cooper and Ryan Phillippe in the lead.

 

 

57. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

 

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

 

Entity Detail
Title Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Year 2002
Watch time 113 min
Directors George Clooney
Cast Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney, Julia Roberts
Box Office $16.00M
IMDb Rating 7
Metascore 67
Writers Chuck Barris
Music By Alex Wurman
Cinematography By Newton Thomas Sigel
Costume By Jim Bissell

 

Directed by George Clooney, 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' features Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts, Sam Rockwell, and George Clooney himself in prominent roles and tells the story of Chuck Barris who is forced by a CIA agent to work as an assassin.

 

However, when he later becomes a popular television presenter, he is left with no option but to conceal his true identity.

 

The director in actor George Clooney ascertains that this biographical spy drama is never too hard to follow, all thanks to the light and satirical vibe that its screenplay carries; something that ensures that the movie stays fun to watch from the beginning until the end.

 

The motion picture thrives on its eye-catchy photography, excellent performances, and an entertaining story to make an impact.

 

 

56. Spy (2015)

 

Spy (2015)

 

Entity Detail
Title Spy
Year 2015
Watch time 120 min
Directors Paul Feig
Cast Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Jason Statham
Box Office $110.83M
IMDb Rating 7
Metascore 75
Writers Paul Feig
Music By Theodore Shapiro
Cinematography By Robert D. Yeoman
Costume By Jefferson Sage

 

Directed by Paul Feig and starring Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, Jason Statham, and Rose Byrne in significant roles, 'Spy' traces the journey of Susan Cooper, a CIA analyst who works behind the desk owing to her mastery in high-tech equipment.

 

However, when an agent is compromised, she offers to be a spy. Melissa McCarthy has really good comic timing which makes her come across as naturally funny and lovable.

 

Both her antics and her genius have been put to great use in this spy flick.

 

Even though this one is a smart motion picture, it does often take the low road and infuses a whole lot of silly jokes in its screenplay.

 

Also impressive is Jason Statham whose performance here proves that he can be a great comic actor as well.

 

 

55. Traitor (2008)

 

Traitor (2008)

 

Entity Detail
Title Traitor
Year 2008
Watch time 114 min
Directors Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Cast Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Archie Panjabi, Saïd Taghmaoui
Box Office $23.53M
IMDb Rating 7
Metascore 61
Writers Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Music By Mark Kilian
Cinematography By J. Michael Muro
Costume By Laurence Bennett

 

Written and directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff, 'Traitor' tells the story of Roy Clayton, an FBI agent, who is assigned the task of investigating a severe international conspiracy.

 

However, soon after he embarks on his mission, all proofs seem to lead back to his former colleague.

 

Headlined by Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce, the screenplay of this motion picture revolves around terrorism with the basic message that there are good and bad people everywhere, irrespective of their races, religions, class, and sects.

 

The direction and photography are top-notch in this political thriller that does not overdo its drama or make its characters come across as stereotypical.

 

The core of the story is interesting and the script is heavy on information and theatrics.

 

 

54. Thunderball (1965)

 

Thunderball (1965)

 

This Terence Young-helmed feature film tracks the journey of a SPECTRE agent who steals two atomic bombs from a NATO plane.

 

But, then again, James Bond is allocated the mission of recovering the warheads and putting a stop to the hostile plans of the criminal organization.

 

Starring Sean Connery and Claudine Auger in prominent roles, 'Thunderball' comes with a bulgy plot that tries to shove too many plot twists, high-tech software, and pedestrian pacing; each of which takes a certain amount of credibility away in this one.

 

However, this spy action-drama does look great, comes with a decent score and theme song, and has a script that has its moments of style and charisma.

 

In addition, the direction is decent and the special effects with the underwater sequences are amazing, to say the least.

 

 

53. The Kingdom (2007)

 

The Kingdom (2007)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Kingdom
Year 2007
Watch time 110 min
Directors Peter Berg
Cast Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman
Box Office $47.54M
IMDb Rating 7
Metascore 56
Writers Matthew Michael Carnahan
Music By Danny Elfman
Cinematography By Mauro Fiore
Costume By Tom Duffield

 

Helmed by Peter Berg, 'The Kingdom' tells the story of an FBI Agent who is entrusted with the task of preparing a team to hunt down and capture the terrorist mastermind responsible for a destructive attack on Americans working in Saudi Arabia.

 

Headlined by Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, and Chris Cooper, the screenplay kicks off with an engrossing opening montage that documents the connection between the United States of America and Saudi Arabia enthusiastically.

 

It is a straightforward action thriller with enough significant undertones that stops it from being a propaganda-driven flick.

 

Overall, this exciting nail-biter is a brave depiction of terror in the Middle East that banks on its realistic character sketches to connect with its audience.

 

 

52. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

 

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

 

Entity Detail
Title Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Year 1997
Watch time 89 min
Directors Jay Roach
Cast Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York, Mimi Rogers
Box Office $53.88M
IMDb Rating 7
Metascore 51
Writers Mike Myers
Music By George S. Clinton
Cinematography By Peter Deming
Costume By Cynthia Charette

 

This spy comedy has been directed by Jay Roach and tracks the story of Austin Powers, a cryogenically frozen British spy from the 1960s, who is warmed and reinstated when his arch-nemesis, Dr. Evil, returns from space and terrorizes earth with his evil strategies.

 

The plot of this motion picture comes across as a big parody of spy movies such as the James Bond franchise of films, so it is not anticipated to be anything but comical, which it most certainly is.

 

The villainous character of Dr. Evil is fabulous not only because it is very funny but also because it showcases the stereotypical spy-movie bad guy.

 

Even though not a very serious spy feature film, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery does guarantee a good number of laughs and a good time to those who sit to see it.

 

 

51. Unthinkable (2010)

 

Unthinkable (2010)

 

Entity Detail
Title Unthinkable
Year 2010
Watch time 97 min
Directors Gregor Jordan
Cast Samuel L. Jackson, Carrie-Anne Moss, Michael Sheen, Stephen Root
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 7.1
Metascore ---
Writers Peter Woodward
Music By Graeme Revell
Cinematography By Oliver Stapleton
Costume By Steven Jones-Evans

 

This Gregor Jordan directorial venture stars Samuel L. Jackson in the lead and tracks the journey of FBI agent, Helen, who seeks the support of a CIA agent to locate three nuclear bombs planted in undisclosed locations in the United States.

 

The tension continues to keep mounting on them as they try to discover the bombs. 'Unthinkable' rides on its outstanding mind-play and dialogues that get the viewers thinking.

 

The performer who holds the film together is Samuel L. Jackson; he delivers a wonderful larger-than-life performance that one used to see back in the 1990s.

 

This feature film, which challenges what we believe in about human rights, also comprises some hard-hitting torture sequences that one does not see coming.

 

Also, the against-the-clock climax keeps the tension intact till the very end.

 

 

50. Mission: Impossible (1996)

 

Mission: Impossible (1996)

 

Entity Detail
Title Mission: Impossible
Year 1996
Watch time 110 min
Directors Brian De Palma
Cast Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart, Henry Czerny
Box Office $180.98M
IMDb Rating 7.1
Metascore 59
Writers Bruce Geller
Music By Danny Elfman
Cinematography By Stephen H. Burum
Costume By Fred Hole

 

Starring Tom Cruise in the lead, this Brian De Palma directorial venture tells the story of an American agent, who, under false suspicion of disloyalty, must discover and expose the real spy without the help of his organization.

 

The film shows a range of cool stunts, the best of which sees Tom Cruise breaking into the CIA via the roof.

 

This sequence is brilliantly shot and Brian De Palma manages to inject bucketloads of suspense into the scene to make it even more appealing.

 

Although Tom Cruise's character is more than capable, he even comes off as being quite vulnerable; something that makes Ethan Hunt more relatable to the viewers.

 

Overall, 'Mission: Impossible' is a well-made and entertaining spy flick and a good start to the hugely popular franchise.

 

 

49. Spy Game (2001)

 

Spy Game (2001)

 

Entity Detail
Title Spy Game
Year 2001
Watch time 126 min
Directors Tony Scott
Cast Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Catherine McCormack, Stephen Dillane
Box Office $0.03M
IMDb Rating 7.1
Metascore 63
Writers Michael Frost Beckner
Music By Harry Gregson-Williams
Cinematography By Dan Mindel
Costume By Norris Spencer

 

Headlined by Robert Redford and Brad Pitt, this Tony Scott directorial venture tells the story of Nathan, a CIA operative, who, after learning that his friend is imprisoned in China, takes it upon himself to free him from the Chinese enslavers.

 

This film is everything that a spy thriller should be - engaging, intelligent, well-written, well-acted, and smartly directed.

 

Even though Brad Pitt is superb and Robert Redford plays himself as well as he has in years, it is director Tony Scott who deserves the due credit here.

 

He stays true to the genre and stays right on target and, therefore, keeps the viewers thoroughly engaged and makes them believe that this is exactly how the CIA must be at its game.

 

Furthermore, the characters in Spy Game are well-developed and the pacing is near perfect.

 

 

48. Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

 

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

 

Entity Detail
Title Live Free or Die Hard
Year 2007
Watch time 128 min
Directors Len Wiseman
Cast Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant, Maggie Q
Box Office $134.53M
IMDb Rating 7.1
Metascore 69
Writers John Carlin
Music By Marco Beltrami
Cinematography By Simon Duggan
Costume By Patrick Tatopoulos

 

Helmed by Len Wiseman, 'Live Free or Die Hard' traces how the Director of FBI's Cyber Crime Division assigns John McClane the job of tracking down a hacker.

 

For this purpose, John ends up working with Thomas, a credible hacker who assists him in dealing with cybercriminals.

 

As outrageous as the story might sound on the surface, it actually works exceptionally well courtesy of the fact that a large part of this nail-biting and tense tale fits perfectly into the post 9/11 world of panic where people thought that they could be hit the hardest at any point in time.

 

Bruce Willis manages to make an impact with his smashing one-liners and charming demeanor. He is ably supported by a decent cast.

 

Overall, Live Free or Die Hard manages to deliver good entertainment banking on its drama and fun action.

 

That said, the movie does have its obvious flaws but it is still another good entry in a very good series that manages to be different while retaining the same type of fun in its storytelling.

 

 

47. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

 

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

 

This Lewis Gilbert directorial venture stars Roger Moore and Barbara Bach in significant roles and tracks how James Bond investigates the hijacking of British and Russian submarines carrying nuclear warheads, with the help of a K. G. B. agent whose lover he has assassinated.

 

Just like its lead Roger Moore, this motion picture exudes a certain charm and provides a certain amount of nostalgia with its depiction of the lively 70s fashion.

 

Not only that but even James Bond's theme gets a superb disco treatment here. The stunning larger-than-life sets match the film's extravagant, big-budget flavor faultlessly.

 

Furthermore, the screenplay also incorporates top-notch stunts, beautiful women, poised villains, massive Pinewood sets, and Bond's car; each of which is wrapped in a thrilling globe-trotting storyline in which agent James Bond is tasked with saving the world from certain devastation.

 

 

46. Body of Lies (2008)

 

Body of Lies (2008)

 

Entity Detail
Title Body of Lies
Year 2008
Watch time 128 min
Directors Ridley Scott
Cast Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani
Box Office $39.39M
IMDb Rating 7.1
Metascore 57
Writers William Monahan
Music By Marc Streitenfeld
Cinematography By Alexander Witt
Costume By Arthur Max

 

This Ridley Scott-helmed feature film talks about a CIA agent on the ground in Jordan who hunts down an influential terrorist leader while being caught between the ambiguous intentions of his American supervisors and Jordan Intelligence.

 

The story here is fascinating and captivating and there is barely any boring moment in the screenplay.

 

The landscape in the movie is beautifully shown and one would appreciate how the makers make a sort of a short tour of the Middle East (Iraq, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Syria).

 

Ridley Scott, who certainly knows how to make an action nail-biter, keeps the story and the locations as authentic as possible in this spy thriller.

 

And also, actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe are a treat to watch together.

 

 

45. Sicario: Day Of The Soldado (2018)

 

Sicario: Day Of The Soldado (2018)

 

Entity Detail
Title Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Year 2018
Watch time 122 min
Directors Stefano Sollima
Cast Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Merced, Jeffrey Donovan
Box Office $50.07M
IMDb Rating 7.1
Metascore 61
Writers Taylor Sheridan
Music By Hildur Guðnadóttir
Cinematography By Dariusz Wolski
Costume By Kevin Kavanaugh

 

Directed by Stefano Sollima, 'Sicario: Day Of The Soldado' tracks how to take down the drug cartels that are operating along the United States-Mexico border, the CIA decides to collude with a covert operative with an aim to abduct a kingpin's daughter.

 

However, things go awfully bad as they attempt to sneak into Mexico. Even though not a patch on the original, this feature film tries to retain the spirit and basic core of its predecessor.

 

The haunting musical score is aided by an audacious setting that successfully shows the ugliness as it unfolds.

 

Furthermore, the editing is taut and trendy and helps in enhancing the brutal atmosphere that the screenplay strives to showcase on celluloid.

 

 

44. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

 

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

 

This Tomas Alfredson-helmed project is based on John le Carré's novel of the same name.

 

It tells the story of an ex-spy, George, who is summoned by the Government to investigate a furtive case.

 

However, the screenplay tracks if George will be able to reveal the identity of a secret Soviet Agent assumed to be working within their system.

 

Starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, and Tom Hardy in prominent roles, 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' is a slow-burner, to begin with, but once the anxiety soars, the story gets going and introduces more characters that help in making the film even more absorbing.

 

The period recreation in this motion picture has been authentically done, the cinematography is impressive and goes along well with the menacing tone and feel of the film.

 

Add to that the fact that the assured direction and electrifying music work wonders in ascertaining that this motion picture doesn't skip the minds of the viewers anytime soon after they have seen it.

 

 

43. The Ipcress File (1965)

 

The Ipcress File (1965)

 

Starring Michael Caine as the main protagonist, this Sidney J. Furie directorial venture talks about how after the famous scientist Dr. Radcliffe is kidnaped and his security guard is killed, a British spy named Harry Palmer is asked to investigate the case and rescue the victim.

 

Michael Caine plays the spy wonderfully and one can't help but appreciate him for making Harry Palmer both approachable and plausible as a character.

 

The mystery in the story unfolds rather steadily which gives the screenplay ample time to build the atmosphere.

 

In addition, 'The Ipcress File' also shows the audience what London looked like in the sixties; something that is nothing short of a joy to behold on the screen.

 

 

42. American Made (2017)

 

American Made (2017)

 

Entity Detail
Title American Made
Year 2017
Watch time 115 min
Directors Doug Liman
Cast Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Jesse Plemons
Box Office $51.34M
IMDb Rating 7.2
Metascore 65
Writers Gary Spinelli
Music By Christophe Beck
Cinematography By César Charlone
Costume By Dan Weil

 

This Tom Cruise starrer tells the story of Barry Seal, a commercial airline pilot who gets himself involved in drugs and arms smuggling while working for the CIA.

 

Soon after, he turns into a government snitch in order to evade his jail time.

 

Helmed by Doug Liman, this feature film is inspired by the life of Barry Seal and is a pure piece of cinematic entertainment.

 

Tom Cruise plays his part elegantly. He portrays a character of lies in a movie of lies; a trait that makes American Made come across as refreshing.

 

The screenplay in this motion picture is engaging and entertaining in equal measure and comprises backgrounds of corruption, political interference, trafficking of weapons, and drugs, respectively.

 

 

41. Shooter (2007)

 

Shooter (2007)

 

Entity Detail
Title Shooter
Year 2007
Watch time 124 min
Directors Antoine Fuqua
Cast Mark Wahlberg, Michael Peña, Rhona Mitra, Danny Glover
Box Office $47.00M
IMDb Rating 7.2
Metascore 53
Writers Jonathan Lemkin
Music By Mark Mancina
Cinematography By Peter Menzies Jr.
Costume By J. Dennis Washington

 

Starring Mark Wahlberg in the lead, this Antoine Fuqua directorial venture traces the journey of Bob Lee Swagger, a sniper who sets out to search for a killer who intends to assassinate the president of the United States of America.

 

However, he soon finds himself in a dilemma after he is accused of an ambush.

 

Mark Wahlberg does an excellent job of portraying a disconnected veteran who has no admiration for the government and really brings the character to the viewers.

 

He is supported by a terrific Michael Pena and Danny Glover, both of who add to the film's likability factor.

 

Mark Wahlberg as Bob Lee Swagger is a great lead character as he isn't too immune; he gets shot and has to deal with the consequences of his actions.

 

Furthermore, the action in 'Shooter' is good and the story is relatively tight; making it more than a watchable thriller.

 

 

40. True Lies (1994)

 

True Lies (1994)

 

Entity Detail
Title True Lies
Year 1994
Watch time 141 min
Directors James Cameron
Cast Arnold Schwarz, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton
Box Office $146.28M
IMDb Rating 7.2
Metascore 63
Writers Claude Zidi
Music By Brad Fiedel
Cinematography By Russell Carpenter
Costume By Peter Lamont

 

Director James Cameron's 'True Lies' stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis in the lead roles and tracks how a secret agent's life takes a shocking turn after he realizes that his wife is having an extramarital affair.

 

Now, he does not only have the task to save the world, but also his own marriage.

 

This spy drama thrives on its superb and authentic action. There are also other exhilarating bits that are incorporated into the screenplay; each of which makes the film even more entertaining.

 

Director James Cameron, who is quite a master as an action director, also adds a dash of humor in this one.

 

Moreover, despite his heavy persona, Arnold Schwarzenegger is tremendously funny as the main lead and is able to portray his action hero persona and marry it with a family man facade; something that is extraordinarily fun to watch on the screen.

 

 

39. Dr. No (1962)

 

Dr. No (1962)

 

Director Terence Young's 'Dr. No' tells the story of Agent 007 who decides to battle against an eccentric scientist, Dr. No; someone who is determined to damage the United States space program. For this purpose, James Bond voyages to Jamaica to nip this megalomaniac threat in the bud.

 

Based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, the film stars Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Joseph Wiseman, and Jack Lord in pivotal roles.

 

Even though the screenplay starts a little slow, it gathers momentum in the second half.

 

While Sean Connery's James Bond is too civilized and charming in this feature film, he is closer to the real Bond than any of the subsequent Sean Connery movies.

 

Also, this film succeeds in the sense that it remains faithful to its source material.

 

Needless to say, there is very little not to like in this action-packed but believable James Bond flick.

 

 

38. The Equalizer (2014)

 

The Equalizer (2014)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Equalizer
Year 2014
Watch time 132 min
Directors Antoine Fuqua
Cast Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour
Box Office $101.53M
IMDb Rating 7.2
Metascore 57
Writers Richard Wenk
Music By Harry Gregson-Williams
Cinematography By Mauro Fiore
Costume By Naomi Shohan

 

This Antoine Fuqua directorial venture tells the story of Robert McCall, a former special service commando who has given up on violence and hopes to lead a calm and restful life.

 

However, some brutal events force him to once again take up the fight for justice.

 

Loosely based on the 1980s TV series of the same name, 'The Equalizer' has a plot that connects in a big way, courtesy of Denzel Washington's intense and towering performance.

 

That said, this one is not a motion picture that rides heavily on its action to make an impact; it is the execution of the plot where it truly excels.

 

That said, when the action does hit, it hits hard without shying away from delivering crowd-pleasing violence.

 

Even though the film starts slowly, the screenplay is consistent and never gets boring, and this gives enough time to the viewers to let everything sink in.

 

 

37. GoldenEye (1995)

 

GoldenEye (1995)

 

Entity Detail
Title GoldenEye
Year 1995
Watch time 130 min
Directors Martin Campbell
Cast Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen
Box Office $106.60M
IMDb Rating 7.2
Metascore 65
Writers Ian Fleming
Music By Éric Serra
Cinematography By Phil Meheux
Costume By Peter Lamont

 

Director Martin Campbell's 'GoldenEye' tells the story of Agent 007, who, along with Natalia Simonav, tours to Russia to locate the satellite nuclear weapon stolen by Alec, a former agent, who Bond understood was dead.

 

This espionage thriller rides on its sensational and spectacularly difficult action set pieces, beautiful cinematography, and superb locations to connect.

 

Among the stunts performed, one that stands out is the car chase sequence through the streets of St. Petersburg.

 

Furthermore, Tina Turner sings the title song in the most stunning manner and the atmospheric score by Eric Serra is like a cherry on top of the cake.

 

Overall, GoldenEye is a satisfying James Bond spy flick that does its best to capture the recipe with its cheeky humor, enjoyable set-pieces and action sequences, and a typical world-threatening plot.

 

And yes, Pierce Brosnan shines as the ultimate James Bond.

 

 

36. Ronin (1998)

 

Ronin (1998)

 

Entity Detail
Title Ronin
Year 1998
Watch time 122 min
Directors John Frankenheimer
Cast Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård
Box Office $41.62M
IMDb Rating 7.3
Metascore 67
Writers J.D. Zeik
Music By Elia Cmiral
Cinematography By Robert Fraisse
Costume By Michael Z. Hanan

 

Directed by John Frankenheimer and starring the legendary Robert De Niro in the lead, 'Ronin' tracks the journey of Sam, an ex-US intelligence officer who hires a band of Japanese mercenaries to procure a mysterious suitcase which is about to fall into the hands of the Russians.

 

This motion picture is packed with the right number of twists, double-crosses, and triple-crosses from the beginning to the end.

 

It rides on a lot of action that involves intense shoot-outs to dramatic car chases.

 

The cast, which is headlined by the effortlessly cool Robert De Niro, delivers without fail.

 

Robert De Niro and Jean Reno share solid chemistry for the major part of the screenplay and it truly shows on the screen.

 

This extraordinarily underrated feature film has to be one of the better action thrillers to have hit the screens in the latter part of the 1990s.

 

 

35. Enemy of the State (1998)

 

Enemy of the State (1998)

 

Entity Detail
Title Enemy of the State
Year 1998
Watch time 132 min
Directors Tony Scott
Cast Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet
Box Office $111.55M
IMDb Rating 7.3
Metascore 67
Writers David Marconi
Music By Harry Gregson-Williams Trevor Rabin
Cinematography By Dan Mindel
Costume By Benjamín Fernández

 

Director Tony Scott's 'Enemy of the State' talks about how a videotape containing footage of congressman Phil Hammersley's killing is planted on a lawyer, Robert Dean, and how he soon becomes a target of the government operatives who are trying to retrieve the evidence.

 

This motion picture is full of energy and it feels like it has hardly dated at all.

 

To be honest, the story feels more relevant than ever for a world that is dominated by surveillance technology today.

 

It would be safe to say that this criminally underrated feature film is quite possibly the highlight of Tony Scott's exciting career.

 

The film is skillfully directed and still feels fresh; more importantly, it still looks good.

 

The chase scenes on foot and vehicles are also well done. In addition, Will Smith, who plays a man who has been wronged, does justice to his character play.

 

 

34. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)

 

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)

 

Entity Detail
Title Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Year 2011
Watch time 132 min
Directors Brad Bird
Cast Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton
Box Office $209.40M
IMDb Rating 7.4
Metascore 73
Writers Bruce Geller
Music By Michael Giacchino
Cinematography By Robert Elswit
Costume By Jim Bissell

 

Helmed by Brad Bird, this motion picture traces how after the IMF is wrongly accused of bombing the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt and his team race against time to find the real culprits and clear the prestige of their organization.

 

The fourth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise might just be its most watchable one of them all.

 

Its imaginative set pieces, extraordinary stunts, likable cast, fast-paced and perfect runtime make for an endlessly rewarding viewing experience.

 

The film is shot and edited stylishly and the outlandish gadgets used go appropriately with the storytelling.

 

Even though not a typical spy flick, 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' still carries the vibe and feel of a conventional spy thriller.

 

Brad Bird proves his efficiency as the director in this action thriller that also shows spectacles such as Tom Cruise dangling off the Burj Khalifa tower and, thus, making the awestruck viewers gape at the silver screen.

 

 

33. The Constant Gardener (2005)

 

The Constant Gardener (2005)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Constant Gardener
Year 2005
Watch time 129 min
Directors Fernando Meirelles
Cast Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston, Hubert Koundé
Box Office $33.58M
IMDb Rating 7.4
Metascore 82
Writers Jeffrey Caine
Music By Alberto Iglesias
Cinematography By César Charlone
Costume By Mark Tildesley

 

Based on the best-selling spy novel by John le Carre, this edge-of-your-seat tale of murder, betrayal, and revenge has been lauded as a hair-raising thriller with an unforgettable conclusion.

 

Directed by Fernando Meirelles, the movie stars Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz in the lead roles and tells the story of a widower who is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate fraud.

 

Even though Ralph Fiennes fits the role and delivers, it is Rachel Weisz who steals the show completely with her deserving Oscar-worthy performance as a human rights activist who will stop at nothing to get to the truth.

 

This feature film comes with an exotic African location, reasonably good performances, and a passionate "undercover" story with a social angle to it that manages to make an impact.

 

 

32. Three Days of the Condor (1975)

 

Three Days of the Condor (1975)

 

Entity Detail
Title Three Days of the Condor
Year 1975
Watch time 117 min
Directors Sydney Pollack
Cast Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, Max von Sydow
Box Office $41.51M
IMDb Rating 7.4
Metascore 63
Writers James Grady
Music By Dave Grusin
Cinematography By Owen Roizman
Costume By Stephen B. Grimes

 

Helmed by Sydney Pollack, this feature film stars Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, and Max von Sydow in crucial roles and tracks the journey of a CIA researcher who is stunned to see that all of his co-workers are dead.

 

He is bookish and has little to no knowledge of how to outwit those who are responsible for their death.

 

The screenplay follows if he is able to figure out if he can truly trust someone.

 

There are several stories that strive to cast a light on the intelligence communities but only a few have a believable storyline.

 

This is one of those few and, therefore, it is as relevant today as it was back when it hit the screens.

 

Sydney Pollack keeps things going with the tension in the screenplay and decent performances from his cast coming to his directorial aid.

 

Also, viewers who admire unpredictable espionage thrillers would cherish the ending here.

 

 

31. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

 

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

 

Entity Detail
Title Zero Dark Thirty
Year 2012
Watch time 157 min
Directors Kathryn Bigelow
Cast Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong
Box Office $95.72M
IMDb Rating 7.4
Metascore 95
Writers Mark Boal
Music By Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography By Greig Fraser
Costume By Jeremy Hindle Kulwant Maan

 

Helmed by Kathryn Bigelow, 'Zero Dark Thirty' traces the journey of a group of CIA operatives, led by analyst Maya, that spends over a decade trailing the location of one of the most dreaded names in the United States of America, Osama Bin Laden.

 

This Academy Award nominee for Best Picture is a skillfully made motion picture that has been shot like a documentary and with many lesser-known actors.

 

However, it is an exceptional thriller about the decade-long hunt for Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 terror attacks.

 

The viewers would appreciate the fact that the film does not get preachy and instead just tells the story that it set out to do.

 

Furthermore, the final sequence is hands down thrilling the visuals of which have been wonderfully managed by the makers.

 

 

30. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

 

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Man Who Knew Too Much
Year 1956
Watch time 120 min
Directors Alfred Hitchcock
Cast James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie, Bernard Miles
Box Office $10.25M
IMDb Rating 7.4
Metascore 76
Writers John Michael Hayes
Music By Bernard Herrmann
Cinematography By Robert Burks
Costume By Henry Bumstead Hal Pereira

 

Director Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' talks about how the people who are involved in executing an assassination in Morocco maneuver to eradicate the members of a family who have witnessed the killing.

 

While not the most famous Alfred Hitchcock movie out there, it is still worth watching.

 

The film features two of the most iconic Hollywood stars of the time, namely James Stewart and Doris Day.

 

The screenplay encompasses Doris Day's quintessential song, "Que Sera Sera", and the actor also credits it with her lifelong commitment to animals.

 

In addition to all this, this trademark suspenseful Alfred Hitchcock movie also has promising subplots of murder and intrigue infused in its screenplay.

 

Also, there is no surprise in asserting that James Stewart is the superior everyman lead actor who makes every character that he plays on the screen work.

 

 

29. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)

 

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)

 

Entity Detail
Title Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Year 2015
Watch time 131 min
Directors Christopher McQuarrie
Cast Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg
Box Office $195.04M
IMDb Rating 7.4
Metascore 75
Writers Bruce Geller
Music By Joe Kraemer
Cinematography By Robert Elswit
Costume By Jim Bissell

 

This Christopher McQuarrie directorial venture attempts to show how after the dissolution of IMF and with the CIA hunting Ethan Hunt, he and his squad plan to race against time to prove the validity of the Syndicate - a highly-skilled terror organization before they plan their next attack.

 

'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' banks on its strong script, polished humor, and intrigue factor to entertain the fans of this much-loved franchise.

 

The story is told at a good pace and holds the attention of the viewers without letting go until the film reaches its finale.

 

Tom Cruise, as usual, handles his stunts impressively. Rebecca Ferguson shows a knack for scene-stealing and is like a breath-of-fresh-air in this one.

 

Sean Harris works as a menacing villain, and Simon Pegg's provides the necessary comic relief.

 

In addition, Jeremy Renner's presence only helps in making this thriller more than adventurous.

 

 

28. From Russia with Love (1963)

 

From Russia with Love (1963)

 

Starring Sean Connery in the lead, this Terence Young-helmed motion picture tracks the journey of James Bond, who is searching for a Lektor cryptographic device that has the potential to wreak havoc in the world; all while trying to tackle SPECTRE - a secret crime organization that wishes to acquire the device.

 

This one is a tightly planned and well-acted James Bond spy thriller with superb action to boot.

 

The cinematography in a subplot that unfolds in Istanbul and along the Mediterranean Sea is gorgeous.

 

Sean Connery plays James Bond to the hilt and he is ably assisted by the cast in support.

 

Needless to say, 'From Russia with Love' has everything one would like to see in a James Bond film - action, romance, and uncommon locations; and with Sean Connery in the lead role, who would dare to complain.

 

 

27. The Rock (1996)

 

The Rock (1996)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Rock
Year 1996
Watch time 136 min
Directors Michael Bay
Cast Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer
Box Office $134.07M
IMDb Rating 7.4
Metascore 58
Writers David Weisberg
Music By Nick Glennie-Smith Hans Zimmer
Cinematography By John Schwartzman
Costume By Michael White

 

Director Michael Bay brings together the team of Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, and Ed Harris to tell the story of the dishonest Brigadier General Frank Hummel who terrorizes the government to launch rockets on the city of San Francisco.

 

However, a mild-mannered chemist and an ex-convict team up to stop the general. A delight for the fans of action cinema, 'The Rock' truly stands like a rock to deliver rock-solid entertainment banking on its macho dialogues, implausible but fun storyline, and some really popular stars doing a fine job of acting.

 

That said, what strikes the viewers the most about this motion picture is the fact that it is the villains who deliver some of the finest punchlines in it.

 

The highlight of this feature film has to be the incredibly cheesy yet destructive car chase sequence through San Francisco.

 

However, besides its humor, what also works in the film's favor is the chemistry that the duo of Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery shares.

 

 

26. No Time to Die (2021)

 

No Time to Die (2021)

 

This Cary Joji Fukunaga directorial venture brings together Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Ralph Fiennes, and Rami Malek for the big screen.

 

The screenplay in this big-ticket motion picture tracks how James Bond's retirement is cut short after Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up begging for help; something that leads James Bond to the trail of an unusual friend armed with dangerous new technology.

 

Daniel Craig, who makes his fifth and final appearance as agent James Bond, delivers a good performance.

 

Hans Zimmer provides evocative music and the film is packed with drama and high-octane action.

 

In addition, No Time to Die has a good story that is aided occasionally by gadgets and gimmicks.

 

This is precisely what allows its style and the twist to enthrall the audience even more.

 

 

25. The Guns of Navarone (1961)

 

The Guns of Navarone (1961)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Guns of Navarone
Year 1961
Watch time 158 min
Directors J. Lee Thompson
Cast David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle
Box Office $28.90M
IMDb Rating 7.5
Metascore ---
Writers Alistair MacLean
Music By Dimitri Tiomkin
Cinematography By Oswald Morris
Costume By George Frost

 

Director J. Lee Thompson's 'The Guns of Navarone' tells the story of a group of elite Greek soldiers that has been assigned an unthinkable task of taking out the powerful German cannons on the Aegean island with the assistance of guerrilla fighters.

 

This spectacular motion picture is based on Alistair MacLean's 1957 novel of the same name.

 

The acting here is great with a remarkable ensemble cast headlined by actors like Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle among others.

 

Also, the story is so deep and complex that one cannot help but like the fact that the movie actually takes its time to deliver what it intends to.

 

The screenplay, which progresses with a great deal of friction and realism, encompasses atmospheric scenery, vivid lighting, and skilled photography; each of which gives this movie a hauntingly real look.

 

 

24. Munich (2005)

 

Munich (2005)

 

Entity Detail
Title Munich
Year 2005
Watch time 164 min
Directors Steven Spielberg
Cast Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Marie-Josée Croze, Ciarán Hinds
Box Office $47.40M
IMDb Rating 7.5
Metascore 74
Writers Tony Kushner
Music By John Williams
Cinematography By Janusz Kaminski
Costume By Rick Carter

 

Director Steven Spielberg makes it to this list again with his thriller titled 'Munich'. The film tells the story of how a terrorist organization kills eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and how a team of five men, headed by Avner Kaufman, is entrusted with the task of killing the terrorists as revenge.

 

Putting history aside and viewing this motion picture purely as a form of entertainment ensures a thrilling first two hours for the viewers.

 

The film rides on its good storytelling, authentic performances, and big explosions; each of which makes it come across as a compelling and wholesome watch.

 

Even though this feature film plays accurately to the tragic 1972-hostage crisis, some scenes can risk confusing the viewers at times, especially after the first couple of hours of its runtime.

 

Overall, this is a great piece of cinema and ranks certainly among one of Steven Spielberg's better later efforts.

 

 

23. Where Eagles Dare (1968)

 

Where Eagles Dare (1968)

 

Entity Detail
Title Where Eagles Dare
Year 1968
Watch time 158 min
Directors Brian G. Hutton
Cast Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure, Patrick Wymark
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 7.6
Metascore 63
Writers Alistair MacLean
Music By Ron Goodwin
Cinematography By Arthur Ibbetson
Costume By Yvonne Blake

 

Director Brian G. Hutton's 'Where Eagles Dare' talks about what happens when allied secret agents stage a courageous raid on a castle where the Nazis are holding American brigadier general George Carnaby prisoner, but that is not all that is really going on.

 

This motion picture not only banks on its fine execution of the action sequences, but also a number of twists and turns that manage to hold the attention of the viewers until perhaps the not-so-obvious finale.

 

Where Eagles Dare is not only an example of a well-made movie but also one that is hilarious and exciting at the same time.

 

Furthermore, the striking cinematography, the rousing musical score, and the sharp script blend well to ensure a decent viewing experience.

 

When it comes to the performances, Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood do a great job each, but it is the supporting performances from the likes of Donald Houston, Anton Diffring, and Michael Hordern that really make the difference.

 

 

22. Bridge of Spies (2015)

 

Bridge of Spies (2015)

 

Entity Detail
Title Bridge of Spies
Year 2015
Watch time 142 min
Directors Steven Spielberg
Cast Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan
Box Office $72.31M
IMDb Rating 7.6
Metascore 81
Writers Matt Charman
Music By Thomas Newman
Cinematography By Janusz Kaminski
Costume By Adam Stockhausen

 

Director Steven Spielberg's 'Bridge of Spies' tracks the journey of James B Donovan; someone who defends a likely KGB spy, Rudolf Abel, in the US courts.

 

He is eventually called upon to mediate an exchange of Rudolf with a US pilot, Francis Powers, who was caught in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

 

This story is based on true events and stars Mark Rylance and Tom Hanks in prominent roles.

 

The spy drama is engrossing from the beginning to the end and has some appropriate amount of humor weaved into the screenplay.

 

The cinematography and special effects used here are both superb and help in showcasing some gorgeous shots on celluloid.

 

Furthermore, the characters in the screenplay are engaging enough and both Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance deliver noteworthy performances each in this solid spy thriller that carries political undertones.

 

 

21. The Hunt for Red October (1990)

 

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Hunt for Red October
Year 1990
Watch time 135 min
Directors John McTiernan
Cast Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill
Box Office $122.01M
IMDb Rating 7.6
Metascore 58
Writers Tom Clancy
Music By Basil Poledouris
Cinematography By Jan de Bont
Costume By Terence Marsh

 

This John McTiernan directorial venture tells the story of CIA analyst, Jack Ryan, who thinks that Soviet nuclear submarine commander Captain Marko Ramius is scheming to defect, but he only has a few hours to find him and the submarine.

 

This motion picture is an adaptation of Tom Clancy's bestselling novel of the same name and is the first installment of the film series with the protagonist Jack Ryan.

 

Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery star in this fast-paced drama and deliver one of the finest performances of their respective careers.

 

Sam Neill and James Earl Jones also hold their own in the screenplay. Needless to say, it is the performances and the seminal submarine work that holds this film together.

 

What is also worth mentioning is the fact that the storyline creates enough intrigue with the back-and-forth political dealings between the American and Russian officials; something that gives this movie a definitive edge.

 

 

20. Sicario (2015)

 

Sicario (2015)

 

Entity Detail
Title Sicario
Year 2015
Watch time 121 min
Directors Denis Villeneuve
Cast Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Jon Bernthal
Box Office $46.89M
IMDb Rating 7.6
Metascore 82
Writers Taylor Sheridan
Music By Jóhann Jóhannsson
Cinematography By Roger Deakins
Costume By Patrice Vermette

 

This Denis Villeneuve directorial venture tracks how during a tricky mission to stop a drug cartel operating between the United States and Mexico, Kate Macer, an FBI agent, is exposed to some brutal realities.

 

Starring Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, and Josh Brolin in significant roles, 'Sicario' manages to develop a lot of anticipation and intensity through the course of its 120-minute-long runtime.

 

The sharp performances and terrific dialogues are aided by striking cinematography and a brilliant background score; each of which helps in making this one of the finest atmospheric thrillers in the world of contemporary cinema.

 

The courageous and visceral setting and the tight and stylish editing help in enhancing the brutal atmosphere with brilliance in this one.

 

Also, Denis Villeneuve's direction has beautiful darkness to it that comes across as perfect while telling the kind of story that Sicario is.

 

 

19. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

 

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Bourne Supremacy
Year 2004
Watch time 108 min
Directors Paul Greengrass
Cast Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Joan Allen, Brian Cox
Box Office $176.24M
IMDb Rating 7.7
Metascore 73
Writers Robert Ludlum
Music By John Powell
Cinematography By Oliver Wood
Costume By Dominic Watkins

 

This Paul Greengrass-helmed project traces how after being wrongly framed in a CIA operation, Jason Bourne is compelled to return to his old ways as an assassin, in order to figure out why they are still after him.

 

This one is a superior action movie with the added bonus of good acting by actors Joan Allen, Matt Damon, and Karl Urban among others.

 

The camera work here is tight and amazing, and the on-locale settings of Russia and Germany are shown wonderfully on the screen.

 

In addition, the script, which is sharp and competent, has more prominence here. Matt Damon continues to impress in this high-quality edge-of-your-seat thriller.

 

Also, the final action sequence and the subway scene are the ones to look out for, for they are truly heart-stopping.

 

 

18. Goldfinger (1964)

 

Goldfinger (1964)

 

This Guy Hamilton directorial venture traces the journey of MI6 agent James Bond, who is scrutinizing a gold-smuggling ring run by businessman Auric Goldfinger.

 

As he delves deeper into his activities, he uncovers an alarming plan to attack Fort Knox's gold reserves.

 

Headlined by the iconic Sean Connery, 'Goldfinger' has to be among the finest James Bond films in terms of how the stunts have been executed and how the story has been told.

 

Even though the plot is not the most exciting of all Bond feature films, it is still gripping enough to grab the attention of the viewers.

 

The direction here is clever, the cinematography is super stylish, and the locations are stunning, to say the least.

 

Furthermore, one can never get enough of the theme song sung by Shirley Bassey which is like the icing on the cake.

 

 

17. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

 

Entity Detail
Title Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Year 2014
Watch time 136 min
Directors Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Cast Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford
Box Office $259.77M
IMDb Rating 7.7
Metascore 70
Writers Christopher Markus
Music By Henry Jackman
Cinematography By Trent Opaloch
Costume By Peter Wenham

 

Directed by Joe Russo and Anthony Russo, this motion picture tells the story of Steve Rogers, who, after adapting to the complexities of a contemporary world, joins Natasha Romanoff and Sam Wilson in his mission to unearth the secret behind a deadly, mysterious killer. 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' is a well-crafted, well-paced spy/action film that has a lot of things working in its favor.

 

This feature film does everything that a sequel must be known for doing; that is, improving on every aspect of its original.

 

The action of the film is the driving force here. All of the action spectacles have been shot well and they look exciting and gritty.

 

Moreover, The Russo Brothers' execution of hand-to-hand combat looks fantastic. Add to that the fact that the screenplay does not rely too heavily on the visual effects, therefore, making everything look seamless.

 

 

16. Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018)

 

Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018)

 

Entity Detail
Title Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Year 2018
Watch time 147 min
Directors Christopher McQuarrie
Cast Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg
Box Office $220.16M
IMDb Rating 7.7
Metascore 86
Writers Bruce Geller
Music By Lorne Balfe
Cinematography By Rob Hardy
Costume By Jille Azis

 

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, 'Mission Impossible: Fallout' tells the story of a group of terrorists that plans to detonate three plutonium cores for a concurrent nuclear attack on different cities.

 

Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt, along with his IMF team, sets out to stop the massacre.

 

One of the best movies of the 'Mission: Impossible' series, this one rides on its beautiful locations and stunning usage of colors and special effects that make it a feast for the eyes.

 

The action here is bigger and bolder than in the previous films of the franchise and Tom Cruise pulls off the stunts effortlessly.

 

On top of it all, the script in this feature film is sharp and is also filled with the right amount of humor and intrigue; each of which plays out really well as the screenplay progresses.

 

 

15. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

 

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

 

Entity Detail
Title Kingsman: The Secret Service
Year 2014
Watch time 129 min
Directors Matthew Vaughn
Cast Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine
Box Office $128.26M
IMDb Rating 7.7
Metascore 60
Writers Jane Goldman
Music By Henry Jackman
Cinematography By George Richmond
Costume By David Morison

 

This Matthew Vaughn directorial venture tracks the journey of Gary 'Eggsy' Unwin; someone who starts to face several challenges after he gets recruited as a secret agent in a secret spy organization in order to look for Richmond Valentine, an eco-terrorist.

 

This feature film is contemporary, brutal, and gleeful all at the same time. That said, it is an extremely quintessentially British flick that also showcases a quirky image of England with elan.

 

The audacious production values, imaginative camera work, and sharp editing in the action sequences make this movie come across as grand.

 

Add to that the fact that the witty and well-written script contains some very memorable characters.

 

Overall, this motion picture provides decent entertainment while telling the violent story of a secret service agency in London.

 

 

14. Argo (2012)

 

Argo (2012)

 

Entity Detail
Title Argo
Year 2012
Watch time 120 min
Directors Ben Affleck
Cast Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin
Box Office $136.03M
IMDb Rating 7.7
Metascore 86
Writers Chris Terrio
Music By Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography By Rodrigo Prieto
Costume By Sharon Seymour

 

This Academy Award winner for Best Picture has been directed by and stars Ben Affleck in the lead.

 

It traces the journey of an exfiltration expert who poses as a Hollywood producer in order to rescue six Americans who are held captive in Tehran during the United States hostage crisis in Iran.

 

The magnificent direction manages to really capture the look of the era and makes the on-screen characters look as real as the real-world personalities that they are playing.

 

Ben Affleck plays the protagonist who has a history of pulling off good intelligence coups in the most amazing way possible.

 

Argo has a taut and authentic setting and is certainly one of the best motion pictures of the year that it was released in.

 

It will not be an exaggeration to state that it is also one of the smartest and most intelligent nail-biters of the modern era.

 

Also, the climax of this movie is arguably among the best that one could witness on celluloid.

 

 

13. Skyfall (2012)

 

Skyfall (2012)

 

Entity Detail
Title Skyfall
Year 2012
Watch time 143 min
Directors Sam Mendes
Cast Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Judi Dench
Box Office $304.36M
IMDb Rating 7.7
Metascore 81
Writers Neal Purvis
Music By Thomas Newman
Cinematography By Roger Deakins
Costume By Dennis Gassner

 

Directed by Sam Mendes, 'Skyfall' tells the story of an ex-MI6 agent who steals a hard drive with top confidential information to carry out a vendetta on Bond's overseer, M.

 

Left with little option, Bond is forced to confront his past in a bid to try and protect M.

 

The plot of this motion picture has been penned simply and resorts to most of Hollywood's conventions.

 

However, what fills out the simple storyline is a series of James Bond-like delights - thrills, intrigue, and a series of emotional kills.

 

While the supporting cast in the film is good, director Sam Mendes ensures that Judi Dench gets the direction that she so well deserves, all while making sure that Daniel Craig responds to his technique aptly as well.

 

The film is full of exotic locations, glamorous women, speeding automobiles, incredible stunts, Bond's machismo, and a decent amount of dry humor; each of which helps in making Skyfall a momentous James Bond project.

 

 

12. The Conversation (1974)

 

The Conversation (1974)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Conversation
Year 1974
Watch time 113 min
Directors Francis Ford Coppola
Cast Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Frederic Forrest
Box Office $4.42M
IMDb Rating 7.8
Metascore 85
Writers Francis Ford Coppola
Music By David Shire
Cinematography By Bill Butler
Costume By Aggie Guerard Rodgers

 

Master director Francis Ford Coppola's 'The Conversation' tells the story of a paranoid, covert surveillance expert who has a crisis of conscience when he speculates that the couple that he is spying on is soon to be murdered.

 

The brilliantly executed screenplay and flawless direction never let the movie go off-track and, therefore, keep the suspense element duly intact.

 

This one is a haunting and well-constructed masterpiece that merges great acting with brilliant storytelling to make an impact; something that spy movies are failing to do in today's age and time.

 

This is precisely why The Conversation will hold its ground as one of the most competent and suspenseful spy dramas of all time.

 

What adds to the film's specialty is the fact that it taps into the 70s paranoia about technology and surveillance smartly.

 

 

11. Taken (2008)

 

Taken (2008)

 

Entity Detail
Title Taken
Year 2008
Watch time 90 min
Directors Pierre Morel
Cast Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser
Box Office $145.00M
IMDb Rating 7.8
Metascore 51
Writers Luc Besson
Music By Nathaniel Méchaly
Cinematography By Michel Abramowicz
Costume By Hugues Tissandier

 

Helmed by Pierre Morel, 'Taken' is a modern-day revenge thriller that tracks the journey of a retired CIA agent who travels across Europe and banks on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been abducted while on a trip to Paris.

 

Even though this feature film may not have the intricacies of the expertly crafted Jason Bourne series, it is gritty enough to keep its audience engaged.

 

The path that Liam Neeson carves to get his kidnapped daughter back is more than satisfactory to deliver the promise represented by the fantastic trailer.

 

That said, one does not have to be a parent or a fan of spy or undercover movies to empathize with Liam Neeson's character sketch in this one.

 

The viewers will relish how a trained former government agent goes hammer and tongs at the bad guys here.

 

 

10. Duck Soup (1933)

 

Duck Soup (1933)

 

Entity Detail
Title Duck Soup
Year 1933
Watch time 69 min
Directors Leo McCarey
Cast Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 7.8
Metascore 93
Writers Bert Kalmar
Music By John Leipold
Cinematography By Henry Sharp
Costume By Dale Van Sickel

 

This Leo McCarey directorial venture is one of the most distinct feature films to make it to this list.

 

The screenplay traces how after the nation of Freedonia becomes insolvent, Rufus T. Firefly becomes the new president.

 

However, to take advantage of the event, the neighboring nation Sylvania sends two spies to Freedonia to overthrow Rufus.

 

What one notices about this motion picture is that it is a satire of civilization, manners, government, the military, and the bureaucracy.

 

This gem of a spy comedy thrives on its skillful and clever direction and beautiful picturization; something that is evident from the sets and costumes used in the story.

 

Surprisingly, even though there is a lot of silly humor in the movie, the story does not feel contrived or creaky but rather complements the comedy well.

 

In addition, the pleasant and quirky background score and praiseworthy performances only make this film a worthy watch.

 

 

9. The Bourne Identity (2002)

 

The Bourne Identity (2002)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Bourne Identity
Year 2002
Watch time 119 min
Directors Doug Liman
Cast Franka Potente, Matt Damon, Chris Cooper, Clive Owen
Box Office $121.66M
IMDb Rating 7.9
Metascore 68
Writers Tony Gilroy
Music By John Powell
Cinematography By Oliver Wood
Costume By Dan Weil

 

Director Doug Liman's 'The Bourne Identity' traces the journey of a man whose bullet-ridden body is found and looked after by strangers.

 

He soon wakes up with a blank memory and begins a voyage to understand his identity; unaware that the road ahead is full of threats.

 

This motion picture has set a new standard for contemporary spy thrillers. It banks more on human understanding than on its special effects to connect with the viewers.

 

It has a straightforward and gripping storyline that unfolds rather steadily. The Bourne Identity not only does what it set out to do very well, with lots of fun and intrigue infused in its screenplay, but it is also a spy flick that has a brain and honors its core audience.

 

The movie has a reasonably dynamic soundtrack and an original sound quality that helps too; as does the astute direction that helps the film stride along with confidence and at a good pace.

 

 

8. Stalag 17 (1953)

 

Stalag 17 (1953)

 

Entity Detail
Title Stalag 17
Year 1953
Watch time 120 min
Directors Billy Wilder
Cast William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 8
Metascore 84
Writers Billy Wilder
Music By Franz Waxman
Cinematography By Ernest Laszlo
Costume By Wally Westmore

 

Written for the screen and directed by Billy Wilder, this motion picture tracks how the barracks black marketeer, J. J. Sefton is doubted of being an informer after two Americans are killed while escaping from a German P. O. W. camp in World War II.

 

This motion picture is an outstanding assortment of drama and comic relief that has continued to entertain the viewers of classic cinema to date.

 

The believable setting and atmosphere make it easy for the viewers to enter the characters' world.

 

Billy Wilder not only deserves a round of applause for his great picturization but also because he manages to create an interesting set of characters and ensures that the actors playing the roles deliver good performances each.

 

Overall, this one is a fantastic spy drama that dares to be different.

 

 

7. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

 

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Bourne Ultimatum
Year 2007
Watch time 115 min
Directors Paul Greengrass
Cast Matt Damon, Edgar Ramírez, Joan Allen, Julia Stiles
Box Office $227.47M
IMDb Rating 8
Metascore 85
Writers Tony Gilroy
Music By John Powell
Cinematography By Oliver Wood
Costume By Peter Wenham

 

Helmed by Paul Greengrass, 'The Bourne Ultimatum' is a spy thriller that attempts to trace the journey of Jason Bourne: a former CIA assassin who suffers from amnesia, and who has set out to track down a CIA official while struggling to retain memories of a forgotten past.

 

Those who have seen 'The Bourne Identity' and 'The Bourne Supremacy' will like and understand The Bourne Ultimatum better.

 

That said, "Ultimatum" looks sharp and stylish and encompasses even more breathtaking locations than its predecessors.

 

The story never loses momentum and barely ceases to be real. It is a tight adrenaline rush that thrives on its exciting action scenes, meaty storytelling, and lots of emotion and characterization.

 

Moreover, the climax of this action thriller is terrific and is the perfect end to what has become a brilliant series of films.

 

 

6. Notorious (1946)

 

Notorious (1946)

 

Entity Detail
Title Notorious
Year 1946
Watch time 102 min
Directors Alfred Hitchcock
Cast Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern
Box Office $10.46M
IMDb Rating 8
Metascore 100
Writers Ben Hecht
Music By Roy Webb
Cinematography By Ted Tetzlaff
Costume By William Dorfman

 

Director Alfred Hitchcock brings iconic actors Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant together in this fantastic spy flick.

 

The plot follows how the daughter of a sentenced Nazi spy is implored by American agents to gather information on a ring of Nazi scientists in South America.

 

The suspense in the screenplay truly gets to the viewers and keeps them on the edge of their seats.

 

The cinematography, locations, and costumes are all ravishing and the background score is beautiful, romantic, and melodious all at once.

 

After Alfred Hitchcock gets his camera away from the Bergman-Grant romance, he manages to pull off some surprisingly suspenseful scenes with great energy and enthusiasm.

 

While the motion picture is hands down a good one, the ending is even more superb.

 

 

5. Casino Royale (2006)

 

Casino Royale (2006)

 

Entity Detail
Title Casino Royale
Year 2006
Watch time 144 min
Directors Martin Campbell
Cast Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright
Box Office $167.45M
IMDb Rating 8
Metascore 80
Writers Neal Purvis
Music By David Arnold
Cinematography By Phil Meheux
Costume By Peter Lamont

 

Director Martin Campbell's 'Casino Royale' shows how special agent James Bond embarks on a mission to prevent Le Chiffre, a mob banker, from winning a high-stakes poker game.

 

He is assisted by Vesper Lynd, a British Treasury agent. This well-constructed film is heavy on stunts and is also smartly penned.

 

The hand-to-hand combat is intense and punishing, and makes Daniel Craig come across as a true-blue agent.

 

That said, where Casino Royale succeeds is that it manages to successfully bring a whole lot of freshness to the franchise.

 

Even though one of the longest James Bond movies ever, it never becomes tedious, and even the romance here is interesting for a change.

 

Eva Green works as Bond's love interest and Mads Mikkelsen provides a good menacing foil.

 

 

4. Barry Lyndon (1975)

 

Barry Lyndon (1975)

 

Entity Detail
Title Barry Lyndon
Year 1975
Watch time 185 min
Directors Stanley Kubrick
Cast Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 8.1
Metascore 89
Writers Stanley Kubrick
Music By John Alcott
Cinematography By Tony Lawson
Costume By Roy Walker

 

Ryan O'Neal and Marisa Berenson headline director Stanley Kubrick's remarkable on-screen adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic 18th-century novel about the rise and fall of a susceptible and dashing rogue.

 

After Barry Lyndon is compelled to leave Ireland after killing an English officer in a duel, he seeks his fortune as a soldier in Prussia, as a spy, and then as a gambler living among the elite of Europe.

 

Even though the viewers might have to adjust to the film's pace, it thrives on its credible period look, the ravishingly elegant photography, and Stanley Kubrick's superb direction.

 

The well-constructed story and the hypnotizing musical score are only aided by the exemplary performances.

 

The intriguing story maintains its tempo and Barry Lyndon slowly reveals himself to be crooked who only truly cares about his son.

 

That said, many other elements and memorable moments make this is more than a watchable feature film.

 

 

3. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

 

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

 

Entity Detail
Title Inglourious Basterds
Year 2009
Watch time 153 min
Directors Quentin Tarantino
Cast Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent
Box Office $120.54M
IMDb Rating 8.3
Metascore 69
Writers Quentin Tarantino
Music By Robert Richardson
Cinematography By Sally Menke
Costume By Sandy Reynolds-Wasco

 

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino's blockbuster hit 'Inglourious Basterds' tracks the journey of a few Jewish soldiers who are on an undercover mission to bring down the Nazi government and put an end to the war.

 

Meanwhile, a woman is out on another mission seeking to avenge the death of her family from a German officer.

 

This feature film is crammed with a lot of tension and ultra-violent images that can turn your stomach.

 

Brad Pitt is terrific in the nominal lead and the rest in the cast, especially Christoph Waltz and Mélanie Laurent, hold their own wonderfully.

 

The action here is great and the punchlines are thoroughly enjoyable. Even though this motion picture is not a depiction of a real historical event, it does manage to draw out the evils of war and make a serious statement.

 

That said, the film is credited with setting off a new pattern in Quentin Tarantino’s career; one that allows him to amend the past and create a fantastical world.

 

 

2. North by Northwest (1959)

 

North by Northwest (1959)

 

Entity Detail
Title North by Northwest
Year 1959
Watch time 136 min
Directors Alfred Hitchcock
Cast Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis
Box Office $13.28M
IMDb Rating 8.3
Metascore 98
Writers Ernest Lehman
Music By Bernard Herrmann
Cinematography By Robert Burks
Costume By Robert F. Boyle

 

Director Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece 'North by Northwest' traces the journey of an advertising executive who gets entangled in a bewildering cross-country chase that involves enemy spies, the police, and a gorgeous woman.

 

Sixty years since its coveted premiere in Chicago, the film continues to remain the perfect espionage thriller that has inspired spy flicks to this very day.

 

North by Northwest introduced a new variety of action cinema that showcased larger-than-life adventure and extraordinary set pieces to connect.

 

Its tightly scripted plot, outstanding performances, and sensational direction have had a lasting influence on the minds of its viewers who continue to return to this Alfred Hitchcock classic without giving it a second thought.

 

In addition, both Eva Marie Saint and Cary Grant play a big part in making this motion picture both believable and entertaining in equal measure.

 

 

1. The Departed (2006)

 

The Departed (2006)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Departed
Year 2006
Watch time 151 min
Directors Martin Scorsese
Cast Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg
Box Office $132.38M
IMDb Rating 8.5
Metascore 85
Writers William Monahan
Music By Howard Shore
Cinematography By Michael Ballhaus
Costume By Kristi Zea

 

Helmed by ace director Martin Scorsese, 'The Departed' tracks the journey of an undercover agent and a spy who tried to counter-attack each other continually in order to protect themselves from being uncovered in front of the authorities; all while trying to penetrate an Irish gang.

 

Starring an ensemble cast headlined by actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, and Alec Baldwin, this one won four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.

 

Martin Scorsese grabs you from the very start with his sharp understanding of Boston's atmosphere; almost as good as what he had shown for 'Goodfellas' in New York and 'Casino' in Las Vegas.

 

The screenplay here carries the suspense through to the very end, making the brilliant finale only add to the film's distinctiveness.

 

Also, one should watch out for the plot twists and turns and the director's knack for hard-hitting violence; each of which helps this motion picture cement its position at the top of this list.