This has been called “The Godfather of spy films”, and it’s easy to see the comparison. Even leaving aside Francis Ford Coppola’s involvement, both movies are intense, measured examinations of family, loyalty, secrecy and betrayal.
Although I love spy action films, I actually much prefer my spy stories to delve into the mechanics and politics behind the scenes. The Good Shepherd does this magnificently. Don’t expact any big explosions or hyperactive stunts. Do expect a set of awesome performances from an all-star ensemble cast. In particular, Matt Damon’s depiction of cautious, withdrawn spymaster Edward Wilson could hardly be further removed from his turn as Jason Bourne. Very highly recommended.