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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Spy Game (2001)



Reviews and Comments

Robert Redford and Brad Pitt star in a most unusual political thriller. It's relatively fast-paced, and it's cut frenetically, but there isn't a whole lot of action. The tension comes primarily from the characters. Tension is built when CIA agent Redford is interrogated by his peers, who are as much his enemies as anybody. Tension is built between Redford and Pitt, who never meet except in flashbacks. One is the teacher, one is the student, and neither agree on how to conduct their business.

The strength of the acting and the sincerity of the production carries us right through some rough spots in the story that don't hold up to a lot of reflection afterward. Redford's character is clever, to be sure, but could he have really gotten away with a lot of the stuff he pulls in the course of the movie?

To an extent, it doesn't matter, because the movie is good at absorbing us into its world and being convincing about unconvincing things. Fans of the spy genre, especially those who would prefer more realistic stories to the absurdly over the top theatrics in films like XXX, may want to give this one a look.