Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Good Shepherd (2006)

* * *

The Good Shepherd looks like it has all the ingredients to be a great movie; good cast, legendary director, government conspiracy story, and no explosions. But the movie is a disappointment thanks to average performances and a way too long, way, way, way, too complicated storyline. Matt Damon is far from bad as one of the first agents in the CIA, but also isn't anywhere near his performance earlier this year in The Departed. The story has its twists and turns that keep you briefly intrigued, but at times you may miss what is happening because you are trying to decipher what you have just witnessed in the previous scene. I sincerely believe you either have to be a history major or have lived through this time period to fully comprehend the entire story. Deniro's character is much more enjoyable than what he has done behind the camera, and a cameo by Joe Pesci was a high point. Angelina Jolie and Alec Baldwin are both capable but have been better. John Turturro, a favorite, stands out as Damon's assistant. Overall, the film would probably be much more enjoyable as a book. If you're a fan of Deniro, Damon, or conspiracy films, it is worth checking out. Otherwise, you may have better ways to spend three hours.

Good For: Deniro fans, history buffs, very intelligent people

Bad For: people who don't want to think at movies, someone with limited time

The Gallery
The Economist: * * *

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