The Good Shepherd * Robert De Niro * 2006

This “godfather of all espionage films” was actually a big disappointment to me. The film supposedly gives the early history of the CIA in the WWII period. For this we follow the top-spy Edward Wilson, played by Matt Damon. Here comes the first point of comment: Matt Damon has too much of a baby-face to play a ruthless and powerfull personality. Also in the scenes with his 20-year-old son it is hard to say who is actually the younger. What is mostly strange, is that Damon looks 18 in the scenes in which he is a student recruited by the CIA, but also in the scenes which supposedly play much later in his life. Completely unconvincing! Then we have the fact that the film seems to jump back and forth in time, but this is completely unclear (especially when all the rest also just look the same all the time) and therefor it is hard to detect the line and/or story in the film. Because I didn’t get the story, the film seemed to me like a string of separate scenes that is not particularly interesting, especially not for almost three hours. “The Good Shepherd” lacks the atmosphere of a good espionage thriller, fails in showing the story and inspite of ‘great Hollywood names’ the film is not as interesting as told. I think you better watch George Clooney’s “Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind” for a similar, but much much better film.
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