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The Good Shepherd (Widescreen Edition)

3.6 out of 5 stars 490 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and Robert De Niro star in this powerful thriller about the birth of the CIA. Edward Wilson (Damon) believes in America, and will sacrifice everything he loves to protect it. But as one of the covert founders of the CIA, Edward's youthful idealism is slowly eroded by his growing suspicion of the people around him. Everybody has secrets…but will Edward's destroy him? With an all-star cast including Alec Baldwin, Billy Crudup, William Hurt, Timothy Hutton and John Turturro, it's the gripping story David Ansen of Newsweek hails as "spellbinding."

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, Tammy Blanchard, Billy Crudup
    • Directors: Robert De Niro
    • Writers: Eric Roth
    • Producers: Robert De Niro, James G. Robinson, Jane Rosenthal, Francis Ford Coppola
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Dolby, Dubbed, Extra tracks, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    • Dubbed: French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      R
      Restricted
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007
    • Run Time: 168 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (490 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B000MXPE7O
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,607 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "The Good Shepherd (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Archmaker VINE VOICE on December 23, 2006
    Verified Purchase
    The Good Shepherd is a very very good film that I would be reluctant to recommend to many because despite it having a fictionalized history of the genesis of the CIA as its setting, and its cold look at real spycraft, it is really a very quiet and cerebral character study of the sacrifices one man makes for the sake of his country, and the toll taken not only upon himself but also those around him by the life of duplicity, distrust, compromise and real betrayal that this engenders. I don't know how a 2-1/2 hour movie with so button-downed and taciturn a central character as Matt Damon's Edward Wilson will play in multiplex land, but I give all due credit to Damon for embodying this tightly-wrapped, detached man and Robert DeNiro as director for having the courage to center his film on such a cool and enigmatic protagonist.

    Using the 1961 Cuban Bay of Pigs disaster as a framing device, we flashback to 1939 Yale and we see Damon's Edward Wilson as a young Eli soon to be inducted into Skull and Bones where he will join the American WASP elite. I'm glad DeNiro spends a bit of time here as we see Wilson as a brilliant and sensitive young man, seemingly with both heart and humor, with a potential to go in many directions in his life. A telling secret of his life is revealed in his Skull & Bones initiation, and soon, for several reasons, he is singled out for the World War II OSS clandestine service and sent to London, England. But not before impregnating the sister of one of his elite brethern and duly marrying her on the eve of his departure. This marriage will be costly to Edward immediately and eventually to his wife and son as the years progress.

    Wartime London intrigue ensues and later postwar Berlin and the beginning of the Cold War.
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    13 Comments 291 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: HD DVD Verified Purchase
    Not the typical spy movie, more a beautifully directed intense psychological drama.
    Flashback: The six year old Edward Wilson watches his father prepare to commit suicide, although at that moment the boy doesn't realize it. His father discovers him, sends him away, closes the door and shoots himself. This traumatic experience ironically prepares Edward for a career in the CIA. It will take him around the globe, far away from home, maybe even away from his soul...
    Edward (wonderfully portrayed by Matt Damon) is almost unable to show his true feelings. He talks very little, gives up his true love to stay with the woman who will give birth to his son (marvelous: Angelina Jolie).
    For all of his life he will sacrifice everything around him to serve his country. It is all he has.
    When, after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, he is asked to find the mole in the organization, he begins to realize there is not anyone he can trust, never was. Not his father, not his university teacher, not his so-called friends, not even his super.
    There might have been loved ones who could have saved him from all his internal misery: his first love, his wife, his son. But it is too late. He cannot trust and there is betrayal all around. It becomes clear that he never got over that terrible shock when he entered the room and found his father lying dead on the floor.
    A wonderful film about fate and the choices we all make, where they lead us and what might have been had we taken another road...
    The images are perfect, the actors magnificent, Robert De Niro's directing superb. A very complex must have to watch over and over again.
    As to the length of the movie. I just noticed other reviewers had a problem with that. Not me. I never got bored for a second.
    Read more ›
    2 Comments 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    Though not for all tastes, "The Good Shepherd" (2006) is an engrossing spy drama in the John le Carré tradition. Director Robert De Niro gets the most out of his ensemble, with Matt Damon remarkably effective as the emotionally cold CIA operative and co-founder. Running nearly three hours, the film's leisurely pace works in its favor — chronicling the CIA's evolution from 1939 to the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961. Hopefully, De Niro will continue to explore this fascinating saga in his next directorial project.
    Comment 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
    The CIA had planned an invasion of Cuba using exile forces (housed in Florida) during the Eisenhower Administration. Then Kennedy became president and he believed if the dictator Castro remained in power, communism would spread to other Western Hemisphere nations. From erroneous intelligence, it was thought the invasion would spark a wider uprising or revolt to overthrow the communist regime. So on April 16, 1961, arriving in seven ships, the small exile army of nearly 16 hundred landed on the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. Castro was ready. It was as if he had prior knowledge of the attack. Castro's vastly superior forces killed 114 rebels and quickly captured 12 hundred. Kennedy prohibited American involvement, restricted bombing operations, and refused to authorize air cover for the invasion, because he feared Soviet Premier Khrushchev would retaliate with a counter move against West Berlin. Upon hearing the news of the disastrous failure, Kennedy was furious and fulminated that he would, "... shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter [them] to the winds." He fired Allen Dulles and two other top officials (Richard Bissell and Charles Cabell) and all CIA overseas personnel was put under State Department control. Kennedy was outraged, understandably, because it made his new administration and the U.S. look inept and imperialistic. The story begins in 1939 when Edward (Matt Damon) was attending Yale University. He met Laura, also a student, whom he would have married if Clover Russell (Angelina Jolie) hadn't interjected herself into his life by seducing him and becoming pregnant. How could he refuse her? She was much more attractive, but you have to feel for Laura, and sadly Edward would have been far happier with Laura (as we see later in the movie).Read more ›
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