Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Spy Game

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Profanity:Some strong language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual situations, nothing explicit or exploitive
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking and smoking
Violence/Scariness:Tense scenes, including bloody torture
Diversity Issues:Strong woman and minority characters
Movie Release Date:2001

This is not one of those movies where the spies wear elegant dinner jackets, drink martinis, use cool gadgets and have sex with gorgeous women in between huge explosions and shoot-outs. There is no hidden fortress, secret formula, or missing computer chip. Instead, it is a smart thriller for grown-ups about spies who manipulate their “assets” (sources) with brains, not explosives. And it is about loyalty, politics, and whether the ends ever justify the means.

It begins in 1991 with a failed rescue attempt at a Chinese prison. Nathan Muir (Robert Redford) is awakened on his last day working for the CIA by a phone call from Hong Kong. An agent has been captured. We learn through a series of flashbacks that the agent, Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt) was originally recruited and trained by Muir. We trace their relationship through the world’s trouble spots from Viet Nam to Beirut as they go from teacher/student to partners and then as they cannot work together any more. Bishop, code named “Boy Scout” for his true blue values, likes being one of the good guys. He likes to keep his promises. He is willing to bend rules, but only if he has to. Nathan is not sure he knows what the rules are anymore, beyond the one he tells Tom is unbreakable – save your money so that you can retire someplace warm and never spend any of it to protect an asset.

The CIA has 24 hours before Bishop is executed. Muir spends much of that time in a taped and transcribed meeting with top officials who are more concerned about maintaining trade negotiations with China than with rescuing a spy who does not seem to have been on any authorized mission. The rest of the time, he is using everything he has accumulated in his career – his experiences, his relationships, his tricks of the trade, and even his money – to get the Boy Scout back home.

Redford and Pitt (who worked together on “A River Runs Through It”) are both marvelous, their different acting styles working well to help them portray the differences in their characters. Director Tony Scott (“Top Gun” and “Crimson Tide”) shows his usual expert touch in action stories about men who have to think quickly while they struggle with problems of loyalty and independence. The scenes in Beirut are particularly unsettling and tragic.

Parents should know that the movie has very strong language and a lot of violence, including a brutal beating. We see the victims of violence, including amputees and dead bodies. There is a mild and inexplicit sexual situation.

Families who see this movie should talk about how people develop rules when their work involves breaking traditional rules. How can you tell when you stop being one of the good guys? How do they know that the rules they are breaking are in aid of a greater good? Who was betrayed in the movie?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy the Tom Clancy movies, The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games.



Previous Posts

List: The Best Movie Con Games and Grifters
In honor of this week's release of "Focus," here are some of my favorite movies about con games and grifters. Remember that "con" comes from "confidence." A con man (or woman) makes you believe in them and have confidence in their schemes. And cons make great movies. If you haven't seen these, crank

posted 3:45:21pm Feb. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Love & Mercy with Paul Dano and John Cusack as Brian Wilson
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VUhFpFQeilM?rel=0" frameborder="0"] "Love & Mercy" tells the story of Brian Wilson, the brilliant but troubled member of the Beach Boys.

posted 8:14:21am Feb. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Contest: Win an Insurgent T-Shirt
Getting ready for the second film in the "Divergent" series? Not sure you have just the right thing to wear? I'm here to solve your problem! I have an "Insurgent" t-shirt (Size L) to give away!

posted 3:55:04pm Feb. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Toys That Impair Imagination: The Over-Licensing of Children's Toys
It's always tempting to give children toys from the movies and television programs they love, and some of them are high-quality or even educational. But Melissa Atkins Wardy has a very good argument

posted 8:00:05am Feb. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Ryan Potter, Hiro in "Big Hero 6"
Ryan Potter provided the voice for Hiro in this week's DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week, the Oscar-winning Big Hero 6. Talking to him on the phone, it was easy to imagine I was talking to Hiro himself. Other than a few moments with Maya Rudolph, who played Hiro's harried guardian, he did not interact

posted 3:58:31pm Feb. 24, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.