12 Good Spy Movies

Friday, March 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm

If you’re a fan of the James Bond franchise, then these 12 good spy movies should keep you entertained for weeks. Sure, they don’t all feature 007, but they do include plenty of intrigue, close-quarters combat, death-defying stunts, and sexy women with provocative names. So pour yourself a martini (shaken, not stirred), sit back, and get prepared for some of the best covert action ever captured on film.

These good spy movies can all be rented from Netflix, and we’ll get a small percentage for sending you there. There’s no extra charge for you, and all profits we make will go towards installing an emergency ejection seat on our mini-van (and maybe one of those cool oil slick things).

Ice Station Zebra (1968) – A nuclear submarine commander (Rock Hudson) is sent to the Arctic to rescue the personnel of a weather station, but the whole operation is actually a cover for a sensitive intelligence mission. Filled with sabotage, double agents, and firefights, Ice Station Zebra also stars Jim Brown, Patrick McGoohan and Ernest Borgnine.

GoldenEye (1995) – Pierce Brosnan makes his debut as 007, and he’s forced to go up against a former MI6 agent (Sean Bean) gone rogue. Bond’s pursuit of this menace will take him to Russia, Cuba, Monte Carlo and Switzerland, and he’ll be hounded every step of the way by a sexy femme fatale known as Xena Onatopp (Famke Janssen).

The Patriots (1994) – This French thriller revolves around Ariel Brenner (Yvan Attal), a young man who leaves home at the age of 18 and heads to Israel to join the secret service agency known as the Mossad. But after years of training, he’s sent back home to Paris to steal secrets from a French atomic scientist. A fascinating look at the tactics and training of the modern secret agent.

In Like Flint (1967) – The sequel to spy parody film Our Man Flint brings back Derek Flint (James Coburn), and this time he must stop an all-female plot to establish a matriarchy in the United States. Filled with plenty of swinging 60’s behavior and scantily-clad women, it was an obvious inspiration to the Austin Powers series.

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) – This film would be the tenth in the James Bond series, and it stars Roger Moore as 007. He joins forces with the sexy Agent Triple X (Barbara Bach) to stop a madman who wants to create a new civilization under the sea, after first destroying the current one. All your favorite Bond tropes are included, and Richard Kiel makes his first appearance as the metal-toothed henchman named Jaws.

No Way Out (1987) – Kevin Costner and Sean Young steam up the screen in this spy thriller about a Naval commander (Costner) who becomes involved with the mistress of another man. Before long, a series of events lead our hero into a web of murder, intrigue, suicide, and the search for a KGB mole code-named “Yuri.” Both a critical and commercial success, the film features a twist end that you’ll never see coming. Gene Hackman and Will Patton also star.

Ronin (1998) – A group of former intelligence operatives (including Robert DeNiro, Sean Bean, Jean Reno and Stellan Skarsgard) brave shootouts, thrilling car chases, and numerous double-crosses in order to steal a mysterious case whose contents are never revealed. The DVD features great commentary from director John Frankenheimer, especially concerning the film’s standout vehicular chases though the tunnels of Paris.

Casino Royale (1967) – A psychedelic spoof of the James Bond franchise, the film is based on the first Bond novel from author Ian Fleming. David Niven plays spy Sir James Bond 007, and he must combat the deadly machinations of SMERSH and the evil Dr. Noah (Woody Allen). This Bond is known for his celibate image, however, and he further confuses the bad guys by having a number of secret agents adopt the 007 moniker. Filled with absurdity, the film co-stars Ursula Andress, Orson Welles, Pter Sellers, Barbara Bouchet, William Holden, John Huston, and Jacqueline Bisset.

Hopscotch (1980) – Based on the Brian Garfield novel, Hopscotch stars Walter Matthau as a former CIA agent intent on publishing his memoirs and exposing the inner working of both his agency and the KGB. But before he can do so, he’ll have to dodge a number of attempts by his former employers to capture or eliminate him. A spy film without the sex, guns, or gadgets, but it’s still darn entertaining.

The Bourne Identity (2002) – Based on the popular Robert Ludlum novel, The Bourne Identity was the first of three films starring Matt Damon as a government assassin with amnesia. He begins the film floating in the sea with two bullets in his back, but he recovers and goes looking for details about his past. Along the way, he comes to realize that he’s skilled in both combat and subterfuge. Look for Clive Owen as an assassin named The Professor.

Three Days of the Condor (1975) – Robert Redford stars as a CIA employee who goes out for lunch and narrowly avoids death at the hands of a hired assassin (Max von Sydow); the rest of his co-workers aren’t so lucky. From there, a cat-and-mouse game begins, with our hero not knowing who to trust or where to go. A strong commentary on the ever-changing morality of the U.S. government following Vietnam and Watergate. Faye Dunaway and Cliff Robertson round out the excellent cast, and Sydney Pollack directs.

xXx (2002) – Vin Diesel shot to superstardom as an underground extreme sports star forced to serve the U.S. government as a secret agent. While this film is action-packed, be sure to avoid the lame sequel starring Ice Cube in the lead role.

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If you’ve enjoyed this list of 12 good spy movies, be sure and get an eyeful of the following:

This entry was posted on Friday, March 26th, 2010 at 3:26 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “12 Good Spy Movies”

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March 22, 2011


uhhh, why are these lists always missing “Spy Game”???

March 25, 2011


Maybe because it wan’t that good?


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