Spy Game (2001)



Critic Consensus: The outcome of the kinetic Spy Game is never in doubt, but it is fun watching Robert Redford and Brad Pitt work.

Movie Info

There was a time when CIA operative Nathan Muir and his protégé Tom Bishop were inseparable, traveling the world and tasting everything it had to offer... from Vietnam to Berlin to Beirut. In a profession fraught with danger and uncertainty, Muir and Bishop forged an uncommonly close friendship based on mutual respect and affection. But that was years ago. Now, on the brink of his retirement from the agency, Muir learns that Bishop has gone rogue. His one-time protégé has been jailed in Beijing … More

Rating: R (for language, some violence and brief sexuality)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Michael Frost Beckner, David Arata
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 16, 2002
Box Office: $62.3M
Universal Pictures - Official Site


as Nathan Muir

as Tom Bishop

as Elizabeth Hadley

as Charles Harker

as Troy Folger

as Dr. Byars

as Robert Aiken

as Vincent Vy Ngo

as Cy Wilson

as Andrew Unger

as Fred Kappler

as Henry Pollard

as CIA Administrator

as CIA Lobby Guard

as Folger's Secretary

as Billy Hyland

as OPS Center Security ...

as Back Bencher

as CIA Back Bencher

as Cleaner

as Estate Agent

as Harry Duncan

as Mitch Alford

as Receptionist

as Jiang

as Prison Warden

as Down's Prisoner

as Interrogator

as Ambulance Driver

as Prison Doctor

as Prison Guard

as Prison Guard

as Warden's Lieutenant

as Outer Gate Guard

as Cell Block Guard

as VC General

as General Hun Chea

as West German Business...

as Vopo No. 1

as Vopo No. 2

as East German Refugee

as Bar Owner

as Bar Owner's Wife

as East German Border G...

as Ambassador Cathcart

as CIA Training Instruc...

as CIA Polygraph

as Doumet

as The Sheik's Doctor

as Sheik Salameh

as Colonel Ajami

as Checkpoint Guard

as Arab Businessman

as Motorcyclist/Decoy M...

as Suicide Van Driver

as Commander Wiley

as Heli Pilot

as CNN Reporter

as US-China Reporter

as US-China Reporter
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Spy Game

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Critic Reviews for Spy Game

All Critics (147) | Top Critics (35)

The performances are the biggest asset.

Full Review… | November 6, 2002
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

I'll admit the main story is implausible, but the flashbacks were spectacular, and the cast is really good here.

Full Review… | December 3, 2001
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Capably anchored by [Robert] Redford giving the spunkiest, most alive performance he gave in a decade in either direction.

Full Review… | August 9, 2013
Antagony & Ecstasy

A smart thriller for grown-ups.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

Two generations of Hollywood 'golden boys' team up in Tony Scott's Spy Game, a neatly plotted espionage thriller. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | June 15, 2009
Groucho Reviews

... afterwards I realized that I had been maneuvered into rooting for a dangerously reckless and presumptuous man.

Full Review… | December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

Audience Reviews for Spy Game


A veteran CIA agent discovers that his protege is being sold out by the agency so he uses his last 24 hours on the job to try and rescue him from execution by the Chinese government. Very much an old school spy thriller, Spy Game's overly generic script means that it's pretty much entirely reliant on the partnership of Redford and Pitt to maintain your interest. Unfortunately they spend very little time on screen together as Redford spends virtually the entire film sat in a meeting shuffling paperwork while telling the largely irrelevant back story of how he met Brad who seems to be little more than a sharp shooting taxi driver. The result is a combination of a humdrum conspiracy thriller and Jackanory which comes across as the cinematic equivalent of an airport paperback. Inoffensive but dull.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


Robert Redford - like a few other actors - does so few films nowadays that it's a treat to watch him act. While this film isn't particularly memorable, it's still worth a watch. Redford plays a retiring CIA agent who has just 24 hours to save his former protege (played by Brad Pitt) before he's executed for a failed espionage rescue mission in a Chinese prison. Played in mostly flashbacks as the kid comes up through Vietnam and the ranks of the CIA with Redford, the film has its share of excitement and drama, but the acting just seems rather phoned in at times. Directed by Tony Scott, who seems to enjoy being at the helm of these kinds of things.

Derek Daniels

Super Reviewer


Richard C

Super Reviewer

Spy Game Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (15 months ago)
– Submitted by Francis John V (3 years ago)

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