Spy Game (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

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 on espionage charges after attempting to break a prisoner out of China. Years of bad blood and hurt feelings are washed away in a flood of memories of adventures shared by the two men as Muir takes on his most dangerous - and personal - mission ever.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


Robert Redford
as Nathan Muir
Brad Pitt
as Tom Bishop
Catherine McCormack
as Elizabeth Hadley
Stephen Dillane
as Charles Harker
Larry Bryggman
as Troy Folger
Matthew Marsh
as Dr. Byars
Todd Boyce
as Robert Aiken
Michael Paul Chan
as Vincent Vy Ngo
Garrick Hagon
as Cy Wilson
Andrew Grainger
as Andrew Unger
Bill Buell
as Fred Kappler
Colin Stinton
as Henry Pollard
Ted Maynard
as CIA Administrator
Tom Hodgkins
as CIA Lobby Guard
Rufus Wright
as Folger's Secretary
Demetri Goritsas
as Billy Hyland
Quinn Collins
as OPS Center Security ...
Sam Scudder
as Back Bencher
Yann Johnson
as CIA Back Bencher
Pat McGrath
as Cleaner
Shane Rimmer
as Estate Agent
David Hemmings
as Harry Duncan
James Aubrey
as Mitch Alford
In Sook Chappell
as Receptionist
Ho Yi
as Prison Warden
David Y. Cheung
as Down's Prisoner
Tony Xu
as Interrogator
Mark Sung
as Ambulance Driver
David K. S. Tse
as Prison Doctor
Logan Wang
as Prison Guard
Hon Ping Tang
as Prison Guard
Daniel Tse
as Warden's Lieutenant
Vincent Wang
as Outer Gate Guard
Mark Chui Han
as Cell Block Guard
Joseph Chanet
as VC General
Eddie Yeoh
as General Hun Chea
Zsolt Zágoni
as West German Business...
Balazs Tardy
as Vopo No. 1
Pal Oberfrank
as Vopo No. 2
Géza Schramek
as East German Refugee
Imre Csuja
as Bar Owner
Melinda Volgyi
as Bar Owner's Wife
Karoly Rekasi
as East German Border G...
Iain Smith
as Ambassador Cathcart
Gregory Groth
as CIA Training Instruc...
Peter Linka
as CIA Polygraph
as The Sheik's Doctor
Nabil Massad
as Sheik Salameh
Mohamed Picasso
as Colonel Ajami
Aziz Ait Essahmi
as Checkpoint Guard
Moustapha Moulay
as Arab Businessman
Mohamed Quatib
as Motorcyclist/Decoy M...
Raid Regragui
as Suicide Van Driver
Dale Dye
as Commander Wiley
Tim Briggs
as Heli Pilot
Frank Nall
as CNN Reporter
Ian Porter
as US-China Reporter
Charlotte Rampling
as US-China Reporter
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Spy Game

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

Nathan Muir: I didn't have the usual time to butter him up, which meant we had twice the sex with half the foreplay.
– Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
Nathan Muir: Technology gets better everyday. That's fine. But most of the time all you need is a stick of gum, a pocket knife and a smile.
– Submitted by Francis John V (3 years ago)

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