Spy Game - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Spy Game Reviews

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½ March 9, 2019
Predictable, but entertaining.

Tony Scott's Spy Game (2001) is a convoluted espionage narrative with a simple premise. The new CIA spy agent is captured while on a mission since he made a mistake and the older veteran must rescue his pupil somehow. It's how this basic premise is actualized that is interesting.

Tony Scott's direction is exhilarating and direct. While the writing gets muddled, Scott keeps you informed. The editing is very early 2000's jump cut laden with wild cinematography and spinning angles. It's charming with its dated editing, but the footage itself is remarkable.

Robert Redford is the real charmer. His grizzled intellectual spy staving off retirement to help his apprentice spy is endearing. Redford is always the coolest actor in the room and Spy Game is no exception. His cool demeanor and effortless persona make you constantly believe that Redford always have the upper hand. In reality, this also makes it feel like there is little tension as I always believed that Redford had this all covered. Redford brings back his smooth CIA agent character from 3 Days of the Condor with all his charms of Gatsby. He plays up the ingenious planning and diversions with ease.

Brad Pitt is great in his supporting role as a young spy ready to learn from the master of espionage, Robert Redford. Pitt plays off Redford's calm persona against his own brash spirited style. They make a great pair.

I really liked Stephen Dillane as one of the top suits in the CIA, trying to undermine Redford's process. Their cat and mouse dialogue is very funny as are the various tactics Redford uses in Spy Game that only he could pull off.

The film shows the lengths the CIA is willing to go in order to achieve its goals through the dynamic of Redford and Pitt. They represent two different eras and ethics that contrast beautifully in Tony Scott's thriller. Spy Game is a solid film.
½ February 25, 2019
This is a nice little thriller film starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt. Directed by Tony Scott who loves to use technology all out, Spy Game, however, fails to be a great film. This is a fairly interesting -- if almost hopelessly complex -- CIA picture that gets ratcheted to the stratosphere by director Tony Scott's near-romantic infatuation with his own technical abilities. You can more or less forgive him during action sequences, even though truly gifted directors know how to shoot even those with restraint. But Scott films every scene, no matter how routine, as if he's covering the launch of a nuclear missile. Both Pitt and Redford are good, and their similar appearance and look will not go unnoticed. The soundtrack, especially the main techno theme is pretty good though. All in all a good thriller.
February 4, 2019
Another over-directed chunk of cinematic bombast from Tony Scott, a man who believes his audience has ADHD and will lose interest if he doesn't indulge in lens flares, manic cutting, generic music and casting British actors as CIA operatives (why on earth were the Washington scenes shot in the UK anyway?). It's all rather exhausting and annoying.
February 2, 2019
A Bit Louder Than Anticipated.

Spy Game

Scott's game among spies is more thrilling as a desk job than it is on field. Split into two bits, the Redford part undeniably steals the show with a large margin, whilst Pitt's sequences, no matter how hungry for blazing guns or breathtaking chase sequences or big explosions, feels like empty punches. The dull execution is to be blamed along with a cheesy script that has managed to snatch in every good trick from such genre films; and it is people-pleasing, but there is not an inch of art in this commercial cinema. With cheap camera work that notions its existence of a B grade quality with A grade cast, that are totally misused.

Aforementioned, the ticking clock behind Redford and his tactics that never fails to surprise us along with his every posture on the narration, the writers have chiseled him in every step to be an impenetrable stature that is both easily absorbing and lethal, he lives up to his game. The performance of Redford is quite convincing, if not anything extraordinary, his body language and eye does up the ante along with his sarcastic arguments that has a way out of every door. Pitt, on the other hand, has all the physical work to do, in fact, he never shines on screen on his own merit, not only on performance but in character as well.

He barely supports Redford, he is often manipulated, he is a hot head with no character development that comes off as a pawn staged to ooze sexiness on screen; even though Redford overcomes that limitation, a Porsche does boost him though. Spy Game has petty rules that is equally entertaining as it is incongruent, even its last aspect of getting two stars on screen with an incredible chemistry fails poorly; the sunglasses won't be enough.
November 26, 2018
This is a good movie- a decent thriller but not a great film. Spy Game brought together yesteryear heartthrob Robert Redford and current one Brad Pitt again after A River Runs through it(though Redford didn't appear onscreen in that one). Pitt was always considered the heir apparent of Redford not just because of their boyish blonde looks but also similar in mannerisms of all physical kind. Spy Game is an entertaining thriller and it is nice to see both the actors in the same frame. This is a good film and one you can consider watching.
February 12, 2018
Actually indifferent, but apparently you can't just clear a selection on RT so this was least misleading.
½ February 11, 2018
meh, style over substance
June 18, 2017
Tony Scott's movies can't be horrible :)
April 3, 2017
Not exactly what I expected. Little interaction between Redford and Pitt. Definitely Redford's vehicle. His character the most interesting. They didn't give Pitt much to do.
½ February 2, 2017
A total bomb that will bore you to death. I hated this movie. It's confusing from the start and your interest will fade early. (First and only full viewing - 2/2/2017)
November 22, 2016
What I liked best about this spy action thriller is the suspense. This is a fun mix of cerebral and action. One of my all time favorite spy movies.

What do you know? It was directed by Tony Scott!
½ October 3, 2016
Entertaining spy thriller with a fairly well paced and interesting plot. Good to see two different generations of actors work well together.
August 9, 2016
Never hearing of this movie, I was intrigued by the cast of Pitt and Redford in the same movie. I would classify this as psychological character drama/thriller. While there are flashbacks of the background story, with plenty of action. It's the story and play on top of the surface that keeps you intrigued and wanting to know what's going on, what might be the eventual outcome. Aside from unnecessary side plots, and unnecessary character relationship building. This was really great movie. No matter he outcome.
June 24, 2016
Highly entertaining not ordinary mission-spy kind of thing. Redford gave an outstanding performance! A great beginning on my long list of movie marathon
June 13, 2016
It isn't really original and it's more of a walk through rather than an action packed spy thriller but Spy Game still offers two fine thespians in a fairly engaging and well constructed spy movie good for a watch or two.
Super Reviewer
June 12, 2016
It's a weird mishmash of cynicism and sentimentality . . . If the narrative stuck with it's original bleak structure instead of turning into a love story with a happy ending I might have liked this more.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2016
From director Tony Scott comes the exciting and intense thriller Spy Game. When CIA operative Tom Bishop is captured by the Chinese and left for dead his former handler attempts to rescue him. Robert Redford and Brad Pitt lead the cast and give excellent performances. And the script is especially well-written, particularly the dialog, and does a great job at developing the characters. Also, Scott's directing brings a lot of tension and suspense to the scenes. Smart and provocative, Spy Game is an incredibly engaging film.
Super Reviewer
½ May 17, 2016
Man oh man, it's not easy keeping alla world's nutcase reactionary knuckleheads under our protective thumb but, thanks to our boys and girls out of Langley, Virginia, whirred peas is a dish served throughout the whole wide world. Redford plays the administrative guy, dealing with smug policy hacks threats in the store, while Pitt is our boy in the field facing the usual gun-toting variety. Tony Scott films one scene in this CIA love lettet nonsensically revolving around an outdoor, roof of-some-overseas-building exchange. "What was that all about," I wondered.
April 9, 2016
It's a Tony Scott film, therefore, you know for a fact that it's going to be a visually stylish film with some genuinely thrilling moments. It's a well-crafted espionage thriller with an interesting, if not implausible, plot, and both Redford and Pitt seem like they are having a lot of fun. My main problem with the film is that I didn't really care about what's going on with the characters. The film is all about the surface, and although there is nothing wrong with having good surface and the action is fun to watch, I wish there was more solid character development. Spy Game is kinetic and enjoyable, but it's utterly forgettable.
March 16, 2016
Watching this again. Love the suspense!
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