Asking someone to list out anything surrounding a classic movie theme is like ordering a one-way ticket to trouble-town. No matter what you list, there’s going to be someone that disagrees. Film has always been a touchy subject with some people, because when they really love a genre, it’s hard to introduce new favorites into the mix. There’ always going to be a little tension, but that’s okay — we can live with tension.
If you’re thinking about exploring the spy film genre, it’s not hard to find a list of great spy movies. However, we wanted to really add our own list and explain each choice. When you’re planning a spy movie marathon, don’t forget to thank us for getting you started, okay?
Here are six of the best spy movies that certainly rocked our house when we sat down to watch them with friends.
1. The Bourne Identity
No, not the whole trilogy — the last one made us roll our eyes in a few places. However, if you’re really going to appreciate Jason Bourne, you need to appreciate him at the very beginning when he was just a man fighting amnesia — and a whole bunch of people trying to kill him, of course.
One thing that made the movie series fun was Matt Damon himself. You really got to see the conflict on Bourne’s features when played by Matt Damon. He wants answers that no one will really give him, he’s being chased by high powered killers and he has to try to fight back without really knowing what’s going on. There’s the usual array of special effects and high speed chases, but the part that still grabs us about the series is how much information you’re not given at the start. You have to go through the entire series in order to figure out what’s going on, and we kind of like that. For an extra boost, you might want to read the book series after you finish the movie. Remember, never read the book before the movie or you’ll hate the parts the movie had to cut for time!
2. Enemy at the Gates
Now, if you look at most spy movie lists, they probably won’t even list this movie. However, it’s well worth watching. The spy angle isn’t as much of the story as the concepts behind espionage. Misinformation, double agents, secrecy, and surprise attacks are all keys to a good spy movie, and these are all issues that Enemy at the Gates explores greatly. It’s a good movie if you also want a little bit of historical fiction at play as well. This story involves the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II. It’s a hard movie in some places and there are some serious graphic themes here, but if you’re cool with that then we definitely think it’s a movie that you should really check out.
Plus, we really like sniper vs. sniper movies. Hot!
3. Casino Royale
We had to include the most controversial Bond movie around. Casino Royale featured Daniel Craig as the new Bond, a move that a lot of Bond fans were angry about. Now, we’re not saying we’re mad. In fact, we think that Craig makes a great Bond — more strategic, a little colder, and a little meaner and even — dare we say it — a little tougher. This is a Bond that we think represents the modern era, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that.
The basic plot behind Casino Royale is that Bond has to stop an evil banker from winning a massive poker tournament in Montenegro so he doesn’t pass on that money to the evil terrorist organizations. It’s a plot that has some relevant hooks into the news headlines that we live under — terror is always out there, you know!
4. The Manchurian Candidate
If you ask us, the 1962 version is the best one. Yes, Denzel Washington did well, as he often does. He’s a brilliant actor. However, the performance of Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury and Frank Sinatra all deserve accolades as well. The old version highlights the danger of politics and everything else, which is exactly the point.
5. La Femme Nikita
Before the TV series, we had La Femme Nikita. If you like things a little old school (but not too terribly much), this is really going to be the best movie for you. For one, it stars a very hot actress being trained as a top secret spy and assassin. The plot is actually decent and the movie’s direction should be praised. Girls with guns, danger, and suspense? Sign us up.
6. Mr. & Mrs. Smith
This is more humorous than actual hardcore action spy film, but who says that the spy genre doesn’t need a little funny once in a while? If you really like Angelia Jolie, and you really like Brad Pitt, you’ll find that combining them both together definitely brings a lot of laughs and craziness. Angelia Jolie is in her prime and she’s gorgeous in this flick, and Brad Pitt is shaved down and looking good himself. Maybe that’s why Brad got together with Angelina after all this time? Who knows?
That’s our six spy movies that rocked the house — which ones would you have picked instead? Let us know in the comments, as we would really love to know!