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Spy Game
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Customer Reviews:

  • excellent movie
    Redford wow, Pitt wow, picuture a big wow the plot very twiisty and a pleasure ro watch. ...more info
  • A GGGreat Thriller
    Where can I start. THis movie is so exciting. Robert Redford stars as the retiring spy with one last job in mind. To save his long time spy trainee that he trained a long time ago. The actors are great in this movie. And this DvD is packed with special features. Even if you dont like thrillers I think you should at least watch this one....more info
    A curiously uninvolving spy flick, possibly because Redford is way past his prime and occupies far too much screen time. Pitt isn't bad as a young spy learning the game. It is not clear to me why this particular film was made, however. It has absolutely no relevance in this post-Cold War era. Older audiences might find it more edifying....more info
  • Not in a class with "The French Connection"
    Ok, I have a real dislike for Robert Redford but spy movies are my favorate, this one was even honest, no shoot up spies like in some movies. I've also been weerly of seeing anything with Brad Pitt since Legends of the Fall but he's building his stock back up with me. For the most part this movie is ok, I'd watch it again I just wish they wouldn't have put Robert Redford in it....more info
  • highly recommended
    Excellent actors, scenes, photography and story.
    Watching An action packed movie with Robert Redford and Brad Pitt? How wrong can you be?
    Spy game has a blend of action inside and outside the CIA offices. It also shows what a man can do and how far he can go for love.
    Some of the story takes place in Beirut during the civil war in the late 1970's. Since I lived there during most of that period, I can say the recreation of Beirut and life in that city during that crazy time are pretty accurate. Enough said.
    DVD quality, picture and sound are excellent. Highly recommended. ...more info
  • Spy Game
    Took a little longer than expected, but not by much, it was in good condition....more info
  • Gripping action thriller.
    Has it all: blend of thrill, action, adventure, elements of friendship and love. Recommended highly....more info
  • Outstanding thriller
    This is by far the best thriller I've watched in a long time. It keeps you wondering till the end what turn the plot will take next and how the main character ( Robert Redford ) will deal with it. Both Redford and Pitt's character's are well developed, there are very good dialogue scenes and one really gets a feeling of involvement with an intelligence agency's inside politics. Ok so the ending is a bit sci-fi, but I rate this one 5-stars because I can't remember a movie that kept me wondering for the whole two hours and which I was eager to review once I had seen it first time in the movie theater. Don't miss it!...more info
  • Over-editing Mars An Otherwise Good Film
    Nathan Muir (Robert Redford), a CIA operative about to retire, receives a phone call from Hong Kong on the morning of his retirement. Hurry to the office and read the cable. At CIA Headquarters, Muir learns that Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt) has been taken prisoner by the Chinese government for trying to help a prisoner escape. Muir's supervisors want to hear all about Tom, an operative trained by Muir. Muir quickly learns that Tom may be sacrificed and sets about saving his former prot¨¦g¨¦.

    "Spy Game", the new film directed by Tony Scott and starring Redford and Pitt, is a satisfyingly good film. Almost surprisingly so. Scott is a good director, but he edits his films very fast, almost as though he is catering to the MTV Generation. He may very well be doing that, but if so, the film has a lot of story, seasoned actors, and a complicated story, elements not usually associated with an MTV Generation film.

    Redford is very good cast as the aging CIA operative. Much of the film is told in flashback as he recounts the training of Tom Bishop. These scenes are actually the best because they allow the actors to create a relationship, a bond between the characters which is interesting to watch. Redford conveys an authority that Bishop picks up on and almost embraces. He becomes the father figure that Pitt's character needs. He also manages to convey emotion when his character isn't supposed to convey any. It is interesting to watch Redford play against Pitt; I can see the similarities between Redford at Pitt's age and Pitt's acting now. If Pitt manages to create half the library that Redford has, his career will be well-remembered.

    A significant portion of the film is set in 1991, present day in the film's timeline. These scenes focus on Muir trying to learn about Bishop's situation and smack of an artificial air. These scenes are interesting but Muir learns way too many things by catching glimpses of things out of the corner of his eye, or holding fake conversations during the middle of an interrogation. All of these scenes are set in CIA Headquarters. They make the rest of the staff working at the CIA appear to be buffoons.

    As the story careens back and forth, in both time and between places, I became increasingly involved in the story and was able to overlook the excessive editing. The flashbacks, ranging from the Vietnam War to the conflict in Lebanon, show Bishop as he matures and the relationship with Muir deepens. As they are both spies, outward emotion is frowned upon, so it is interesting to watch Pitt and Redford display what emotions they can and to make these characters empathetic.

    The editing is still on my mind. At times, this works. For instance, there will be a master shot, establishing a town square for instance. Then the camera will find an element, move quickly towards it and turn slightly, showing us where Muir is, in a landscape. This seems successfully evocative of an actual spy mission. But this type of effect is carried to extremes and over-done, making it difficult to concentrate on things for very long.

    Another interesting thing about the film is the pacing. Most of the flashback sequences are exciting and fast-paced. The scenes set in 1991 are much, much slower.I don't mind this, but it is another inconsistency, especially as the film appears to be geared towards the MTV crowd.

    Despite the over-editing and the ease with which Muir finds out confidential information, I recommend "Spy Game" for the engaging characters created by Redford and Pitt.

    ...more info
  • The CIA - An Inside look!
    THE Movie:
    If you like spy movies, this is a good movie to consider. Although the movie was made in 2001, It takes you back to the 70's and to many troubled places around the world. One minute you're in Honk Kong, then in divided Germany, the next, you're in Beirut at the time of the Lebanese civil war where a big part of the movie took place. It reminds us of the Berlin Wall and It shows some of the Palestinian people horrible living condition in refugee camps in Lebanon. It also shows the CIA involvement in Mideast assasinations.

    Robert Redford is the main player in the movie. He appeared much older to me than one of his older spy movie (and one of my favorite) from 1975 " Three Days of the Condor". He also proved that he is still a great actor.
    The movie is very entertaining and it keeps you thinking and guessing as more and more information is revealed about "Bishop" (Brad Pitt) and the intention of the CIA to deal with "the problem or crisis at hand".

    This HD DVD has a great transfer, and the picture quality is excellent! The audio is also great!
    There are some extra feautures such as deleted scenes, however, none is in high definition or even in good standard DVD quality. I would only only rate the extras one star.

    Overall, Great Movie, Great Quality HD DVD Transfer. Recommended...more info
  • Good Guys
    Good movie to have and stay with, both main actors are a real classic, will make for a good collection addition....more info
  • Quite a thriller...more of an expose on the dirty tricks of CIA operatives...
    It is refreshing to watch an older Robert Redford pitting his acting skills against a younger Brad Pitt in this spy thriller movie. Both of them acted very well despite the sketchy plot.

    To me, the storyline is pretty straight-forward: A retiring CIA operative, Nathan Muir (Robert Redford) learned that his protege, Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt), had been arrested in China as a result of a botched rescue attempt of his girl-friend. He was due to be executed shortly. Because of vested interests, CIA refused to mount a rescue. Out of friendship, Muir engineered a successful but unauthorised rescue.

    The entire movie is beautifully choreographed through black & white flash-backs & pure dialogue, during which Muir recalled his personal encounter & close friendship with his protege. That relationsip spanned across a timeline of about twenty years, from the Vietnam War in the 70's, to the end of the cold war in Berlin during the 80's & then to the mean streets of Beirut in the 90's.

    The movie moves on to show how Muir had taught Bishop all the skills (or dirty tricks?) of to case a restaurant, fix a radio, be callous, look at the big stay sell out people if that's of kill.

    There is no typical high-octane action sequences in this spy thriller movie, except for a heart-pounding escape scene in a China prison.

    Throughout the movie, one can see how Muir had to use his wits & all the skills (or dirty tricks?) he had learned while working for the CIA to out-smart the CIA's top echelon as well as his fellow CIA operatives to mount a personally-financed rescue mission.

    I really enjoyed watching his brilliant machinations as he moved from scene to scene in the movie. I just loved the part where he juxtaposed CIA satellite images to fool his bosses. He even forged the signature of the CIA Director. At the end of it, all of them apparently did not have the slightest clue as to what was happening & had happened.

    On the whole, I have enjoyed watching this spy thriller. It is also comforting to know that an accomplished Singaporean actor, Adrian Pang, had a small role in the movie. He played a medic during the botched rescue attempt.
    ...more info
  • Redford as foxy old dog fun to see
    I liked this movie more after watching it multiple times. It's not the kind of movie you necessarily enjoy watching over and over, but it is nice to watch after you've already unraveled the sometimes-confusing plot so that you can enjoy the show.

    The movie follows two storylines, the first a flashback involving the relationship of CIA Field Manager Redford and his recruit-turned-prot¨¦g¨¦ Pitt. The current storyline involves Redford's efforts to save Pitt from the depths of a Chinese prison while the rest of the CIA is working to bury him.

    Redford's character is pretty cool, with the street-smarts of a Harry Bosch combined with a slick comfort in the presence of administrators that Bosch could never muster. He is basically trying to redeem himself for a lifetime of morally ambiguous CIA dealings by putting his career and even freedom on the line on Pitt's behalf.

    The camera cuts are gritty and fast-paced, without being so MTV'ed out that they distract from the story. The story is simple and intriguing, with the most pleasure coming from Redford's little tricks that, on the one hand, are so old fashioned that they wouldn't seem out of place in a quaint gumshoe noir, but on the other hand are just clever enough to be believable in foiling the CIA.

    The movie bogs down in some of the flashbacks in my opinion, and the cuts from present to past and back again get slightly confusing if you're not paying close attention. ...more info
  • Fun Movie
    Pay attention to details because if you do they will repeat later in the movie. It was really a fun movie. It was more involved that some other movies. I really like action adventure. This one is a little bit higher level. Not super high, but just a little....more info
  • playing for keeps
    "It's Muir's last day before retiring (clich¨¦ alert!)" says Amazon review. Lol. That is true. Why they gotta do that? SPY GAME is a good movie though. It's got good acting, was directed well, tells a good story and I always appreciate seeing lots of Europe in a movie. It doesn't paint dark enough a picture of the CIA, an organization that has done enough harm in the world that socially responsible filmmakers should never miss the opportunity to really let those creeps have it, imo. But of course sending a message is not even close to being the whole point of telling a story or making a movie. I'd say, just don't make 'em look good. And SPY GAME does sort of come close, what with none other than Brad Pitt and Robert Redford together on screen. Two of Hollywood's best looking and most charismatic actors. They're cool together. Basically as a young soldier Pitt is recruited by Redford to the Company. They do some work over the years (the hot spots: eastern europe, the middle east)and eventually Pitt becomes disillusioned with spy games and all the shenanigans and murder. Pitt falls in love with a woman. Pitt and Redford go their seperate ways, but before they do Redford has made clear his belief that one should never stick their neck out. Pitt then gets caught by Chinese authorities trying to save his woman. I'll leave the rest for you to enjoy. I recommend SPY GAME...more info
  • Well, at Least the Porsche Looks Cool
    Couple of problems: First, one cannot help compare the movie with Redford's "Three Days of the Condor" which was about a thousand times better.

    Second, I agree with the other reviewers who can't understand why we should feel sympathy with Brad Pitt because he's fallen in love with a British leftist who is openly sympathetic to terrorists, if not one herself. And for that reason, they can't understand why Redford would risk everything he has - life savings, career, - to save him. Wasn't Redford's character right the first time?

    Ask yourself this: if the British terrorist had not been played by the beautiful, soft skinned Catherine McCormack but rather by Roseanne Barr, would you sincerely believe that she was worth breaking out of prison? Call that remark cruel if you like, but remember that it's Tony Scott who's truly insulted the viewers by suggesting that murderous, terrorist tactics are not so bad so long as the girl supporting them looks good and says things like, "and I have to live with that."

    Still, the scene at the end with Redford racing the vintage Porsche off the CIA grounds is pretty cool. But cool scenes, cool cars and cool sportcoats can't complete a film....more info

  • Neat Twist on Spy Movies
    This was a pretty typical spy movie, fast-moving, double-agents, all that stuff. However, most of the real-time action in the movie takes place in an office. I found this part of the movie to be interesting and taut, and it was more than a little refreshing for the genre. Robert Redford plays a great smart-[expletive deleted], and I enjoyed the office scenes a lot. The flashbacks were good at times, but tended toward the saccharine. Can't say I'm thrilled with the ending, either, but it wasn't a complete cheat.

    If too many car chases are giving you a headache, this low-key spy flick might be something you're into. ...more info
  • Classic
    This is a great thriller and keeps you engaged in nonstop excitement. Robert Redford at his best....more info
  • Not as clever as it's meant to be...
    Robert Redford and Brad Pitt try to out-blonde and out-handsome each other in this muddled spy thriller. Did someone cut out the twenty minutes during which the plot makes sense and we care at all about any of the characters? Guess so....more info
  • Highly recommended - thinking man's action film
    This is a well written, well acted, very well filmed movie that we have enjoyed multiple times. The extras are well done and enjoyable.

    There are two aspects to this movie that add particular value.

    1. Having the main thread of the movie told at the CIA offices permits very quick visual and texture changes when the scene switches as Redford's character reminiscences about the action he's been involved in. This definitely helps with the pacing.

    2. The fact that Redford's character anticipates his opponents' actions and plans for them. One of my favorite lines - 'When did Noah build the Ark? - BEFORE the rain, before the rain'.

    Enjoy!!...more info

  • A Motion Picture Not To Be Judged By Its Cover!
    When this movie came out in November 2001, my big brothers took me to see a movie that had Robert Redford and Brad Pitt. "Hmm," I thought, "I'm not sure about this, but it's a free ticket, so what the hell?" Believe me when I say that this movie is so much more complex, intense, and entertaining than it looks. The trailer gives the totally wrong impression of what SPY GAME is about. This is not --- I repeat 'NOT' --- an "action" movie. Instead, SPY GAME takes a thinking-person's knack for clever storytelling, and juices it up with the flashy and quick style seen in many of today's movies. Again, don't let the trailer allow you to judge this film.

    Tony Scott's movies have always had that quick-cut, fast-paced, full-force style to them. His brother Ridley Scott is a much better filmmaker; why is that? Because Ridley (THELMA & LOUISE, BLACK HAWK DOWN, ALIEN) has better control of the action and knows when to tone things down. In SPY GAME, Tony Scott finally finds his niche in great filmmaking, where style is complimented by good characters and a terrific story.

    Nathan Muir (wonderfully played by Robert Redford)is a CIA operative, who on January 1991, is on his last day before retirement. However, his protege Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt in one of his better roles) is captured in Su Chou Prison in China, while the U.S. and the Chinese are negotiating trade talks.

    When Muir learns of Bishop's capture, he races against time to save him from execution. Unfortunately, some CIA investiagtors and bureaucrats aren't as eager because of the aforementioned trade talks. What's fascinating about this setup is that Muir is always one step ahead of the game than those who want to abandon the rogue agent. Instead of this being the "Muir/CIA Showdown" (which we do get some clever exchanges), there is actually a character study underneath it all. As Muir is surrounded in a conference surrounded by his adversaries, pretending to play ball with them, he gives them details about Bishop's past, training, and work ethic. The storytelling is slightly faulty, because there are a few moments where Muir seems to be talking to the audience instead of the characters. But this is where Tony Scott's energy saves these awkward moments, because Scott knew this much dialogue needs good camerawork & actors to keep us interested. Scott invested enough time in the characters as well as the audience's thirst for high-stakes thrills.

    Robert Redford hasn't really changed his acting that much since BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, but that's because he's smart enough to know his limitations. He isn't a chameleon who creates characters; Redford just uses his natural gifts to embody the role with his own mannerisms.

    Brad Pitt also doesn't do anything groundbreaking, but is also in the right frame of mind that Redford is. Pitt possesses the charm of a gifted agent but the brash ego of a rookie. The supporting cast is also simply acting the way we expect reliable character actors to perform --- they don't try to steal the show and trust the filmmakers. This approach allows Scott's filmmaking style to drive the thriller at its best pace.
    Pitt and Redford have a chemistry that makes us believe that Muir actually takes pride in Bishop's skills, while needing to maintain discipline and control over his new job. Pitt's counter-reactions to Muir's mind-games give both men a texture not often seen in espionage flicks. SPY GAME involves the morality of the two men, rather than preach about more universal themes.

    I hate flashback sequences, but these are impressive and never slow down; much credit belongs to Redford because his narrative voice keeps things going. The present-time Muir/CIA games are very much like a poker game. Without giving away too much, the tactics involve simple tools like pagers, ambiguous dialogue, and keen eyes. There's no violence, or anything that forces us to suspend disbelief. Some neat moments include Muir quickly glancing at key data, and somehow getting information with the vaguest of words. Another is the CIA digging up his office, when Muir has no reasonable excuse for getting out of the interrogation. This movie is never a bore, and is very exciting considering most of it centers around a conference room.

    In addition to the strong acting & directing, one of my favorite aspects of this movie is Harry Gregson-Williams's music. His score includes some cool beats during the spy montages, and some powerful chords during those dramatic moments of betrayal and reflection. Of all of the music I've heard from him (he's most famous for Michael Bay pictures ARMAGEDDON and THE ROCK), I easily call this his best work.

    I really dig this movie! It's not perfect, and maybe it does borrow some aspects that other thrillers (and maybe Bruckheimer pictures) have done before. But this is a top-notch film with a strong presentation that keeps it moving. Because SPY GAME is energetic and focused at the same time, it's an exceptional film that warrants a purhcase!

    FINAL NOTE - The DVD features are all good. There are some behind-the-scenes features that are worth checking out, and the Deleted Scenes (w/ or w/out Commentary) are actually good. I usually don't like Deleted Scenes, because it's obvious why they shouldn't be there. But these actually quite good, and would've added another layer that would've enhanced the story. An excellent movie got a grade-A DVD treatment!...more info
    Director Tony Scott should take the main bow for SPY GAME, an intellectual spy flick and primarily a director's film. With locations shot in Beirut, Lebanon, Berlin, Budapest, Casablanca, England, Haifa, Hong Kong, and Prague, a certain color and realism is guaranteed. And, sure enough, the photography and direction are in capable hands as is the script, which seems flawless. You gals out there might note that BOTH Robert Redford and Brad Pitt star in this slick tale of the CIA spy game. (Yummy!) Some reviewers seem concerned about an emotional flatness between Pitt and Redford but, hey, these guys are trained killers or at least serious craftsmen in the field. You feel too much as a CIA agent, you forfeit your life, my friend. So let's get real, okay? And very real is SPY GAME. The plot is intricate and layered as a wedding cake. CIA veteran Nathan Muir (Redford) is retiring and on his last day at his CIA job (what a waste of talent!) and his impulsive younger protege Tom Bishop (Pitt) is being held in a Chinese prison about to be executed for a botched rogue operation. How Muir saves the day for Bishop from long distance, being watched and questioned by his superiors in Washington who would rather see Bishop be executed by the Chicoms, is the crux of the story. It is a kind of mind over matter thing, the cleverness of Muir's efforts in contrast with the physicality of Bisphop's failed operation. Scenes of Bierut street fighting, flashbacks to Vietnam, takes inside CIA offices, all are very well done. SPY GAME is a classy, entertaining spy flick with good production values. Again, hats off to the director....more info
  • good moive , terrible picture quality
    A very god movie as far as content, but terrible picture quality as far as it being high def. I would have to say don't waste your $$ on the HD-DVD version and just by the regular DVD, they both have the same picture quality. ...more info
  • overlong music video...
    This film is so full of unnecessary camera shakes, pans, dollies and zooms that after a while it all becomes a rather pointless eye exercise. Also the fast paced music never stops for an instant, which seems to be the copyright of so many bad action-thriller movies cropping up recently . If it was a 5 min. music video this I could endure, but at 2 hours it made me want to puke. Also I tried not to fall asleep watching more than half an hour of pointless and boring close up shots of ugly blokes in a darkened meeting room staring and squinting at each other, at documents etc. The totally unlovable character of Robert Redford made it impossible for me to identify with him, while Brad Pitt was same as always, not bad, not outstanding....more info
  • Boring
    Potential was there in this movie. Whether I was in a bad mood or not, I don't know, but this was sooo slow. I was not captivated by the plot and Brad Pitt was not believable in his role and I didn't feel connected with the story. If you liked movies like Apocalypse Now or even AI you may enjoy it. Patriot Games and The Hunt For Red October were better movies. Far better "Spy" movies are out there. This was well filmed and the production was good....more info
  • A must-own for any Tony Scott fan
    Ridley's younger brother has created his own brand of of action movie (Enemy of the State, Man on Fire). Thanks to Scott's distinctive cinematography, pacing, music and production values, Spy Games succeeds despite the mildly self-conscious performances of the leads, Redford and Pitt. In Spy Game, Scott does his typically masterful job creating a sense of place recreating Viet Nam, Cold War Berlin and the Middle East in the early 1980's. His attention to small details and the choice of supporting actors make repeated viewings a pleasure....more info
  • YOu really must pay attention to this one...
    otherwise you'll get lost. There are a lot of flashbacks, fast edition, fast dialogues.

    But the result is a film that makes you think, not s stupid action thriller full of plot holes.

    Tony Scott uses his trademark skills here, mainly in the action sequences. It's great.

    The main flaw, in my opinion, where the main characters themselves. The guys are plain killers. Ok, some may say hard times nedd hard decisions, but the fact is that one can simply not care about the characters. If Pitt's character (Tom Bishop) was executed in that Chinese prison, I would not lose my sleep. The same goes for if Redford'c character (Nathan Muir) was get by his CIA mates....more info