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The Good Shepherd (2006)
Drama,Thriller
USA / English
"Edward Wilson believed in America, and he would sacrifice everything he loved to protect it. "
The tumultuous early history of the Central Intelligence Agency is viewed through the prism of one man's life.
Gabriel Macht John Russell, Jr.
Mark Ivanir Valentin Mironov #2
Timothy Hutton Thomas Wilson
William Hurt Philip Allen
Martina Gedeck Hanna Schiller
Michael Gambon Dr. Fredericks
Keir Dullea Senator John Russell, Sr.
Robert De Niro Bill Sullivan
Billy Crudup Arch Cummings
Tammy Blanchard Laura
Alec Baldwin Sam Murach
Angelina Jolie Margaret 'Clover' Russell
Matt Damon Edward Wilson
Lee Pace Richard Hayes
Joe Pesci Joseph Palmi
Eddie Redmayne Edward Wilson Jr.
John Sessions Valentin Mironov #1 / Yuri Modin
Oleg Shtefanko Ulysses / Stas Siyanko (as Oleg Stefan)
John Turturro Ray Brocco
Yelena Shmulenson Dollar Woman
Jack Martin Dollar Little Boy
Anne-Marie Cusson Philip Allen's Secretary
Robert Bermudez Cordell Bay of Pigs Voiceover (voice)
David Crommett Spanish Translator
Michael Arden Pinafore Actor
Justin Bohon Pinafore Actor
Justin Daniel Pinafore Actor
Michael Flanigan Pinafore Actor
John Hill Pinafore Actor
Will Reynolds Pinafore Actor
Michael Seelbach Pinafore Actor
Ryan Michael Shaw Pinafore Actor
Stephen Powell HMS Pinafore Singer
Henry Gummer Bonesman / Boatswain
Gregory Marcel Dancing Skeleton
Austin Williams Young Edward Wilson
Sophie Sutton Connie Wilson
Lars Gerhard Mr. Haupt
Tessa Keimes Mr. Haupt's Translator
Peter Kybart Dr. Manheim
Rob Barnes Man at Jazz Club
Lee Bryant Mrs. John Russell, Sr.
Laila Robins Toddy Allen
Redman Maxfield Older Bonesman 1940
John Whitehead Reverend Collins
Jeff Skowron Deer Island Crooner 1940
Meredith Deacon John Russell, Jr.'s Girlfriend
Josh Casaubon Army Man 1940
Christopher Evan Welch Photography Technical Officer
Tuc Watkins Sound Technical Officer
Leonard Logsdail Tailor
Eric Lindh Tailor Shop Guard
Trace Taylor Cryptographer
Amanda Barron Cryptographer
James Faulkner Lord Cooper
Robert Ian Mackenzie Cambridge Club Butler
Dieter Riesle Herr Franck
Sándor Técsy Sasha, Ulysses' Aide (as Sandor Tecsy)
Tommy Nelson Edward, Jr. - Age 6-7
Greg Plitt Guard with Sullivan
Marcos Cohen Dr. Ibanez
Jeff Applegate Michael Johnson
Jon Monett CIA Insect Man
Sandee Conrad Edward's Secretary
Jonathan Dokuchitz Husband Dinner Guest
Susan Haskell Wife Dinner Guest
Sjoerd Dejong Santa Claus
Neal Huff Teletype Operations Officer
Jason Butler Harner Teletype Communications Officer
Amy Wright Safe House Operations Officer
Matthew Humphreys Cherry Orchard Actor
Karron Graves Cherry Orchard Actress
Robert C. Kirk Laura's Taxi Driver
Reathel Bean 'Dame' Bonesman
Jerry Coyle 'Dame' Bonesman
Wally Dunn 'Dame' Bonesman
Roger Rathburn 'Dame' Bonesman
Michael Melvoin Piano Player (as Mike Melvoin)
Glenn Kalison Telephone Operations Officer
John Knox Technical Service Officer
Benjamin Eakeley Bonesman 1960
Gino Cafarelli Palmi's Bodyguard
Tommy DeVito Palmi's Bodyguard
Stefanie Nava Tina Palmi
Isabella Cimato Palmi's Granddaughter
Jimmy Marchese Palmi's Grandson
Robert Prescott Bonesman MC 1961
Bill McHugh Reverend Christiansen
Ann Hampton Callaway 1961 Deer Island Singer
Christopher Druckman FBI Agent
Liya Kebede Miriam
John Henry Philip Allen's Driver
Fidel Castro Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Adolf Hitler Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
John F. Kennedy Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Vladislav Kozlov Executioner / Russian Agent #3 (uncredited)
Drew Seltzer Edward's Classmate (uncredited)
Reyna Shaskan Voice (uncredited)
Alec Von Bargen Fidel Castro
Director: Robert De Niro
Producer: Robert De Niro,James G. Robinson,Jane Rosenthal
Writer: Eric Roth
An incredibly complex work and one of 06's finest...
The Good Shepherd 3.5/4 4/5

The Good Shepherd is an incredibly complex work and one of the finest films of a quality ripe 2006. Oscar winner Eric Roth continues his brilliant work with this original screenplay, named one of the best unproduced scripts in Hollywood in the late 90's. A film about one of the CIA's founding officers isn't a dream project commercially for a studio but thankfully, the quality of the script was too great to ignore.

Shepherd follows the life of Edward Wilson (Damon) through his college years at Yale to his ascension as one of the CIA's founding officers and trusted veterans. His extraordinary dedication to his work comes with an unbearable price as he must sacrifice his family to protect his country. At one point in the film, Wilson faces an enormous choice- does he abandon his ideals for what he believes is right? Would this abandonment render his life, almost solely devoted to his country, meaningless? This, as well as a depiction of the result of Wilson's decision, are just two of the moments of brilliance in The Good Shepherd.

Wilson inhabits a world of betrayal and secrecies only enhancing the irony of the biblical quote inscribed on the CIA's wall- "And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free". While we are given a glimpse into the life of a younger, more vital Wilson, the world he occupies creates the characteristically stolid, humorless man we come to know.

With its vast emotional core, the film seemingly effortlessly navigates one of the most volatile periods in the history of American intelligence while remaining character based. At 165 minutes, it is overlong but remains engaging for the vast majority of its running time. Had a few relatively insignificant scenes been cut, Shepherd could have retained the thrilling and energetic pace it often possesses. However, the length is justifiable as the scope of the film is incredibly large and very few scenes can be deemed unnecessary or dull.

Robert DeNiro's direction far exceeds that in his debut, 1993's "A Bronx Tale". Normally portrayed as a brute, here, DeNiro assuredly handles every moment with an innate tenderness we rarely see in his work. He appropriately treats Shepherd with a precise attention to detail often attributed to some of the greatest directors of our time.

A silently haunting Matt Damon carries the film on his shoulders. Edward Wilson is completely introverted and while Damon internalizes his thoughts, some of the films greatest moments are when emotion unknowingly pours out of Wilson through a mere flicker in his eyes. Angelina Jolie and Michael Gambon deliver very strong turns amidst a one of a kind cast topped off by the return of Joe Pesci, whose last acting stint was 1998's "Lethal Weapon 4".

The Good Shepherd is a film that demands to be seen. It is surprisingly apolitical as Wilson's life and its disintegration are the true story of this epic. While some call it "unsentimental", exactly the opposite is true. It is a testament to Roth's script that a film with such an introverted protagonist provides such a visceral, affecting experience. Shepherd is an intelligent, poignant look at the cost of blind dedication and constant secrecy. The effect this has on Wilson's life is irrevocable as we are taken on a remarkable cinematic journey, one that should be remembered as one of 06's greatest.

Personal
Seen it:Nej
Nr of disks/tapes:1
Storage device:Divx 5
Loan
Movie
Imdb rating: 7.0
Musician: Bruce Fowler
Running time: 139 min (cut version)
Technical
Subtitles: Svenska
Audio tracks: Stereo [Swedish]
Everything else:
Last modified: 2008-01-02 13:15:27