The Good Shepherd

Rated NR

A very long and incredibly complex tale that is nonetheless deeply rewarding, The Good Shepherd is the story of the creation of the CIA as told through the horrifyingly uptight personal life of counter-intelligence officer Edward Wilson (loosely based on real-life CIA agent James Jesus Angleton). What’s most amazing about this film is that it actually left me wanting more; I could have easily sat through another three hours of cinematographer Robert Richardson’s gorgeously paranoid shots of deserted alleyways and emotionally deadened romances. Director Robert De Niro is to be commended not only for gathering such talent around him, including acting luminaries Michael Gambon, Billy Crudup, William Hurt, John Turturro and Matt Damon, but for the precision of his editing and pacing. The Good Shepherd demands a lot of its audience, establishing nearly 20 major characters and almost as many plotlines, but it all comes together into a single and singular tale about the evil we do in the name of good.

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