Watch: The Good Shepherd 2006 123movies, Full Movie Online – Laconic and self-contained, Edward Wilson (Matt Damon) heads C.I.A. covert operations during the Bay of Pigs. The agency suspects that Fidel Castro was tipped, so Wilson looks for the leak. As he investigates, he recalls, in a series of flashbacks, his father’s death, student days at Yale (poetry; Skull and Bones), recruitment into the fledgling O.S.S., truncated affairs, a shotgun marriage, cutting his teeth on spy craft in London, distance from his son, the emergence of the Cold War, and relationships with agency, British, and Soviet counterparts. We watch his idealism give way to something else: disclosing the nature of that something else is at the heart of this movie’s narration as he closes in on the leak..
Plot: Edward Wilson, the only witness to his father’s suicide and member of the Skull and Bones Society while a student at Yale, is a morally upright young man who values honor and discretion, qualities that help him to be recruited for a career in the newly founded OSS. His dedication to his work does not come without a price though, leading him to sacrifice his ideals and eventually his family.
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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.
Confusing and intriguing
The movie jumps back and forth in time periods. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to get a TV image of President Kennedy in the Cuban Missle Crisis to know that we’ve suddenly entered the time-warp from the 1940s to 1961. Other times, there is no such clue such as a jump of probably a few hours or days such as when a perfidious German woman assistant gets her just reward. We don’t know whether to dispatch those assassins with silencers on their pistols after the screenplay writer or the film editor.
The scope of the film, while seeming grand at first as it sweeps quarter century, turns out to be rather microcosmic with a series of vignettes instead of a unified story line. The focus remains mainly on the effect of the cloak and dagger on one man, Edward Wilson Sr., and his wife and son and the conflict of loyalties to country and family. Since the account is fictionalized history, we’re not sure what to accept as biography and history as we watch the homo-erotic, cross-dressing elite WASPy Yale camaraderie turn into boys playing with big toys and geopolitics. Wilson, apparently pattered after James Jesus Angleton, is bred to elitism and public service from childhood and matriculates to Yale in the late 1930s to make the necessary career connections.
The good shepherd lays down his life for his flock, according to a parable of Jesus. After Allies win World War II, wartime intelligence, among them the fictional Wilson and his classmates, continue their work as shepherds to keep the Free World free, or at least a reasonable facsimile.
“Central Intelligence Agency” consumes their lives as did their Yale secret society “Skull and Bones,” which reportedly has the loyalties of Presidents Bush 41 and 43 and Sen. John Kerry, among other government and business leaders. Why isn’t “the” used with the name of the agency? We’re told it is because “the” isn’t used for God either.
The film is nonetheless interesting for its strong acting by the studied taciturnity of Matt Damon and the effete professor Michael Gambon with a secret life. The ethnic portrayals add some color to the white bread. Director Robert DeNiro mugs in a role reminiscent of “Wild Bill” Donovan, a lone Catholic wary of recruiting others for agency. Joe Pesci is, what else?, the Italian mobster in Florida. John Tuturro is the street-smart Italian army sergeant Ray Brocco, who follows Wilson to the CIA to bruise his knuckles as an interrogator. Angela Jolie transforms from a lusty patrician daughter looking for husband material among her brother’s Yalie classmates to a long-suffering wife in pearls. Alec Baldwin is the ubiquitous G-man in trench-cost.
There are a number of lesser-known actors in the ensemble who were superb like Laura (Tammy Blanchard), the deaf woman at Yale who is the only one who brings out love from Edward Wilson Sr. Mark Ivanir and John Sessions as dueling defectors were especially memorable as was Oleg Stefan as Wilson’s Soviet counterpart.
Original Language en
Runtime 2 hr 47 min (167 min), 2 hr 19 min (139 min) (cut) (Russia)
Genre Drama, History, Thriller
Director Robert De Niro
Writer Eric Roth
Actors Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro
Country United States
Awards Nominated for 1 Oscar. 2 wins & 13 nominations total
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix SDDS, Dolby Digital, DTS
Aspect Ratio 2.39 : 1
Camera Panavision Panaflex Platinum, Panavision Primo and Ultra Speed MKII Lenses
Laboratory Technicolor Digital Intermediates, Los Angeles (CA), USA (digital intermediate), Technicolor, Hollywood (CA), USA
Film Length 4,571 m (Sweden), 4,629 m (Portugal, 35 mm), 4,680 m (2007) (Finland)
Negative Format 35 mm (Kodak Vision2 100T 5212, Vision2 200T 5217, Vision2 500T 5218)
Cinematographic Process Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format), Super 35 (3-perf) (source format)
Printed Film Format 35 mm (anamorphic) (Kodak Vision 2383, Vision Premier 2393), D-Cinema