‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ – Matt Damon’s final run on Hulu

Matt Damon returns in the “Bourne” franchise in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), playing the great anti-Bond of Hollywood action cinema for his third and final time. Jason Bourne is a former covert assassin essentially programmed by the CIA to be an emotionless killing machine, and he’s determined to reclaim his identity and his humanity. His […]

‘Winter Kills’ – The great American conspiracy movie on Amazon Prime

Though technically a work of fiction, Winter Kills (1979, R) is the maddest and most entertaining of Kennedy conspiracy thrillers, a wild kaleidoscope of clashing theories directed with wit and performed with gusto by an astounding cast. Jeff Bridges is the half-brother of an assassinated President who digs up the “truth” 20 years later and […]

‘Red’ – Bruce Willis is deadly funny on Showtime Anytime

Red (2010) isn’t a name (or a color) in this comic-book movie about retired covert agents who are roused back to action to teach the new breed a thing or two about the spy game. It’s a designation that stands for “Retired, Extremely Dangerous.” Bruce Willis headlines an ensemble that includes John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman […]

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ – a superhero conspiracy thriller on Disney+

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) is my pick for the best Marvel Universe superhero movie to date. Picking up where The Avengers left off, it’s a superhero adventure by way of a political conspiracy thriller that teams up Cap (Chris Evans in all-American integrity mode) with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) when S.H.I.E.L.D. is infiltrated […]

Daniel Craig is James Bond in ‘Casino Royale’ on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu

For its 21st entry, the producers of the most resilient movie series in American cinema reintroduce British agent James Bond with a faithful adaptation of Ian Fleming’s first novel. In Casino Royale (2006), Daniel Craig—the sixth actor to play Bond in the official series—has a streetwise scrappiness and a ruthless, reckless, cold-blooded intensity missing since […]

David Tennant stars in the British mini-series based on the Alan Furst novel.

‘Spies of Warsaw’ – WWII espionage on Amazon Prime Video

Spies of Warsaw (2013), adapted by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais from the novel by Alan Furst, has an almost old-fashioned clarity to it. It’s set in 1937 Poland, and Germany is quietly amassing troops outside the border. David Tennant continued his post-Doctor Who career redefinition playing French military attaché Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, an […]

Mathieu Kassovitz stars in the French TV espionage drama

‘The Bureau’ – the great French espionage drama on Sundance Now

French film star Mathieu Kassovitz takes the lead in The Bureau, a French drama set in a clandestine branch of the French Secret Service that handles deep cover agents in the Middle East and Africa. He is the bureau’s star agent back from a six-year assignment in Damascus to become the right hand of the […]

‘A Most Wanted Man’ on Amazon Prime Video

A Most Wanted Man (2014) is the final film completed by Philip Seymour Hoffman before his untimely death in 2014. That alone is reason enough to see the film, adapted from the post 9/11 novel by John le Carré and directed by Anton Corbijn, a music video veteran who becomes more accomplished with each feature. […]

Richard Burton is ‘The Spy Who Came in from the Cold’ on Amazon Prime Video and free on Kanopy

Richard Burton is Alec Leamas, a once-sturdy MI-6 agent who has become a disillusioned burn-out after seeing too many fellow agents die, in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), Martin Ritt’s superb film of John le Carré’s novel. The author was a British agent in his own right and his books were […]

‘Haywire’ – bad-ass action on Netflix

Haywire (2011) is Steven Soderbergh’s drive-in assassin action movie by way of a sleek art-house conspiracy thriller. According to the director, the film sprung from his desire to develop a film around the talents and skill of mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano, and the finished film — which casts Carano as a covert agent […]