The Good Shepherd

Rated 2.0

A real movie about the origins of the CIA would probably result in a few bullets in heads, so we get this fictionalized take that relies too much on convoluted flashbacks and soap opera to qualify it as anything substantial. Robert De Niro directs, and he’s made a good-looking film, but it’s too long and doesn’t really catch fire until the very end. Matt Damon plays a career CIA man who must fight the Cold War with Russia and Cuba while trying to appease his angry wife (an underutilized Angelina Jolie). Damon does some reserved work with an underwritten character, while stars such as Alec Baldwin, Billy Crudup, Joe Pesci and De Niro himself parade through. It’s one of those long movies where nothing really happens and is surprisingly uneventful considering the subject matter and the talent involved.