The Good Shepherd

Rated 1.0

A World War II OSS agent (Matt Damon) joins the CIA as the Cold War gets rolling; in time, he grows more and more obsessed with outwitting his Soviet adversaries, to the detriment of his wife (Angelina Jolie), his son (Eddie Redmayne) and his own soul. Written by Eric Roth and directed by Robert De Niro, the movie purports to tell “the untold story of the birth of the CIA,” but under its solemn, star-studded surface beats the heart of a run-of-the-mill 1960s spy movie—or it would, if there were any heartbeat at all. Instead, it’s a dead-in-the-water hulk, hopping randomly around in time—from 1961 to 1939 to 1925 to 1943, etc.—trying to make a simple and obvious story seem complex and subtle. Damon is a gloomy mope throughout, and director De Niro makes the minutes trudge by like so many hours.