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With: Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, Tammy Blanchard, Billy Crudup, Robert De Niro, Keir Dullea, Michael Gambon, William Hurt, Timothy Hutton, Joe Pesci, John Turturro, Martina Gedeck, Mark Ivanir, Gabriel Macht, Lee Pace, Eddie Redmayne, John Sessions, Oleg Stefan
Written by: Eric Roth
Directed by: Robert De Niro
MPAA Rating: R for some violence, sexuality and language
Running Time: 160
Date: 12/11/2006

The Good Shepherd (2006)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Spy and Dry

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

It took Robert De Niro thirteen years to direct his second movie, after his debut A Bronx Tale (1993), and he came up with this very long examination of the CIA and its involvement in the events of the Cold War. Matt Damon stars as the story's focal point, agent Edward Wilson, who loves the deaf Laura (Tammy Blanchard) but is forced to marry Clover (Angelina Jolie) when she becomes pregnant. His years spent keeping secrets and working far from home causes him to harden his heart toward his family. De Niro clearly intends the relationship between family and power (as well as the epic length) to compare with The Godfather. But while he's a whiz with actors (a huge cast of familiar faces conjures up one amazing moment after another), he's no Francis Coppola, and his calculated, observant tone grows cold. A superb scene with Joe Pesci that arrives somewhere during the third hour provides a startling jolt that is noticeably lacking during the rest of the film. The Good Shepherd

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