Ever since we were kids spy movies seem to highly fascinating and intriguing. However, defining this genre is difficult. Everything from disguised supervillains trying to take over the world to silent spies under the radar falls under this category. Movies of this genre are incredibly versatile and extremely alluring. These movies feature espionage which keeps you hooked to your seat till the end. Having said all of these here in this article we bring you 16 best spy movies of the century so far.
While some movies top the charts than others and have more intriguing features than the others they all seem to do what they are supposed to do. They keep you glued to your sears for an hour or two and leave you with the feeling of wanting more. All of these movies are in no particular order. This list is just randomly created to bring to you the best spy movies of all times.
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List of the Best Spy Movies:
Here we tried to include all kinds of movies and to be honest it is not just the James Bond movies that we all grew up watching. This curated list includes spy movies from all over the world and is known to provide you with the best spy experience. Here you shall surely find some espionage tales worth your time. Having said that let’s begin with the fascinating journey.
#2 The Bourne Identity(2002)
The Bourne series has marked their spots as some of the best spy movies ever made. This movie is not just about the usual spy thriller but also about remarkable suspense which will make your blood run cold. The story is based on Robert Ludlum’s novel of the same name. It introduces Matt Damon as the CIA amnesia suffering patient Jason Bourne. The film is directed by Doug Liman and it revolves around Jason who tries to find out his identity thereby realizing that he is a part of a bigger conspiracy. This movie does not entirely fit in the spy thriller genre but Matt also brings a haunting intensity in his role while the director struggles with his production house throughout the entire movie. Overcoming all these hardships the movie is directed in grit and style.
#3 Burn After Reading(2008)
To be honest and before killing your spy mood entirely Burn After Reading is not the exact spy kind of movie you are looking for. However, it does involve a CIA which is a good enough reason to make it to the list. This movie made under the direction of Cohen brothers has some elements of the spy genre but other than that the entire film is filled with borderline morons, mythological drunks and unskilled opportunists. The entire film revolves around a CD which seems to carry a secret while each of them loses it and ultimately ends up dying in the stupidest way possible. This movie has a comedy storyline and if you enjoy spy movies with a little comedy then this movie will keep you interested.
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#4 Casino Royale(2006)
This is by far the best movie on our list that you should watch if you have not watched it yet. After the era of Brosnan, James Bond fans were skeptical about the future of this franchise. But after seeing this movie call us biased or sacrilegious but Daniel Craig is by far our favorite James Bond. Not only is he super talented he is exclusively hot as well. This movie is an adaptation of Ian Fleming’s novel of the same name where Daniel Craig receives a license to kill a terrorist financier Le Chiffre. This film is unequivocally stylish and will keep you hooked until the end.
#5 The IPCRESS File(1965)
Everything about this movie is unglamorous and grubby, unlike the James Bond series. This movie is by far the most shabby in the entire espionage world. If Ian Fleming’s character seemed way too stylish to you then Len Deighton’s Harry Palmer might be a person of interest. Palmer embodies the working class, is wry and is suppressed under paperwork in the first scenes of the movie. When he tries to seduce a woman he takes her out to buy canned food instead of taking her to a fancy restaurant. His appearance is everything opposite to James Bond yet the marvelous acting skills of Michael Caine has earned this movie the 59th spot in the hundred best British movies of the 20th century in the BFI’s list.
#6 Kingsman The Secret Service(2014)
If you need a fresh and well-executed spy movie to awaken your senses then this might be it. This film is directed and produced by Matthew Vaughn and is a comedy-action spy movie. This film is an adaptation of Dave Gibbon’s and Mark Millar’s comic book The Secret Service. This film revolves around the training and recruitment of Eggsy in a secret association who is supposed to tackle a global threat in a fairly ridiculous manner. The storyline is completely action-packed while being sexually erotic and emotionally enthralling at times. All the characters have played their part well and it has received the Empire Award for the Best British Film in 2015.
#7 The Manchurian Candidate(1965)
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#8 Lives Of Others(2006)
This film is based on the times of the Cold War and it has all the characteristics of a political thriller. This is a foreign language film which highlights the shady aspects of German politics and it truly portrays what life was like for people living in East Germany before the fall of Berlin Wall. The film is portrayed with the moral dilemmas of a Stasi agent who is sent to investigate that the matters running in the country might be far more personal than being just political. This film was critically acclaimed for showing a sympathetic Stasi agent however it managed to earn an Oscar in its name on the year of its release.
#9 Mission Impossible(1996-2018)
If you are a fan of Tom Cruise then you might be familiar with the character of Ethan Hunt in this series. This movie revolves around a spy with some meddling tales and jaw-dropping visuals. This series is one of the best action-thriller ever made and produced under big banners. Every series ups the stakes of difficulty and shows us some of the best action scenes which were never seen in the previous movie of the series. These movies are designed to top the charts and probably Ethan Hunt is the most memorable spy character after James Bond. Sign up for Prime Video 30 days free trial to stream Mission Impossible.
Directed and produced by the ace director Steven Spielberg is an indisputable heroic drama. This movie is based on a fictional account of Israel’s silent retaliation against Palestine Liberation Organization. Spielberg weaves a fascinating tale of Mossad agents who were given the license to find and kill the Palestinian terrorists who were behind the massacre of the 1972 Munich Olympics team. The director’s extraordinary talent made this film a critical success and this movie won five Oscar nods.
#11 North By Northwest(1959)
This movie is by far the greatest spy movies and leaves us wondering why Alfred Hitchcock does not make more movies of this kind. This movie deals with a tale of mistaken identity where an innocent man outrun sinister forces and wrongful accusations. The film perfectly emulates and illustrates what most spy movies fail to achieve which is the actual plot of the movie. It offers some intimidating set pieces and Cary Grant plays the best role of his life in this movie. This magnificent creation is worth every second of your time and will keep you glued to your seats from the start to end.
Another Daniel Craig movie which marks his third entry as James Bond. This movie has so much more than just some massive action shots being stuffed with the thinnest of narratives. The movie is directed by Sam Mendes and it has some jaw-dropping action sequences along with a top-tier script. This movie reinvented and motivated the spy genre and gave everyone something to chase after. With just the right amount of tools and a proper cast, this movie seems to be one of the best Bond movies of the entire series.
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#13 Lust Caution(2007)
#14 Black Book(2006)
This a Dutch movie under the direction of Paul Verhoeven. After serving for several years in Hollywood this was his first film in a foreign language. The movie revolves around Jewish women named Rachel who survives from the hands of SS who brutally massacres the rest of her family. This film is about the challenges of a young woman who agrees to go undercover to undermine the Nazis. The film is marked with gray shades with a dash of red making it sexy and thrilling espionage.
#15 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy(2011)
The movie directed by Tomas Alfredson based on the adaptation of John Le Carre’s novel by the same name demands special attention. The movie is based in London and it beautifully captures the hunt of Soviet agent with hidden agendas. The movie is mostly shooter in dull locations rather than glamorous locales. The leading actor Gary Oldman who suffer from an unhappy marriage does a brilliant job in proving his worth after being alienated from his job. Stream thie movie on your TV using Sling.tv streaming service. Sling tv is actually paid service, before you pay for subscription you can try free for first 7 days.
Another Alfred Hitchcock movie which will run you through an emotional roller coaster and will leave you as entertaining as ever. The movie stars Ingrid Bergman as Alicia Huberman who is the daughter of a Nazi spy. She is coaxed to join the group of former Nazis living in South America led by Alexander Sebastien. Alicia has a history with Alexander and the movie beautifully embarks how Alicia has to dive deeper into Alexander’s life to get success in her mission. The tension between Delvin and Alicia is also nicely portrayed as Delvin promotes complicated love for Alicia and pushed her forth into the arms of another man.
There are several other entertaining and movie worth watching such as True Lies, Ronin, and others. However, the movies mentioned here are light-hearted and fully packed with actions and emotions. While some of the movies are quite well-known others may be a little new. All of these movies serve to be the best spy movies till date and if you have not watched it yet then you might want to consider watching them immediately.
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