Entertainment

The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules Movies must feature the CIA as a main theme or subject to be on the list.

These are films that focus on the United States Central Intelligence Agency, or its CIA agents, as ranked by spy-obsessed fans. We've tried to include all of the best CIA movies on this list, but if you believe we missed one, please feel free to add to the list yourself. If you want more awesome movie list ideas that you can watch right now on Netflix, then be sure to check out our lists of the best action movies on Netflix, best movies on Netflix and comedies on Netflix.

With its intrigue, espionage, and cloak and dagger politics, the CIA and its spies and operatives are a perfect setting and cast of characters for film making and storytelling. Spy dramas have been a favorite among moviegoers for decades. Let's face it, spies make great characters. And when it comes to the CIA, well, even James Bond had his CIA liaison, Felix Leiter.

Sure, FBI movies are also full of awesome action too, but there's just something totally riveting about watching the drama unfold against the backdrop of world politics, so give us a Matt Damon spy movie over those FBI dramas any day. 

Whether you prefer watching spy movies on Netflix or grabbing a CIA film from from Redbox, you're guaranteed to find something that'll give you your secret agent fix. This list includes all genres, although most are action, drama, or thrillers. If you enjoy good spy thrillers, then you're bound to enjoy many of the secret agent movies on this list.

list ordered by
1
The Bourne Identity is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Matt Damon, Clive Owen, Julia Stiles
The Bourne Identity is a 2002 American-German action spy film adaptation of Robert Ludlum's novel of the same name. It stars Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a man suffering from extreme memory loss ...more
2
The Bourne Supremacy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Michelle Monaghan
The Bourne Supremacy is a 2004 American-German action and spy film starring Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne character. Though it takes the name of the second Bourne novel, its plot is entirely ...more
3
The Bourne Ultimatum is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Brian Cox
The Bourne Ultimatum is a 2007 American-German action spy thriller film directed by Paul Greengrass loosely based on the Robert Ludlum novel of the same title. The screenplay was written by Tony ...more
4
Taken is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace
Taken is a 2008 French action thriller film directed by Pierre Morel. A former CIA operative (Liam Neeson) sets about tracking down his teenage daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and her best friend ...more
5
Clear and Present Danger is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, James Earl Jones
Clear and Present Danger is a 1994 spy action thriller film directed by Phillip Noyce, based on Tom Clancy's book of the same name. It was preceded by the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October and ...more
6
Spy Game is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Brad Pitt, Robert Redford, Charlotte Rampling
Spy Game is a 2001 American spy film directed by Tony Scott and starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt. The film grossed $62 million in the United States and $143 million worldwide and received ...more
7
Mission: Impossible is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Vanessa Redgrave
Mission: Impossible is a 1996 American action spy film directed by Brian De Palma, based on the 1960s television series. IMF Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) must uncover the mole who has framed
8
Argo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Philip Moder added Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston

If you like this movie, be sure to check out our list of the best political thriller movies.

Argo is a 2012 American political thriller film directed by Ben Affleck. The film is adapted from U.S. Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez's book The Master of Disguise and Joshuah ...more
9
The Hunt for Red October is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Tim Curry
The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 American submarine spy-thriller film directed by John McTiernan, based on the 1984 novel by Tom Clancy. In November 1984, the Soviet Union's best submarine ...more
10
Enemy of the State is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Will Smith, Jack Black, Gene Hackman
Enemy of the State is a 1998 American spy-thriller about a group of rogue U.S. National Security Agency agents conspiring to take out a U.S. Congressman and try to cover up. It was written by ...more
11
Casino Royale is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Alessandra Ambrosio, Eva Green, Daniel Craig
Casino Royale is the twenty-first film in the Eon Productions James Bond film series and the first to star Daniel Craig as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Directed by Martin Campbell and ...more
12
Zero Dark Thirty is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
evan2 added Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong
Untitled International Thriller is a 2012 thriller film written by Mark Boal and directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
13
Body of Lies is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong
Body of Lies is a 2008 American action-spy film directed by Ridley Scott. Set in the Middle East, it follows the attempts of the CIA and Jordanian Intelligence to catch "al-Saleem", a ...more
14
Ronin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Robert De Niro, Sean Bean, Ron Jeremy
Ronin is a 1998 American spy thriller action film directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård, Sean Bean, and Jonathan ...more
15
Three Days of the Condor is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Max von Sydow
Three Days of the Condor is a 1975 American political thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, and Max von Sydow. The screenplay by ...more
16
The Good Shepherd is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin
The Good Shepherd is a 2006 spy film produced and directed by Robert De Niro and starring Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and De Niro, with an extensive supporting cast. De Niro also produced it with ...more
17
Patriot Games is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
wiabux added Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones
Patriot Games is a 1992 action-suspense film directed by Phillip Noyce and based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. It is a sequel to the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, but with ...more
18
Safe House is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga
Safe House is a 2012 American action thriller film directed by Daniel Espinosa, starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. It was released on February 10, 2012, in North America by Universal ...more
19
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Pr... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is a 2011 American action spy film directed by Brad Bird, and the fourth film in the Mission: Impossible series. The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in ...more
20
Charlie Wilson's War is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks
Charlie Wilson's War is a 2007 American biographical comedy-drama film, recounting the true story of U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson who partnered with CIA operative Gust Avrakotos to launch ...more
21
The Bourne Legacy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Dbo878 added Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Jeremy Renner
The Bourne Legacy is a 2012 American action thriller film directed by Tony Gilroy, and is the fourth installment in the series of films adapted from the novels originated by Robert Ludlum, and ...more
22
Mission: Impossible III is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
OsamaKing added Maggie Q, Keri Russell, Michelle Monaghan
Mission: Impossible III (stylized as M:i:III) is a 2006 American action spy film directed by J. J. Abrams, and the third film in the Mission: Impossible series. Retired from field work, IMF ...more
23
The Recruit is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
Al Pacino, Colin Farrell, Bridget Moynahan
The Recruit is a 2003 American-German spy thriller film, directed by Roger Donaldson and starring Al Pacino, Colin Farrell and Bridget Moynahan. It was produced by Epsilon Motion Pictures and ...more
24
Red is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
AndrewW.Curley added Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren
Red is a 2010 American action comedy film directed by Robert Schwentke, inspired by the comic book series by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. When his peaceful life is threatened by a high-tech ...more
25
Syriana is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives
George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet
Syriana is a 2005 geopolitical thriller film written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, and executive produced by George Clooney, who also stars in the film with an ensemble cast. Gaghan's ...more