Spies

The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives  

Ranker Film
616 votes 156 voters 11k views 26 items

When highly trained spies set out to complete secret missions it's hard to know who to trust. The best movies about agents and operatives are action-packed thrillers that bring movie-goers on the edge of their seats. This is a list of the best special agent movies including everything from Point Break to The Bourne Identity to Burn After Reading.

What films will you find on this list of the best movies about agents? The big-screen adaptation of Mission: Impossible helped bring this genre back in the 1990s. Tom Cruise – who has been known to do his own stunts – stars as IMF agent Ethan Hunt in the first exciting film of the ongoing series. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is more of a cerebral thriller full of interest and intrigue. For his The Expendables series, Sylvester Stallone recruited an all-star cast of the best action actors in the business, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jet Li, and more. Other good films featured on this best spy and secret agent movies list include RED, Spy Game, and The International.

Do you have a favorite spy thriller? Give your favorite movies a thumbs up and please add any exciting films that are missing.

list ordered by
1
Skyfall is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem
Skyfall is the twenty-third James Bond film produced by Eon Productions. It features Daniel Craig in his third performance as James Bond, and Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, the film's villain. It ...more

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2
The Bourne Identity is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and 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

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#124 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #128 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Moviesfeaturing The Best Characters in the Whole Jason Bourne Franchise, Ranked

3
Mission: Impossible is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and 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

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#164 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #52 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

4
Red is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
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

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5
Spy Game is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and 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

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#6 of 75 The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives #143 of 218 The Best R-Rated Action Movies of All Time, Ranked #17 of 164 The Best Spy Movies

6
Ronin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and 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

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7
Tinker Tailor Soldier Sp... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Gary Oldman
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 2011 espionage film directed by Tomas Alfredson. The screenplay was written by Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan, based on the 1974 novel of the same name by ...more

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8
Salt is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Salt is a 2010 American action thriller spy film directed by Phillip Noyce, written by Kurt Wimmer, and starring Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Daniel Olbrychski, August Diehl and Chiwetel ...more

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9
North by Northwest is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock, Eva Marie Saint
North by Northwest is a 1959 American spy thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason. The screenplay was written by Ernest Lehman, who ...more

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#76 of 257 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #560 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #279 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

10
The Expendables is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis
The Expendables is a 2010 American ensemble action film written by David Callaham and Sylvester Stallone, and directed by Stallone, who also starred in the lead role. The film co-stars Jason ...more

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11
Homefront is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth
Homefront is a 2013 American action thriller film directed by Gary Fleder and released nationwide in theaters on November 27. Based on Chuck Logan's novel of the same name and adapted into a ...more
12
Red 2 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren
Red 2 is an American action comedy film and sequel to Red. It was inspired by the limited comic book series of the same name, created by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, and published by the DC ...more
13
A Good Day to Die Hard ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Bruce Willis, Patrick Stewart, Anne Vyalitsyna
This film is a 2013 action thriller film written by Roderick Thorp and Skip Woods and directed by John Moore.
14
Point Break is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Patrick Swayze
Point Break is a 1991 American action film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty and Gary Busey. The title refers to the surfing term point break, where ...more

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#8 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #225 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing Things About Point Break That Are Too Weird Not To Address

15
The Double is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Richard Gere, Stana Katic, Odette Annable
The Double is a 2011 action-drama film written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas and directed by Michael Brandt.

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16
The International is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Naomi Watts, Clive Owen, Ben Whishaw
The International is a 2009 German–American action thriller film directed by Tom Tykwer. The film follows an Interpol agent and an American district attorney who investigate corruption within ...more

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17
The Punisher is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
John Travolta, Rebecca Romijn, Kevin Nash
The Punisher is a 2004 American comic book vigilante action film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, starring Thomas Jane as the antihero Frank Castle / The Punisher and John ...more

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18
The November Man is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Pierce Brosnan, Olga Kurylenko, Eliza Taylor
November Man is an upcoming spy thriller film based on the novel There Are No Spies by Bill Granger, which is canonically the seventh installment in "The November Man" series of books, ...more
19
Hobbs & Shaw is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is a 2019 action film directed by David Leitch and written by Chris Morgan, and a spin-off from The Fast and the Furious series. Two years after the ...more

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20
The Matador is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Adam Scott
The Matador is a 2005 American-German-Irish-British dark comedy film written and directed by Richard Shepard and starring Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear. The film grossed a total of $12.6 ...more
21
Hanna is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Saoirse Ronan
Hanna is a 2011 action thriller film that contains prominent fairy tale elements, directed by Joe Wright. The film stars Saoirse Ronan as the title character, a girl raised in the wilderness of ...more

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22
Fair Game is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Ty Burrell
Fair Game is a 2010 biographical spy drama film directed by Doug Liman and starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. It is based on Valerie Plame's memoir, Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by ...more

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23
Johnny English Strikes A... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Rowan Atkinson, Olga Kurylenko, Ben Miller
Johnny English Strikes Again is a 2018 action comedy film directed by David Kerr, and the third film in the series. After a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all of the active undercover ...more

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24
Burn After Reading is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Brad Pitt, George Clooney, John Malkovich
Burn After Reading is a 2008 black comedy film written, produced, edited and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. The film stars George Clooney, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and ...more

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25
Who Am I? is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives
Jackie Chan, Ed Nelson, Kane Kosugi
Who Am I? is a 1998 Hong Kong action film directed by Benny Chan and Jackie Chan, who also starred in the lead role. The film was released in the Hong Kong on January 17, 1998.