Good Shepherd
She may have got the child in the divorce, but I got her Oscar.

Theatrical Release Date: 12/22/2006
Director: Robert De Niro
Cast: Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, William Hurt

I’ve wanted to see this ever since I knew it was in development. De Niro is easily one of my favorite actors of all time and I’m usually a Matt Damon fan, so it was a no-brainer before I knew much about the story (which interested me when I did know more about it).

It’s a non-linear tale of a man from childhood to later in life. This man just happens to be integral in the formation of Central Intelligence Agency. I found it to be a great story with great acting and equally great filmmaking all around.

The only distraction was that it concerned the Skull and Bones secret society, so I half expected to see Joshua Jackson or Paul Walker (Craig T. Nelson anyone?) around any corner. But this was at least believable in its portrayal of a supposed secret society.

The most astounding part of the film is the silence and how much the audience can tell from that silence. It not only defines Damon’s character because of his profession, but also the effect this silence has on his personal life.

Damon did a great job at not just being stoic when the scene called for it, but in showing the subtle nuances of a person tormented by their situation.

If there was a weak link in the movie, I think it was Angelina Jolie. Despite doing a much better job than her usual, it was hard not to remember her in things like “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”, “Hackers”, and “Tomb Raider”. Very much the same thing as Jessica Biel in “The Illusionist”.

But everyone else in “The Good Shepherd” does a great job. Minor characters aside (Joe Pesci and Timothy Hutton) William Hurt, John Turturro and Alec Baldwin are all solid and do not distract the viewer from the story. Even De Niro was only a minor character in the movie.

I could tell this was a long movie, but I was never bored. Kudos to De Niro and everyone else involved in this production. It’s a wonderful production that I think may get better with age, but only time will tell.

So until then I’ll give it a more than solid 4 out of 5. Time could easily push this to a perfect score.