top of page
  • Writer's pictureHunter Friesen

"The Good Shepherd" Throwback Review

Just because you work with Scorsese doesn't mean you can be Scorsese.

Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd is more fitted to the history channel than the multiplex. It takes an incredibly dry and dense look into the birth of the Central Intelligence Agency from the 1930s to 1960s.

It's a three-hour epic that constantly feels like three hours. It doles out information and new faces, never holding your hand as you constantly struggle to soak it all in. Screenwriter Eric Roth does get points for treating the audience with respect. If only he and De Niro could have figured out a way to deliver this information in a more entertaining way.

De Niro's production team is more than up to the task as everything is period-accurate, from the sets to the hairstyles. Veteran DP Robert Richardson conceals everything in shadows, heightening the deceit and intrigue within this cruel world.

An all-star cast has been assembled, so there's plenty of famous and pretty faces to look at. Joe Pesci even shows up for two minutes to say the n-word. Matt Damon's performance is similar to his one from The Talented Mr. Ripley, as he perpetually has a stoic face and fedora. Jolie takes a subdued role that doesn't properly use her stardom.

The Good Shepherd is an okay movie that I would gladly watch again, which is a lot more than I can say for some movies that I find good. I'll just make sure not to watch it at night, as I (along with everyone else) will fall asleep.


bottom of page