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The Good Shepherd, Robert DeNiro (2006)

Long, hushed, intent history of the origins of the CIA. Matt Damon contracts a bad case of the imitative fallacy: the movie’s point is that real spy work is a dull grind demanding complete commitment and tremendous boredom; as a result, Damon spends all three hours of the movie walking around like Frankenstein, with no expression on his face and almost nothing to say. We get it, and it’s effective, but it is dull. The final plot twists constitute an attempt to get a LeCarre-type double-bind where Damon’s forced to choose between personal love and professional necessity. Unlike George Smiley, Damon doesn’t avail himself of the opportunity to suggest he has a soul; instead he proves he doesn’t have one. The movie’s failure, finally, is due to the fact that we never really understand what’s keeping Damon going. It’s not love of country, or love of family, or love of self. If anything, he just seems to love the paperwork.

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  1. Sing it, brother. I could. not. believe. how boring this movie was. I remember the moment, about half an hour in, when I realized how much there was to go and how little I cared, at all, what happened to the people on screen. And this from someone who loves Matt Damon!Angelina Jolie was totally miscast.Matt Damon does not look remotely old enough to be the father of that young man at the end.DeNiro gave himself the only good part in the whole thing.I spent the entire time wishing I were watching “The Departed” again.If DeNiro wants to make a movie about Abu Grahib, let him do it! It’s not like he’s only got the one shot at moviemaking.

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