What are the best spy movies?

Espionage has come a long way from clandestine operations and counterintelligence of decades past. Spies are now celebrated in Hollywood films for their swag clothes and debonaire attitude. Have a look at our list of some of the best spy movies and decide for yourself!

113 contributors
13 solutions
  1. 12

    #1North by Northwest

    North by Northwest

    North by Northwest is a Hitchcock spy film about mistaken identity. Its screenplay was written by Ernest Lehman and stars Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, and James Mason. It was released in 1959.

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    Zachary Lawrence
    Written on October 12, 2017
    "Was there ever a hero as perfect as Cary Grant in "North by Northwest?" Not for my money. In the classic tradition, Grant plays a slightly tarnished advertising man who gets swept into a deadly international conspiracy in which it's a little hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Along the way he becomes involved with the beautiful Eva Marie Saint, who is "sleeping with the enemy" while working undercover for American intelligence and while I am a big fan of Grace Kelly, Ms. Saint has that smokey kind of sexiness that set all our young male hearts afire back in the days when cars were a block long, had fins and were all made in Detroit. Alfred Hitchcock's direction is flawless and even though, by today's standards, the special effects are a little less than awe-inspiring, they still hold up all these years later. If you haven't seen this movie, by all means watch it. If you have then do what I have done: Watch it again and again. It really is that good. "
  2. 12

    #2Munich

    Munich

    Munich is a historical spy movie by Steven Spielberg, starring Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush, Eric Bana, Daniel Craig. It is based on the real story behind the kidnapping and murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics.

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    Janice Adams
    Written on October 24, 2017
    "Munich sounds like it could be a very good movie, although it wasn't strictly what I had in mind when searching for a "spy movie". I was going for something more about someone doing spying - rather than an agent carrying out violent work. Also, when I click the link to view the solution, I get a page on Netflix saying they can't find the page I'm looking for, which is a major irritation when viewing search results."
  3. 11

    #3Goldfinger

    Goldfinger

    Based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, Goldfinger is a British spy film and the third installment in the James Bond series. It stars Sean Connery as the MI6 agent James Bond.

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    Ralph Lane
    Written on October 15, 2017
    "This movie looks very entertaining. It has one of the best Bonds as Connery, and the story is a classic. This is easily one of the most iconic Bond and spy movies of all time. It would be a pleasure to have this movie on my shelf."

DID YOU KNOW?

Espionage has existed way back during biblical times? Moses's successor, Joshua first utilized the first spy agents ever. He sent a couple of agents to spy out ancient Jericho. That is why it's considered as the world's second-oldest profession. Soldiers and politicians have always needed espionage to track and outthink their enemies. That's why they would send spies to gather or steal classified information. Even with technological advancements, the basic methods have remained the same. Spies saw widespread use during the civil war from 1861-1865. The practice died down a little due to budget cuts for a while. Then, the United States declared war with Germany back in 1917. This saw Naval Intelligence receiving more budget and personnel again.

Espionage isn't as active as it as decades ago but it is a popular theme explored by Hollywood movies. Many spy movies have been come out throughout the years. None is as popular and as well-recognized as the James Bond movies. James Bond is a fictional character from a series of spy novels created by Ian Fleming back in 1953. Since then, various film adaptations have come out, totaling 26 films so far. With a new bond film on the horizon, controversy has sparked out it. Pierce Brosnan, a former bond actor has voiced his sentiments that it was time for a female James Bond. The current James Bond, Daniel Craig echoed the same. It has resulted in a debate among fans. James Bond has always been this suave and charming operator. Driving his Aston Martin and drawing out his spy gadgets. It's understandable that people would be skeptical of the idea. No one can say for sure if it will work out until it happens. We'll have to wait to see.

  1. 11

    #4Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a Cold War spy thriller film based on John le Carré's 1974 novel of the same name. It takes place in London in the early 1970s. It stars Gary Oldman in the lead cast as George Smiley,

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    Victoria Delgado
    Written on November 7, 2017
    "It you love spy movies and you've been thinking about tinkering your already robust collection--I definitely agree with this suggestion to watch Tinker Tailor Soldier spy. It plays off the best aspects of the renown book by John Le Carre--think of your favorite vintage espionage movie and then modernize it to the 21th century and you've got Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy. "
  2. 10

    #5Casino Royale

    Casino Royale

    Casino Royale is a spy film released in 2006. It is a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. Daniel Craig stars as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond.

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    Ishan Sharma
    Written on October 20, 2017
    "Being a huge Ian Fleming fan, I'm a purist for the James Bond franchise. One of my favorite Bond films is no doubt Casino Royale. This film marked the introduction of Daniel Craig's run as James Bond. This movie was filled with my favorite actors. Eva Green is one of my favorite actresses and so is Mads Mikkelsen. I would say this ensemble of actors really played its part into swaying Casino Royale as my current favorite James Bond film. There is so much suspense and action. The gadgets, who can forget the gadgets, are amazing in this film. The action sequences are spectacular and Mads plays such a great villain. Eva Green's sheer beauty and screen presence makes this film a delight to watch. There's twist and turns as expected so I won't spoil anything but I believe this is not only the best Bond film but one of the best spy movies to date."
  3. 10

    #6The Lives of Others

    The Lives of Others

    The Lives of Others is a German drama movie directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and starring Ulrich Muhe and Martina Geedeck. It won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

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    Kathy Lewis
    Written on October 14, 2017
    "I went into this movie thinking it might not be good(foreign language Oscar Winner and all) but it turned out to be really good. It wasn't a shoot them up spy movie but instead it really spoke to the way our society is currently going. With our surveillance state things like this are bound to happen and it was interesting in seeing a movie that dealt with these themes. It was my first German movie but I think I will try more."
  4. 8

    #7Notorious

    Notorious

    This spy film noir follows an American daughter of a convicted Nazi spy is recruited by a government agent to infiltrate a group of Germans living in Brazil after the war, but he doesn't count on their lives becoming so intimately entangled.

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    Timothy White
    Written on October 13, 2017
    "Take note: Cary Grant's characters is a departure from his usual characters: He ain't a nice guy for most of the flick. He's a user, and so is Louis Calhern, his boss, while the Nazi, Claude Rains, treats his wife, the Bergman character, decently...Hitchcock at his best... "
  5. 8

    #8The Bourne Ultimatum

    The Bourne Ultimatum

    Matt Damon reprises his role in the spy action movie The Bourne Ultimatum. It is the third film in the Jason Bourne film series. Damon is accompanied by Edgar Ramírez and Joan Allen.

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    Samuel Harper
    Written on October 18, 2017
    "A fantastic conclusion to this trilogy, Matt Damon is back in fine form, no topless scenes though girls and i'm not sure if he looks like the 37 years old his character is meant to be, never mind. Lots of wobble cam moments but I found this only added to the gritty and real nature of the movie. Top notch acting, great country and city scape scenes, and only a couple of unanswered questions left to keep me wanting more Bourne! I'm pleased it starts right where the second ended. I would recommend you watch the second right before you watch this. Bourne, eventually finds out where it all began and faces many challenges along the way. Great chase scenes especially a one on an old rusty motorbike through Tangiers. I hope the film writers, decide to write another even though Robert Ludlum didn't. Matt Damon - what an action man! "
  6. 7

    #9Skyfall

    Skyfall

    In Skyfall, Daniel Craig plays James Bond. His loyalty to M (Judi Dench) is put to test as her past comes back to haunt her. Meanwhile, MI6 comes under attack,  and 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter the personal cost.

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    Aarav Malik
    Written on October 21, 2017
    "Skyfall is the best James Bond film to date. It's go a great story, great action, great soundtrack, and overall just a great movie to watch."
  7. 6

    #10Kingsman: The Secret Service

    Kingsman: The Secret Service

    Kingsman: The Secret Service is an action spy film based on the Mark Millar graphic novel in which a spy organization recruits an unrefined but promising street kid. The film was written and directed by Matthew Vaughn and was released in 2014.

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    Justin McDonald
    Written on October 17, 2017
    "Having seen the trailer for Kingsman: The Secret Service, I took the opportunity to go to an advance screening of this movie, as my love for spy movies in the 007 Bond genre is my favorite. That said, I must point out that I was not disappointed. The movie focuses on a young teenager from London called "Eggsy" who is chosen by a professional agent from a super secret organization who call themselves the "Kingsmen" to go through the deadliest "job interview" to be the next Kingsman spy. The movie is a fantastic, spy thriller comedy with an incredible cast (Samuel Jackson is amazing in this) - a must see!"
  8. 4

    #11Patriot Games

    Patriot Games

    Patriot Games is a spy thriller film co-directed by Philip Noyce with Harrison Ford. It follows C.I.A. analyst Jack Ryan, who interferes with an I.R.A. assassination, and gets pursued by a renegade faction targets him and his family for revenge. 

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    Jeremy Weber
    Written on October 21, 2017
    "A thrilling action movie. Jack Ryan is a CIA agent who foils an IRA assassination plot. After the failed attempt, the IRA outs the target on Ryan and his family. This 1992 film,is adaotes from Tom Clancy's novel."
  9. 1

    #12From Russia With Love

    From Russia With Love

    From Russia with Love is the second installment in the James Bond movie series. It follows Agent 007 (Sean Connery) as he battles a secret crime organization known as SPECTRE.

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    Jason Harrison
    Written on November 7, 2017
    "I love spy movies, but they are so rare these days. I came on here looking for some good spy movies that I had yet to watch. I was told to try From Russia with Love. This James Bond movie was incredible and everything that I was looking for. "
  10. 0

    #13Mission: Impossible

    Mission: Impossible

    Mission: Impossible is an action spy film directed by Brian De Palma starring Tom Cruise. It follows the story of a secret agent named Ethan Hunt, who was framed for the deaths of his espionage team.

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    Andrew Ortega
    Written on April 9, 2018
    "Mission: Impossible is such an era movie, pulling back to the '90s vision of the future and espionage. It came out just before the turn of the century, giving millennial kids a glimpse into the state of culture and society on the cusp of the new millennium. It's crazy that these movies are still coming out. Mission: Impossible is a fun romp."

Summary

Best What are the best spy movies
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1North by NorthwestMovies 12 Paid
2MunichMovies 12 Paid
3GoldfingerMovies 11 Paid
4Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyMovies 11 Paid
5Casino RoyaleMovies 10 Paid
6The Lives of Others Movies 10 Paid
7NotoriousMovies 8 Paid
8The Bourne UltimatumMovies 8 Paid
9SkyfallMovies 7 Paid
10Kingsman: The Secret ServiceMovies 6 Paid
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