We all love a good action flick. Even more so, when the plot makes us question the main character’s true allegiances.
The CIA has a history of covert operations that not only threat on the good side of the law, even though their objective might be to provide strategic and tactical advantages for the USA.
If you like conspiracies, intrigue, and political drama mixed with action and suspense, then these movies are just for you.
In this list, we’re taking a look at the top ten CIA movies of all time.
10 Best CIA Movies of All Time
When it comes to movies about the CIA you can’t go wrong. It’s a subject that always makes an exciting movie. The CIA is one of the most capable intelligence organizations in the world after all. It’s either them fighting super villains or terrorists. Or they are trying to maintain control of the government by suppressing terrorists.
What are great movies about the CIA? This list rounds up the top ten best CIA movies of all time which you would enjoy watching.
#10. True Lies (1994)
From Famous director James Cameron comes True Lies, a fun action-comedy about a fearless secret agent that has to face his toughest mission yet, working with his wife.
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis, this flick has become a reference in espionage comedies done right. Balancing just the right amount of thrills and laughs.
To prove that her Hulking costar wasn’t the only one willing to risk his life for the movie. Jamie Lee Curtis did some of her own stunts during filming, including a dangerous one involving a helicopter.
James Cameron also helped in the risky stunt, recording the action with a handheld camera while the two were dangling high above the ground. Talk about dedication to your craft.
#9. Enemy of the State (1998)
Conspiracy theorists around the world were thrilled when Enemy of the State was released in 1998. The movie tells the story of a group of NSA agents that conspired to assassinate a US congressman.
The topics explored in the movie were considered novel in their time, especially since the movie came way before the September 11 attacks and the Patriot Act era.
Unsurprisingly, the actual NSA refused to cooperate with the making of the movie, so the producers had to find private security consultants to add realism to the espionage scene in the film.
Starring Will Smith, Jon Voight, and Gene Hackman, Enemy of the State has been received well by critics and a worldwide audience.
#8. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
Following the attacks on the World Trade Center, the US military centered their sights on a common enemy, Osama bin Laden.
Zero Dark Thirty chronicles a nearly decadelong manhunt for the terrorist behind the biggest attack on American soil, culminating with the Seal team operation that finally put an end to his madness.
Surprisingly, many members of the media and the production team, including CIA director Michael Morley, issued a statement about the movie, clarifying that the events portrayed in the film are dramatizations and shouldn’t be considered historically accurate.
#7. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
Ethan Hunt is one of cinema’s well-known men of mystery, even though he doesn’t work for the CIA himself, Ghost Protocol sees the Impossible Mission Force or IMF shut down by the CIA after being involved in a devastating attack on the Kremlin.
It’s now up to Agent Hunt to clear his name of his organization as he goes rogue with a task team that supports him around the globe.
The film is a live-action debut of director Brad Bird and was a box office success, grossing nearly $700 million worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing movie in the Mission Impossible series.
#6. Munich (2005)
This Steven Spielberg film deals with the Mossad investigation of the Munich massacre, where more than eleven members of the Israeli athletic team were killed by the Palestinian Black September group.
The agents act as Avengers, being tasked with finding and eliminating whoever is responsible for the attacks.
In the movie, the CIA is portrayed as a protector and financer of the terrorist leaderAli Hassan Salameh.
The film garnered some controversy when it was released, and some speculate that’s the reason why Spielberg didn’t make any interviews or promoted this movie as much as he usually does with his other projects.
#5. The Hunt for Red October (1990)
If there’s a name that’s well known among espionage fans that would be Tom Clancy. The Hunt for Red October is an adaptation of the novel of the same name written by Clancy, and it was a box office success in 1990.
The captain of a state of the art Soviet submarine wishes to defect to the US, but in doing so, he might end up causing an international scandal.
It’s up to a lone CIA analyst to prove to his superiors that the submarine won’t attack American soil before the conflict escalates further amid the dim flames of the Cold War.
#4. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
The second entry in the Bourne franchise, The Bourne Supremacy sees the return of the amnesiac CIA assassin Jason Bourne.
As he tries to learn more about his former life, the past catches up to Bourne, and he soon finds himself in the middle of a CIA conspiracy that forces him to remember his unique set of skills.
Director Paul Greengrass tried to achieve a realistic look for this movie, using mostly handheld cameras and a muted color palette to make it look more like a documentary.
The heavy use of practical effects also helps, as most of the stunts were performed by real actors and not CGI doubles
#3. Argo (2012)
Argo proves that reality can be stranger than fiction. The movie shows a real secret CIA operation that took place in 1979 and involved creating a fake movie to free a group of hostages from Iran.
The CIA had to be very convincing to let the hostages free without suspicion, even going so far as to creating scripts and a fake production office to fool the Iranian regime.
Former US President Jimmy Carter said about the film that although it worked very well as a piece of entertainment, it should have been noted that the Canadian Embassy deserves at least 50% of the merit for freeing the hostages.
It was also later revealed that the CIA worked closely in the development of the film.
#2. The Bourne Identity (2002)
The film that started the whole Bourne saga, The Bourne Identity introduced audiences to the amnesiac CIA assassin that seems to be always running from national conspiracies.
In this movie, Jason Bourne is rescued by a group of fishermen and soon discovers he doesn’t remember his identity.
The calm doesn’t last long as he’s soon chased by a group of assassins and must fight to discover the secrets behind his amnesia and the CIA plot that ended his former life.
#1. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
Widely considered by critics to be the best movie in the series, The Bourne Ultimatum is the third entry in the Bourne film franchise.
After losing his identity and the one person he loved, Jason Bourne now has nothing left to lose, he comes out of hiding once again as a new CIA operation sends more assassins his way.
This time, though, the Assassins proved to be better trained than ever as they’re part of the next step in the project that created Jason Bourne.
Unlike the other Bourne movies, The Bourne Ultimatum was nominated for three Academy Awards, winning in all three categories.
The movie was rated an eight on a scale of ten on the IMDb website and received a meta score of 85 on Metacritic.
This was our top 10 list of the best CIA movies ever made. the 10 Greatest Spy Movies. So, Do you agree with our list? If you have any suggestions or comments please shoot them down in the comments below.