There is something undeniably romantic about the idea of being a spy, and we aren’t just talking James Bond romantic. Keeping secrets to protect the people we love, and using our charms to get people to do what we need. There is something very appealing about the life of a spy.

Not ready to pack it all in and pursue the life of a secret agent? Get your thrills with these 15 excellent spy movies currently available on Netflix.

Allied (2016)

IMDB Score 7.1/10

Starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, Pitt plays a Canadian intelligence officer and Cotillard a French resistance fighter and collaborator. They go undercover as a married couple, and the fall in love. But is their relationship real, or just one more play in the game of espionage. Excellent performances and chemistry from the leads and it will keep you guessing.

The Angel (2018)

IMDB Score 6.7/10

An adaptation of the non-fiction book The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel by Uri Bar-Joseph, it tells the true story of Ashraf Marwan, played by Marwan Kanzari, a high ranking Egyptian official who became a spy for Israel and helped achieve peace between the two countries.

Beirut (2018)

IMDB Score 6.4/10

Set during the 1982 Lebanese Civil War, Jon Hamm stars as a former US diplomat who is forced to return to his old stomping grounds in Beirut to save a colleague, from a group who also happens to be responsible for the death of his family (of course). Rosamund Pike gives a good supporting performance in this surprisingly sensitive handling of the subject matter.

The Chosen (2016)

IMDB Score 6.7/10

This Spanish spy thriller takes us from Barcelona to Mexico to follow the murder of Leon Trotsky in 1940. The movie manages to tell a compelling story without straying too far from the actual historical events. Alfonso Herrera plays Jacques Mornard, claiming to be a Belgian fleeing the war, who makes his way into Trotsky’s (Henry Goodman) inner circle.

Damascus Cover (2017)

IMDB Score 5.1/10

Based on the 1977 novel of the same name by Howard Kaplan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars as Ari Sion, a man tasked with getting an Israeli spy out of Syria, but who soon finds himself embroiled in much grander plans. John Hurt gives an excellent supporting performance in his final film appearance after his death.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

IMDB Score 6.2/10

A recent reboot, Chris Pine takes the helm as spy Jack Ryan in the first film about Tom Clancy’s spy that is not an adaptation of one of the author’s novels. A young Ryan undercover in a financial institution finds himself in Russia investigating corruption, all while trying to protect his fiancé. And there is always someone on the inside. Kevin Costner and Keira Knightly support, and Kenneth Branagh makes a great villain, as always.

Newcomer (2015)

IMDB Score 5.5/10

An entire special forces team is killed, with the exception of a rookie operative. He blames himself, and so does his government, who are now hunting him down. He goes on the run, and as he pieces together events of the ill-fated mission, he discovers that not all is as it seems. James Krishna Floyd stars in this underrated thriller.

Operation Finale (2018)

IMDB Score 6.5/10

On the back of Star Ward fame Oscar Isaac stars in this historical spy drama that follows the efforts of Israeli intelligence officers to capture a former SS Officer Adolf Eichmann (played by Ben Kingsley) in 1960. The film is well acted and entertaining, even if it fails to capture the true complexity of the historical events.

Our Kind of Traitor (2016)

IMDB Score 6.2/10

Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris play a normal English couple who find themselves embroiled in international espionage when they strike up a friendship with a Russian while on holiday in Morocco, who then unexpectedly gives them a USB stick to hand over to their government. MI6 then wants to use the couple’s connection to find our more.

Salt (2010)

IMDB Score 6.4/10

Angelina Jolie leading a spy action-thriller, you know it will be entertaining. She plays CIA Agent Salt, who is in fact one of many Russian sleepers planted in important US positions. When it comes time to act, she is exposed, and the hunt for her diverts attention from the true Russian plan. Live Schreiber does some serious scene stealing.

Scribe (2016)

IMDB Score 6.2/10

Burnt out analyst Duval (Francois Cluzet) is an unemployable alcoholic who unexpectedly gets a job transcribing recorded telephone calls. What he learns will put him in the line of fire. This French thriller is fast paced and manages to take us on an incredible journey of paranoia and tension in only 90 minutes.

Secrets of Her Majesty’s Secret Service (2014)

IMDB Score 6.6/10

Leave the fantasy world behind for a few hours and discover the lives of some of Britain’s real secret service agents in this BBC documentary. Directed by Kasia Uscinska, it takes a smart look at the century old organisation, which has only officially existed since 1994. Of course, you will still be left wondering what they aren’t telling us.

Shanghai (2010)

IMDB Score 6.4/10

This should probably be characterised as a neo-Noir political thriller, starring John Cusack as an American naval intelligence officer in 1941 Japanese controlled Shanghai shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbour as he tries to track down who killed his friend. He gets more than he bargained for and finds himself mixed up in international affairs. Chow Yun-Fat plays an influential crime lord.

Snowden (2016)

IMDB Score 7.3/10

Now one of the most famous true stories of espionage, this film covers the story of Edward Snowden, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who leaked evidence to the public of the NSA’s illegal surveillance techniques and then found himself one of the most wanted men in the world. With a screenplay by Oliver Stine, this is a compelling take on the story.

The Spy Gone North (2018)

IMDB Score 7.2/10

The Korean spy drama is loosely based on the true story of Park Chae-seo, a former South Korean agent who infiltrated North Korea’s nuclear facilities in the 1990s. As he learns what life is truly like on the other side of the border Park, played by Jung-min Hwang, has his beliefs and his loyalties tested.

The Tourist (2010)

IMDB Score 6/10

Another Angeline Jolie film on the list, this time opposite Johnny Depp, she plays a seasoned spy who uses Depp, an unwitting tourist, as part of her plans. But perhaps she has gotten more than she bargained for. Sometimes it is unclear whether this is meant to be a serious spy drama or a comedy take on then genre, but is a good watch if you just relax and enjoy it.

 

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