Matt Damon is at his most blank-faced in this tale detailing the founding of the Central Intelligence Agency. He’s literally a cipher. His wife doesn’t know him, his odd-faced son doesn’t know him, and we don’t know him. Damon gives nothing away—his face as stone-cold immobile here as it is in the Bourne films, which pretty much means he’s perfect for the role.
Directed by Robert De Niro, Shepherd has an all-star cast of gravelly-voiced, suspicious-looking men: Alec Baldwin, Joe Pesci, William Hurt, John Turturro, and De Niro himself. The movie is swaddled in hushed-tone secret telling, and everyone’s face looks drawn tight with the sheer effort of keeping mum. Slow-moving and grim, The Good Shepherd makes the list through sheer definitiveness.