The Good Shepherd
Maybe this is the movie "Godfather III" should have been. De Niro's account of the foundation of the CIA is utterly absorbing, a study of the insidious influence of paranoia and mistrust in the corridors of power during the height of the Cold War. Damon heads up the heavyweight cast in a major picture that hasn't been given its due.
Moviewise, it was a year also enriched by remarkable double-headers: "History Boys" on Broadway and on film, both towering triumphs, both filled with fresh faces, dazzling words and ideas from its playwright and screenwriter Alan Bennett; Matt Damon in "Departed" and "The Good Shepherd," each of his performances giving ample proof why directors the caliber of Scorsese and Robert De Niro would pick Damon to star in pet projects;...
But Damon — who grows more silent as the film unfolds, lending heft to the few words he utters — is magnetic. The intricate script may challenge viewers’ patience. Still, the carefully conceived thriller proves once again that De Niro’s not just an A-list star, but an ace director, as well.