15 Best Agent Movies of All Time

Tales of espionage are as old as the institution of cinema itself. Agent spy films have defined and redefined traditional masculinity by placing them in impossible struggles of national importance. Double agents often have psychological struggles representing political turmoil.

The possibility of versatility in plots when agents go undercover is endless. And the genre of spy/secret agent films goes far beyond the stipular Bond, Jason Bourne. In this list, we cover the top-rated spy/agent films on IMDb of all time.

Das Leben Der Anderen (The Lives of the Others) (2006)

Cast- Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur 

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

One of the most critically acclaimed German filmmakers, Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck’s Das Leben Der Anderen is possibly the best spy/agent film ever made.

It follows writer Georg Dreyman and his actress lover Christa-Maria. The film is set right before the Fall of The Berlin Wall. Stasi Hauptmann and his team start a surveillance of Dreyman suspecting his communist views. Weisler, who is in charge of the investigation, develops empathy towards Dreyman and his lover in this tensile political thriller.

Tenet (2020)

Cast: John David Washington Robert Pattinson Elizabeth Debicki  Dimple Kapadia

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

From one of the masters of Sci-fi, Christopher Nolan gave Hollywood a whole new idea of agent films.

The film opens in Kyiv, with a nameless Protagonist, (much like Fight Club) extracting a highly-valued object from an Opera House. From here he is abducted and tortured for information. To escape it, he ingests a cyanide pill only to find himself recruited by a secret organization called “Tenet”.  Through a combination of mind and time inversion, these people have invented time-traveling. Like all other Nolan films, this takes you through a rollercoaster of revelations. 

Atomic Blonde 2017

Cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Eddie Marsan


David Leitch subverted the genre of spy/agent films with his thriller. The penetrative spy double agent thriller is set during the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Lorraine an MI6 agent is sent in for a mission to Berlin and things really start to go south from here on. Delphine a French agent joins Lorraine, as they initiate a romantic relationship. From the makers of John Wick, this film is deeply reminiscent of Bond. 

Spectre 2015

Cast: Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Christopher Waltz, Monica Belucci.

IMDb Rating: 6.8/10

Sam Mendes will easily go down in history as one of the best Bond filmmakers. For some Daniel Craig even surpasses Pierce Brosnan. 

In the most typical Bond fashion, an MI6 agent saves Mexico on a national holiday from a terrorist attack and escapes with a chopper. Sciarra the terrorist Bond kills is part of a secret terrorist organization, and he thus infiltrates it using his ring and tries to save his widow. 

Burn After Reading 2008

Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton

IMDb Rating:7/10

Another genre-bending Spy thriller that’s bound to take your breath away is Burn After Reading.

An alcoholic CIA agent quits his job in a fit of rage and decides to write a memoir and it’s only when this falls into the wrong hand, things start to go wrong. But coming from the Coen Brothers, one of the most genius American filmmakers of the times it’s never as simple as it may seem.

Mission Impossible 2 (2000)

Cast: Tom Cruise, Thandiwe Newton, Dougray Scott, Richard Roxburgh

IMDb Rating:6.1/10

If you’re looking for some crazy action and impossible stunts, Tom Cruise’s legendary Ethan Hunt is it!

 The film is about Big Pharma developing a virus called Chimera so that they can make profit by selling the antidote. Ethan hunt is called in for an impossible mission! If only there was an Ethan Hunt for Covid.

Goldfinger (1964)

Cast: Sean Connery, Shirley Eaton, Honor Blackman, Gert Frobe

IMDb Rating:7.7/10

Almost all Bond fans collectively agree that Goldfinger is the best existing Bond film. Starring Sean Connery the OG Bond, it laid the foundations of Agent/Spy cinema.

James Bond is commanded to spy on Goldfinger who was fixing a gin-rummy game.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Cast: Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Stellan Skarsgard, Michael Nyqvist.

IMDb Rating:7.8/10

This neo-noir film starring Daniel Craig as a journalist/investigator is a cult classic. Fincher’s film follows Blomkvist and Salander as they try to uncover the disappearance of a 16 year old Jewish girl and things take a dark turn.

Red Sparrow (2018)

Cast:  Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling.

IMDb Rating: 6.6/10

This film with Jennifer Lawrence as a ballerina turned Russian agent, was directed by Francis Lawrence. After an injury Dominika can longer pursue her career as a ballerina, thus she is not able to pay for her mother’s medical bills. Her uncle orders her to seduce a Russian mob boss in exchange for her mother’s healthcare: things take an incredibly fark turn from there.

The Ipcress File  1965

Cast: Michael Caine, Nigel Green Guy Doleman Sue Lloyd

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

British scientists have suddenly started to go missing at the epoch of their scientific experiments. One such scientist called Radcliffe has been abducted from a train and Harry Palmer, who is a soldier with prior criminal records is called in to save the day.

Notorious 1946

Cast: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains,  Louis Calhern, Leopoldine Konstantin.

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

This is Spy/ Agent film is a timeless Hitchcock classic.  The Casablanca actress here plays the daughter of a nazi in America. Alicia frequently used to oppose her father’s political views.  Now a US agent is trying to convince her to infiltrate a circle Nazi war criminals after the Second World War. The political drama heightens as the man she is supposed to seduce was in love with her and she is in love with American spy Delvin.

Inglorious Basterds 2009

Cast: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

Set in Nazi-occupied France, Brad Pitt leads an anti-nazi political organization called the “Basterds”. Their modus operandi of killing nazis is creative and gruesome in quintessential Tarantino fashion. Aldo Raine instructs his recruits to show no mercy to the nazis as they deserve no humanity. It is a historical reimagination of Hitler’s life and dissent against him. The senseless violence coupled with the dark humor makes Tarantino an excellent innovator of filmmaking.

The Courier 2020

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Merab Ninidze, Rachel Brosnahan,  Jessie Buckley.

 IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

Disillusioned with Khrushchev’s promises of de-stalinization of Russia, Oleg Penkovsky attempts to ameliorate the possibility of a nuclear war with the U.S. during the cold-war era. Acting as a double agent and having authorization to sensitive nuclear information, Oleg joins the American CIA and the British MI6.

The Bourne Identity (2002)

Cast: Matt Damon Clive Owen Chris Cooper  Brian Cox

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Based on the Robert Ludlum novel, a man is saved by two fisher-men after having been shot in the back. Jason Bourne is now not only to fight all his enemies but also a war against himself as he no longer has a memory of his past life. Although he has retained his linguistic and combat skills, but he slowly starts to unravel his own past along with the mysteries around him.