Amnesiac assassins, electronic surveillance, and stolen data? We are talking about Spy movies! It has provided a certain type of leisure since the silent film period. However, the first authentic work of espionage literature emerged from the literary form in the early 1800s. William Le Queux’s serial “The Great War in 1897” is one of the best-known examples.
Consequently, the popularity of the serial also encouraged several other writers to explore this new genre of writing. As a result of the recognition of the written literature, spy films began as straightforward recreations of actual wartime events. While rising global conflicts in the early 20th century created the ideal environment for the spy genre to flourish.
Surely these movies portray the truth dramatically, yet there are some that depict their story with a historical perspective – remaining firmly grounded in reality. But there are others that are completely works of fiction but still enthrall the viewers as actual events. So, if you are a fan, here are the 10 best Spy movies to enjoy on Disney Plus.
Spies in Disguise (2019)
Director: Nick Bruno, Troy Quane
Writer: Lucas Martell, Cindy Davis, Brad Copeland
Star Cast: Rachel Brosnahan, Jarrett Bruno, Claire Crosby
IMDB Rating: 6.8
Runtime: 1 hr.42 mins
Unofficially based on Lucas Martell’s 2009 animated short Pigeon: Impossible, Spies in Disguise is a 2019 American computer-animated espionage comedic film. Critics gave it mostly favorable reviews and praised the voice performances, soundtrack, animation, and humor.
The world’s top spy must depend on his geeky tech guy to preserve it after being transformed into a pigeon.
Bridge of Spies (2015)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Star Cast: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda
IMDB Rating: 7.6
Runtime: 2 hrs.22 mins
It’s a historical drama that received favorable reviews from critics. The script, Hanks and Rylance’s performances, Spielberg’s direction, Thomas Newman’s soundtrack, and the theatrical productions all won praise from critics. On a $40 million budget, the movie exceeded expectations at the box office, earning $165 million globally.
An American lawyer is hired during the Cold War to represent a Soviet spy who has been detained in court. He subsequently assisted the CIA in arranging a swap of the spy for Francis Gary Powers, the pilot of the American U2 spy plane seized by the Soviet Union.
Director: Sam Mendes
Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan
Star Cast: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris
IMDB Rating: 7.8
Runtime: 2 hrs.23 mins
The twenty-third in the James Bond film series, Skyfall, premiered in the U.S. on November 9, 2012. Mendes’ directing of Skyfall, cast performances, action scenes, photography, and musical score all got positive reviews. Among its Awards were Outstanding British Film at the 66th British Academy Film Awards and Best Sound Editing at the 85th Academy Awards.
James Bond’s commitment to M is tested when memories from her past resurface. At no personal cost, 007 must find and eliminate the danger when MI6 is attacked.
Director: Tony Gilroy
Writer: Tony Gilroy
Star Cast: Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Tom Wilkinson
IMDB Rating: 6.1
Runtime: 2 hrs.5 mins
It’s an American romantic comedy-crime movie launched on March 20, 2009. Film critics gave the movie average to good reviews. However, the film won an ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films.
Two former federal agents becoming rival corporate spies must be at the highest level possible – as one of their firms is getting ready to debut a significant product. However, they divert from each other in several different ways.
Director: Ben Affleck
Writer: Chris Terrio, Tony Mendez, Joshuah Bearman
Star Cast: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman
IMDB Rating: 7.7
Runtime: 2 hrs.
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s 1999 book with the same title was the basis for the 2012 American historical epic thriller Argo. The performances, Affleck’s direction, Terrio’s script, the cinematography, and Desplat’s music all received acclaim. The film won three Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, and Best Achievement in Film Editing.
During the 1979 American hostage situation in Iran, a CIA agent undertakes a risky mission to save six Americans in Tehran. He was posing as a Hollywood director looking for a site for a science fiction movie.
Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Writer: Phil Alden Robinson, Lawrence Lasker, Walter F. Parkes
Star Cast: Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Sidney Poitier
IMDB Rating: 7.1
Runtime: 2 hrs.6 mins
On September 11, 1992, the American thriller film, Sneakers was launched. The critics praised the film along with its ensemble cast. It was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture.
It’s a story about a security expert and his special squad charged with rescuing a crucial object. But soon, he discovers that his past is returning to haunt him.
Mission: Impossible (1996)
Director: Brian De Palma
Writer: Bruce Geller, David Koepp, Steven Zaillian
Star Cast: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart
IMDB Rating: 7.1
Runtime: 1 hr.50 mins
The 1996 American action spy movie Mission: Impossible is a revival of the 1966 tv show with the same title and its 1988 follow-up series. Critics gave the movie mostly favorable to mixed reviews, praising the action scenes, De Palma’s direction, and Cruise’s acting while criticizing the complex plot. The movie raked in $457.7 million worldwide, ranking third among all movies released in 1996.
Upon false allegation of betraying the country, an American agent is forced to find and reveal the true spy.
Spy Game (2001)
Director: Tony Scott
Writer: Michael Frost Beckner, David Arata
Star Cast: Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Catherine McCormack
IMDB Rating: 7.0
Runtime: 2 hrs.6 mins
The American action film Spy Game was released in 2001 and received generally favorable ratings from critics. On a $115 million budget, the movie made $62 million in the U.S. and $143 million internationally.
Tom Bishop was trained by retiring CIA agent Nathan Muir as he battled agency politics to liberate himself from his Chinese kidnappers.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Steven Knight
Star Cast: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris
IMDB Rating: 7.1
Runtime: 2 hrs.4 mins
On November 23, 2016, Paramount Pictures premiered the romantic war thriller, Allied in the U.S. Critics gave average reviews, praising the musical score, cinematography, and costumes.
A Canadian intelligence agent encountered a female French Resistance warrior in North Africa in 1942. He is on a dangerous assignment behind enemy lines. The demands of war put their love to the limit when they reconvene in London.
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Seth Lochhead, David Farr
Star Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana
IMDB Rating: 6.8
Runtime: 1 hr.51 mins
An action thriller movie from 2011 called Hanna debuted to generally favorable reviews. Critics appreciated Blanchett and Ronan’s roles, themes, and action scenes. In addition, the film won the EDA Award for Best Film Music or Score.
A vicious intelligence agent and her subordinates are pursuing a sixteen-year-old girl on a mission throughout Europe. She was trained by her father to be the ideal shooter.