Spy movies have provided viewers with a certain type of pleasure since the silent film period. The genre sprang from the literature in the late 1800s. The earliest authentic espionage/spy literature work was a serial by William Le Queux titled The Great War in 1897.
The serial’s success motivated other authors to write in the genre, which led to various successful films. Now the spy films have it all! From thrilling action movies and somber to slow-burning dramas or hilarious comedic parodies. Stream your favorite movie on online platforms. Find a list below of the 10 best spy movies on HBO Max.
The Bourne Identity
Director: Doug Liman
Writer: Tony Gilroy, W. Blake Herron, Robert Ludlum
Cast: Franka Potente, Matt Damon, Chris Cooper
IMDb Rating: 7.9
Runtime: 1 hr.59 min
It’s a 2002 action thriller based on a 1980 novel by Robert Ludlum. The film is the first part of the Bourne film series, followed by 3 sequels. The movie debuted with a $60 million budget and earned both critical and financial success, making $214 million.
In the middle of a covert CIA scheme, a guy with dissociative amnesia is trying to identify himself.
The Bourne Supremacy
Director: Paul Greengrass
Writer: Robert Ludlum, Tony Gilroy
Cast: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Joan Allen
IMDb Rating: 7.7
Runtime: 1 hr.48 mins
The Bourne Supremacy is an action-thriller movie from 2004 that borrows the title from the second Bourne novel from 1986 but has a completely different plot. It is the second part of the Bourne film franchise.
It continued the story of Jason Bourne, a CIA assassin with dissociative amnesia. The movie centers on his quest to uncover his background as he becomes entangled in a new CIA and Operation Treadstone conspiracy.
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Alexa PenaVega, Daryl Sabara, Antonio Banderas
IMDb Rating: 5.6
Runtime: 1 hr.28 mins
An American spy comedy film was released in the US on March 30, 2001. It’s the first installment in the Spy Kids franchise, and after that, three sequels came. The film received a nomination for Best Fantasy Film at the 28th Saturn Award.
Two children must use high-tech tools to rescue their revived OSS top spy parents after being captured by a wicked, high-tech foe.
Director: D.J. Caruso
Writer: John Glenn, Travis Wright, Hillary Seitz
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson
IMDb Rating: 6.6
Runtime: 1 hr.58 mins
It’s an American action-thriller released in theatres on September 26, 2008, and earned $178 million globally. In addition, the film successfully brought the ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films.
It centers on two strangers who are forced to flee together after getting a cryptic phone call from an unidentified woman. Now they are tracked by the women using data and communication technologies.
Director: Philipp Stölzl
Writer: Arash Amel
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Nick Alachiotis, Liana Liberato
IMDb Rating: 6.0
Runtime: 1 hr.40 mins
The movie premiered outside the US named The Expatriate. It is a 2012 Canadian-Belgian action film released in the US on May 17, 2013.
The Erased plot follows an ex-CIA spy who is marked for elimination by his employers as part of a vast worldwide conspiracy. His employers have destroyed all evidence of his presence, and now he has to run with his estranged daughter.
Director: Kyle Newman
Writer: John D’Arco
Cast: Jaime King, Samuel L. Jackson, Madeleine Stack
IMDb Rating: 5.4
Runtime: 1 hr.36 mins
It’s an American action comedy film with a limited release in theatres and video on demand on May 29, 2015. The film garnered positive reviews from critics.
It’s a story of a young intelligence agent hoping to lead normal adolescence who fakes her own death and disappears. Instead, she enrolls herself in an American high school, only to find out it’s more than difficult to survive it.
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writer: Jon Hoeber, Warren Ellis
Cast: Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman
IMDb Rating: 7.0
Runtime: 1 hr.51 mins
It’s an action comedy film inspired by a limited series with the same name by Homage Comics. The film premiered on October 15, 2010, and earned mostly favorable reviews.
Red is about a former black-ops agent who unites with his old team to arrest an assassin who wants to kill him.
From Paris with Love
Director: Pierre Morel
Writer: Adi Hasak, Luc Besson
Cast: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak
IMDb Rating: 6.4
Runtime: 1 hr.32 mins
It’s an English-language French action thriller released in the US on February 5, 2010.
From Paris with Love is a story of a young employee from the Ambassador office in Paris. He hooks up with an American spy trying to stop the terrorist attack in the city.
Director: Sylvain White
Writer: Peter Berg, James Vanderbilt, Andy Diggle
Cast: Idris Elba, Zoe Saldana, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
IMDb Rating: 6.3
Runtime: 1 hr.37 mins
It’s an American action film and an adaptation by Andy Diggle and the Jocks Vertigo comic series with the same title. The Losers earned mixed reviews and was compared to The A-Team, a reboot published soon after the original.
The Loser’s story followed a CIA special force team betrayed by their seniors and left to die. It offended the whole team and motivated them to take revenge on the CIA.
Director: Gary McKendry
Writer: Matt Sherring, Ranulph Fiennes
Cast: Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro
IMDb Rating: 6.4
Runtime: 1 hr.56 mins
Killer Elite is a 2011 action thriller modeled on the novel The Feather Men (1991) by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. The film received nominations for the 2nd AACTA Award for Best Visual Effects and Best Production Design.
It starts when a killer-for-hire must take action when his mentor is taken captive by an Arab Sheik. He is tasked with taking down three of Britain’s elite Air Service members accountable for his son’s demise.