The Good Shepherd

2006 R 2h 48m DVD

The Good Shepherd

2006 R 2h 48m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
This partially fact-based drama examines the early history of the CIA through the eyes of upstanding, sharp-minded agent Edward Wilson, who finds the job starting to erode his ideals, filling him with distrust and destroying his personal life.
Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, Tammy Blanchard, Billy Crudup, Robert De Niro, Keir Dullea, Joe Pesci, Lee Pace, Michael Gambon, Timothy Hutton, John Turturro, Jason Patric, Gabriel Macht, William Hurt
Robert De Niro
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1
English, Spanish (Neutral), French
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 17+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 17+
age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that although older teens may be interested in this adult-targeted thriller because of stars Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie, it's slow going (and long) and has mature political and moral themes. Violence is frequent (weapons include guns, knives, and bombs and tanks during WWII in London), with two suicide scenes (one via gunshot, the other via jumping out a window) and a graphic torture scene in which CIA agents abuse a Russian spy. Edward and his fellow pledges are urinated on during a naked mud-wrestling scene. Edward has sex with three different women (not explicit, but you see bodies moving), and a surveillance film showing two people having sex appears repeatedly. Characters smoke cigarettes frequently and drink, sometimes to excess. Some language (four uses of "f--k").

Sexual Content

A grainy, shadowy sex scene forms a central mystery (it's a surveillance tape, shown repeatedly); Skull and Bones intiates engage in naked mud wrestling (mud covers explicit elements); Edward thinks his teacher at Yale is coming on to him, but he may be trying to draw him into his Nazi group; several kissing scenes; sex scene between Margaret and Edward shows movement, but they remain clothed (they're outside); sex between Edward and Laura results in threats and surveilllance photos (nothing explicit); after sex between Edward and his German assistant (offscreen), her breast is seen briefly; reference to Russians being "short between the legs," and an interrogation subject is stripped (brief full frontal nudity).


Young boy hears the shot as his father commits suicide in another room, then sees the body with blood on floor; violent acts include murders and assassinations by gunshot, knifing, strangling, poisoning; images of post-Blitz London (wreckage); several mlitary "operations" show bombs and gunfire; severed finger sent to a character as a threat; naked interrogation subject is tortured, then jumps out a window and appears broken-bodied and bloody on sidewalk below; woman is thrown from a plane (you see her body descending from above).


About four uses of "f--k," one use each of "ass," "hell," and "son of a bitch." Sexual slang ("pr--k," "t-ts").

Social Behavior

Spies are devious, curel, and determined, extolling the virtues of patriotism but seemingly achieving their ends at any cost; Edward is distant from his family; his wife resents him and drinks too much, his son acts out his resentment in other ways.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Characters drink (wine, champagne, vodka) and smoke lots of cigarettes, partly as an indication of the era and partly to show their efforts at self-medication. Margaret is drunk and angry in several scenes. CIA interrogators inject a subject with LSD to solicit information.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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