Are you searching for that movie that’ll keep your eyes glued to the screen? Well, espionage and spy movies are the genre you need.
Thrilling, adventurous, fast-paced, and filled with action, these movies are tailored to keep you wanting more.
Since the era of silent films, spy movies have been one of the best choices for the audience.
Over the years, the genre has become varied, and just like a secret agent, it has many disguises.
While some are violent and fast-paced, others can be more intellectual and slower-paced. Some are even infused with hilarious comedy.
You might have heard a lot about this genre, but the question is “Which of them is a good one?” to answer that question, let’s look at some of the best espionage and spy movies of all times.
Table of Contents
- 1. Black Widow (2021)
- 2. Charlie’s angels (2019)
- 3. Mission Impossible
- 4. Atomic blonde (2017)
- 5. Spy (2015)
- 6. The man from U.N.C.L.E (2015)
- 7. Bridge of Spies (2015)
- 8. A most wanted man (2014)
- 9. Kingsman: Secret service (2014)
- 10. Despicable me 1&2 (2010 & 2013)
- 11. Skyfall (2012)
- 12. Duplicity (2009)
- 13. Bourne Trilogy (2002-2007)
- 14. Pan’s labyrinth (2006)
- 15. The Matador (2005)
- 16. Enemy of the state (1998)
- 17. The emperor and the assassin (1998)
- 18. You only live twice (1967)
- 19. From Russia with Love (1963)
- 20. North by Northwest (1959)
1. Black Widow (2021)
If you are familiar with marvel, you would have heard about the black widow. Her story has only been told in parts, embedded in other marvel creations.
However, Marvel has finally decided to tell us her own story.
Based on the Marvel comic, black widow, the movie features Natasha Romanoff long before she became an avenger.
Played by Scarlett Johannson, the movie centers around the black widow who confronts the darker parts of her past when conspiracy arises.
Faced by something bent on bringing her down, Natasha must visit her history as a spy.
2. Charlie’s angels (2019)
Charlie’s angels take us into Charles Townsend agency is known to provide security and investigation services for clients.
Here, the smartest women are trained to protect and retrieve information using their sex appeal, martial arts, and tech skills.
When Elena Houghlin, a scientist loses the Castilo (A sustainable energy source), three of these women are called in to retrieve it.
However, they become targets when a secret was revealed.
3. Mission Impossible
Mission impossible is a series of action-filled movies that you cannot skip. Since 1996, different mission impossible movies have been produced, each following with a unique plot of its own.
4. Atomic blonde (2017)
Atomic Blonde is a thrilling movie based on the 2012 novel, the coldest city.
Featuring Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton, the movie revolves around the spy who was sent undercover to berlin.
Her mission is quite simple: to investigate a murder and retrieve a priceless list. But this mission is not quite as simple as it sounds.
Broughton must use all her lethal skills if she wants to stay alive. She teams up with a station chief at Berlin to make her way through a deadly game of spies.
5. Spy (2015)
Susan Cooper is a deskbound CIA analyst who works with her dashing partner Bradley Fine in the Agency’s most deadly mission.
Despite having field training, she has always played the hero behind the scenes using sophisticated tech equipment to guide Bradley.
But when Bradley is assassinated by an arms dealer, Susan, who has never been on the field is assigned her first assignment.
This assignment is to capture Boyanov, the arms dealer, and avenge her partner.
6. The man from U.N.C.L.E (2015)
During the cold war, a criminal group decides to upset the balance between The Us and the Soviet Union using nuclear weapons.
To stop the evildoers, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin must set aside their differences.
Their only lead is the daughter of a scientist whom they must find to prevent a global disaster.
7. Bridge of Spies (2015)
Also set during the cold war, the movie depicts lawyer James Donovan who must use his skills to negotiate a pilot’s release.
This pilot, Gary Powers was captured by the Soviet Union and sentenced to ten years in prison. Thus, Donovan is Gary’s only hope.
8. A most wanted man (2014)
A most wanted man is an espionage movie that is based on John le Carre’s book of the same name.
Starring Philip Hoffman, the movie starts when a militant turns up and lays claim on an illegal fortune.
A German agent (Philip Hoffman) uses this as an opportunity to set a trap for a Muslim scholar who is suspected of supporting terrorists.
9. Kingsman: Secret service (2014)
Kingsman is a British-American franchise that is based on a comic book with the same name.
The comedy/spy-action movie is one of the most successful action movies of the 21st century.
It centers around Gary who lived a rough life and was obviously on his way to spending his life behind bars.
However, agent Harry recognizes his potentials and trains him in the secret service. Together, they must work to stop Richard, the villain from launching a killing spree.
10. Despicable me 1&2 (2010 & 2013)
In a happy, peaceful neighborhood sits an abandoned house with a dead lawn. Unknown to its neighbors, beneath that house is a secret hideout of minions.
Their leader, Gru, is planning something evil: to steal the moon. Unfortunately, he meets a trio of little girls who soon become his weakness.
Despicable me take you into the world of Gru, his adventures, and how he toggles the challenges as a father.
11. Skyfall (2012)
Skyfall is one of James bond’s latest adventures. In this blockbuster movie, challenges test his loyalty to M.
With MI6 compromised, M has none to trust except Bond. Bond takes to the shadows to track down and eliminate the threat with the aid of Miss Eve Moneypenny.
12. Duplicity (2009)
Ray works for MI6; Claire works for the CIA. Five years later, these two now work for rival companies.
They run into each other at Grand Central, a week before one of the companies is to make a revolutionary announcement.
Now, both must be on top of their game. Can they trust each other or is one playing the other?
13. Bourne Trilogy (2002-2007)
The Bourne trilogy is an action series centered on the character Jason Bourne. Jason is a CIA assassin that suffers from dissociative amnesia.
Bourne identity (2002), Bourne Supremacy (2004), and Bourne Ultimatum (2007) are thrillers packed with action that will keep you enthralled.
14. Pan’s labyrinth (2006)
Fusing Myth and fantasy, Pan’s labyrinth is an espionage movie with a unique plot.
When Captain Vidal leads soldiers into a remote forest, he takes with him; Carmen, his wife, and his stepdaughter Ofelia.
To escape his brutality, Ofelia allows herself to fall into Pan’s labyrinth, a world with mythical creatures.
15. The Matador (2005)
Danny is a simple salesman who is dealing with trouble in his finances and marriage. Julian is a professional hitman who is starting to lose interest in his job.
One night, the two men meet and soon find themselves in a situation that will change their lives forever.
While they are opposites sides of a coin, they discover that they need each other in ways they never thought of.
16. Enemy of the state (1998)
Clayton Dean is a labor lawyer with a simple lifestyle.
However, he unknowingly comes in possession of a videotape that contains a video that proves Thomas Reynold murdered a congressman.
He soon becomes the target of the corrupt official.
17. The emperor and the assassin (1998)
Set in the 3rd century, the movie tells the story of Ying Zheng. He is an ambitious heir whose goal is to unify the six kingdoms of China under his oppressive rule.
To aid his malevolence, he seeks the help of his concubine Zhao. She travels as a spy to Han where she plans to manipulate the king into believing she is against Han.
In Han, she meets Jing ka and by his demeanor and swordsmanship. She approaches him with a deal of being an assassin as requested by the king.
Through these dealings, she finds herself falling in love with him.
18. You only live twice (1967)
In this movie, James Bond returns with an action sequence that leaves you awed. Here, Bond is mourning his wife who was shot to death by Ernst Starro.
Despite his grief, he is sent to Japan to investigate the disappearance of American and Russian spacecraft.
In Japan, he meets Tanks Tiger who helps him uncover a conspiracy.
19. From Russia with Love (1963)
From Russia with love is the second of the James Bond series. Here, he is sent on a mission in Istanbul to retrieve a priced Lekkto decoder.
During this, he is lured into a plot by his enemies. To escape with his life, Bond must use his wits and skills.
20. North by Northwest (1959)
This classic movie features Thornhill, an advertising executive who goes on the run when he is mistaken for an agent.
Chased by foreign spies, he starts on a journey where he meets beautiful Eve Kendall. When his enemies close in on him, an action sequence follows.
Listed above are some of the best espionage and spy movies there are. You can stream them or download them on several sites. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a cup of popcorn, sit tight and enjoy some spy action.