Fancy tech, cool gadgets, nice ride – a defining characteristic of a spy in the movies. We often get indulged in the world of spies. The thrill of a captivating storyline along with top-notch action sequences makes us all feel ALIVE in a way. Here, in this article, you will find some of the best spy thriller movies.
We’ve compiled a list of the best spy movies that you shouldn’t miss out on. And for the list, we’ve decided not to include the OG spy franchise – the Bond Series with no disrespect intended. No doubt the Bond movies are great and all but there’s a great chance that you already know about the famous 007 movies.
Check out the following list to come across other best spy thriller movies that you should definitely watch.
- The Bourne Ultimatum
- Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol
- Atomic Blonde
- The Lives of Others
Now that you’ve seen the list, let’s get into some details for each movie. These thriller movies are entertaining and will keep you hooked to your screens. Get ready to fall into the universe of some of the best thriller movies of all time.
7 Best Spy Thriller Movies
I have had a fascination for thriller movies since my childhood. The suspense, intrigue, drama, and plot twists are to die for! The guessing game of who is the victim and who is the culprit is the best part of these movies. Put on your Sherlock glasses and get ready for some amazing thrill!
1. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
The Bourne Ultimatum is the third film of the Bourne franchise. The Bourne series focuses on the story of Jason Bourne, a CIA assassin on a journey to find out his true identity after he suffers from dissociative amnesia and loses his memory.
The plot of Ultimatum follows Jason Bourne learning about a journalist (Simon Ross) who has been investigating his past. Join Bourne on his quest as he uncovers the dark origins of his life while dodging CIA agents who try to eliminate him.
- Runtime: 1h 55min
- IMDB Ratings: 8/10
- Cast: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Paddy Considine
- Director: Paul Greengrass
2. Argo (2012)
Argo is an American drama thriller loosely based on historical events. The plot of the film follows the unreal but true events of a CIA operation to rescue six U.S. diplomats during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979.
Though the movie is a bit of an exaggerated and dramatic version of the real events, it doesn’t change the fact that the storyline will keep you glued to your screens.
- Runtime: 2h
- IMDB Ratings: 7.7/10
- Cast: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman
- Director: Ben Affleck
3. Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
I know, I know! Choosing a single movie from one of the best spy series franchises is one hell of a task. But most of us will agree that the top three contenders for the best Mission Impossible movie are Ghost Protocol (2011), Rogue Nation (2015), and Fallout (2018) and we recommend you to not miss out on any of the above.
Now that we have established a common ground, let’s get into the plot of Ghost Protocol. The movie follows Ethan Hunt and his team falsely implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin. Witness one of the best action-packed thrillers as Ethan and his team race against time to stop a nuclear attack on US soil while they are left without any backup.
- Runtime: 2h 12min
- IMDB Ratings: 7.4/10
- Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton
- Director: Brad Bird
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4. Munich (2005)
Munich is based on the true story of the 1972 killing of the Israeli Olympic team. The movie primarily focuses on Avner Kaufman, a MOSSAD agent along with an expendable team of 4 people. Kaufman leads the team into a covert operation to assassinate those allegedly involved in the massacre.
- Runtime: 2h 44min
- IMDB Ratings: 7.5/10
- Cast: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Ciarán Hinds, Mathieu Kassovitz, Hanns Zischler
- Director: Steven Spielberg
5. Salt (2010)
Originally written with Tom Cruise as the lead in mind, the script was eventually rewritten for the ultimate heart-throbbing queen – Angelina Jolie. The plot of Salt follows Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent accused of being a Russian double agent. Find out more as Evelyn turns rogue to find her kidnapped husband and clear her name in this amazing spy thriller flick.
- Runtime: 1h 40min
- IMDB Ratings: 6.4/10
- Cast: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andre Braugher
- Director: Phillip Noyce
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6. Atomic Blonde (2017)
Another movie on the list with a female protagonist, Atomic Blonde revolves around Lorraine Broughton, an elite-level MI6 spy. Lorraine is sent to Berlin to recover a list that contains the names of double agents and to investigate the murder of a fellow agent. Follow through the storyline as she partners up with David Percival, a station chief, in a fight to make it out alive.
- Runtime: 1h 55min
- IMDB Ratings: 6.7/10
- Cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman
- Director: David Leitch
7. The Lives of Others (2006)
The lives of others is an intense drama film set during the Cold War in the 1980s. The movie follows Gerd Wiesler, a captain in East Germany’s Secret Police who has been assigned the task to monitor a writer and his lover.
With time Wiesler finds himself completely absorbed in their lives. Things take an unexpected turn when he involves himself to protect the lives of the couple. It is in the German language, so sit back with popcorn and enjoy one of the best spy thriller movies with subtitles.
- Runtime: 2h 17min
- IMDB Ratings: 8.4/10
- Cast: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur
- Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
This concludes our list of best spy thriller movies you shouldn’t miss out on. Grab your popcorn and witness the adventures of the spy world. Comment down below if we didn’t cover your favorite spy movie.