8 of the Best and Most Accurate Spy Movies Ever Made

Sean Connery, james bond, movies
United Artists

From one spy to the other...

Spy Movies That Are Actually Accurate, According to a Former CIA Agent

Both my mom and dad were spies for 33 years. Yes, you read that correctly.

They met at work many moons ago and began a life as a tandem couple, moving to foreign locations (with kids in tow!) to continue their espionage all over the world. It was a strange and wonderful childhood.

Many people ask them, "What are your favorite spy movies?" and "Is Homeland real?" Both fair questions, but ones that need explanation.

So, I figured it would be beneficial for everyone to give you this extensive movie list of the most accurate spy movies. My parents emailed me their answers, which stem from classics to contemporary films. These are some of the best spy movies out there, according to two retired spies.

1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

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Based on the book of the same name by John le Carré, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy has been regarded as one of the best spy thrillers. Not only is the adaptation up to standards, there are many realistic and authentic pieces of espionage.

2. Argo

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Seeing as Argo was based on a true story, yes it's a spy movie worth watching. Starring Ben Affleck, John Goodman, and Alan Arkin, Affleck plays CIA operative, Tony Mendez whose job was to get six Americans out of Tehran after the American Embassy was taken over during the Iranian Revolution. The story is captivating, but Affleck does a stellar job at capturing the time period and the people who survived terror.

3. From Russia With Love

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Naturally, James Bond has to be on this list. While some parts of From Russia With Love are ridiculous, others have elements of authenticity. From gadgets to location, this James Bond film is not only fun to watch, but is definitely one of the best spy movies out there.

4. Spy Who Came in From the Cold

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Another John le Carré adaptation, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold was a box office success. Set during the Cold War, a British Intelligence officer must gain access to a prominent East German intelligence officer. The movie saw major success when released in 1965 and currently holds an 85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

5. The Patriots

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My dad made me watch this when I was home for Christmas and while I didn't want to, I'm glad I did. It's an interesting story highlighting the work of the Mossad, Israel's equivalent of the CIA. A fictionalized account of two separate missions undertaken by Mossad, the first relates the acquisition of the plans of the Iraqi bond nuclear power plant which was later bombed by the Israeli Air Force and the second part is an interpretation of the Jonathan Pollard spy scandal.

6. The Debt

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With a star-studded cast, this movie about spies should be on the top of your watch list. Without giving too much away, three Mossad agents are sent to kill a torturous Nazi doctor. The agents physical training and spy techniques will have you captivated as will the shocking ending.

7. The Fourth Protocol

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Another Cold War film, this time starring Michael Caine and Pierce Brosnan. A British Intelligence officer and a KGB officer go head to head in a battle that seemingly will never end, even to this day. While it's an older film, the themes from The Fourth Protocol are as real as they get, seeing as we might still be living in a Cold War.

8. Counterfeit Traitor

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The real-life story of Eric Erickson, a Swedish American oil executive, who between 1939 in 1945 spied for the US OSS against Nazi Germany by posing as a Nazi. Erickson targeted German synthetic oil plants and was able to go behind enemy lines and gain valuable intel. The danger of spying is tangible in Counterfeit Traitor, making is a great spy film to watch.

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