DVD Review: The Good Shepherd

Universal Home Entertainment

“Robert DeNiro is a God among men!”, some would say. I wouldn’t. I would say he is in a class of actor with very few members. (Of course Tom Green is in a class of actor with very few members. But he would be on the polar opposite of the scale from Mr. DeNiro.) It seems that Robert DeNiro would have to work very hard to deliver a bad or even ho-hum performance. I also would have to say there is not a movie of his that I have seen that I haven’t liked, though I haven’t seen Rocky and Bullwinkle. Why do I bring up Robert DeNiro? Because he directed and co-stars in The Good Shepherd.

Matt Damon plays a man who is recruited out of college into the OSS (the secret organization that spied for the allies in World War II), then is chosen to lead the development of the CIA (to “do what the OSS did during the war, but here at home.”).

The movie co-stars Angelina Jolie as his wife, John Turturro as his partner/lacky, Alec Baldwin as his FBI “friend,” William Hurt as his mentor, Michael (Dumbledore the second) Gambon as his “morally questionable” college professor (of course I mean “morally questionable” for World War II era America, now he would be no big deal). Timothy Hutton, Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci play smaller roles.

The movie itself is very good. Well made, and well acted. Matt Damon was outstanding as a stoic man of that era, showing little emotion. Having said that, this is not a movie for someone with a short attention span; you have to pay attention or you will be lost.

For extras there are only deleted scenes, which are actually pretty cool. They delve deeper into Matt Damon’s character’s marriage problems and also show an entire sub-plot that was cut out–in the movie they were able to dispose of that sub-plot with one sentence. (…Which I thought was interesting, but then I am a geek.)

So, in the words that my 11th grade composition teacher told me never to use: “in conclusion,” I would say definitely get/rent/buy/steal/borrow/On-Demand this movie.

P.S. Robert DeNiro is a God among men!

Randy Otteson