21 Best Hollywood Spy Movies of All Time You Must Watch

Spy thriller films are often enchanting and there’s no way you will take your eyes off the screen even for a split second.

The main element behind the success of a spy film is the precision during the mission, the agency set up, and more importantly the wit of the main spy in the film. If you follow this genre, you will observe that the quality of Hollywood Spy Thrillers is raised to a whole new level with superb graphics and special effects.

While the earlier Best Hollywood Spy films relied too much on the dialogues and hand combats, the modern day Spy Thriller Movies depend on the use of technology and the number of gadgets used by the spy.

Best Hollywood Spy Thriller Movies of All Time

Over the years, Hollywood has delivered many spy thriller Movies. The popularity and the captivating feature of many of these films turned them into big franchise today.

Today, we wait for most spy thriller movies to watch James Bond, Ethan Hunt, Jason Bourne, and others in action. Their extravagant lifestyle, duel with death, and brilliant action stunts encourage you to become a spy.

So, if you are eager to experience such an adventurous and secretive lifestyle but don’t want to risk your life; then begin watching the following secret agents spy thriller Movies one by one.

Bond Series

Bond films Best Hollywood Spy Movies

There’s no way I can begin this list without mentioning the Bond film series. Based on Ian Fleming’s novels, the films in Bond series revolves around James Bond, an MI6 agent. Although the central character is portrayed by different actors throughout the series, the theme of the film and the character traits remain constant throughout the series.

Only recently, Daniel Craig as James Bond turned out to be a bit different from the rest. Current James Bond is more agile, hardcore, and lives on the edge all the time. At the time of writing this article, a total of 24 films have been produced in the Bond series and six actors have played the central character of James Bond. The 25th film in the series titled Bond 25 scheduled for a 2019 release with Daniel Craig reprising his role as Agent 007.

Mission Impossible Series

Mission Impossible series tom cruise

The next in line in this list of secret agents Spy thriller Hollywood films is the MI or shall I say Mission: Impossible film series. The film series is based on the TV series of the same name that aired for 7 seasons between 1966 and 1973. The film follows an IMF team led by Ethan Hunt who is tasked with impossible missions.

While the TV series emphasize on the ensemble cast, the Mission: Impossible film series revolves around Ethan Hunt. A total of 5 films are released in the series with a 6th film titled Mission: Impossible – Fallout scheduled for a release in July 2018.

Bourne Series

Bourne identity and bourne series on identity theft

Unlike the Bond and Mission: Impossible film series, the Bourne series tells the story of a CIA assassin who takes on the CIA after discovering their programs that turn men into assassins with no memories of the past. The film series is actually based on the lead character Jason Bourne created by Robert Ludlum in his Bourne novel series.

The first three films in the series are based on the Robert Ludlum’s novel of the same name. Matt Damon plays Jason Bourne and featured in 4 movies out of 5 in the Bourne series. The 4th film features Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross, a trained CIA assassin who eventually gets in trouble following Jason Bourne’s actions in the third film.

The 39 Steps (1935)

The 39 Steps best Hollywood spy movies of all time

Loosely based on the adventure novel The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan, the 1935 film The 39 Steps tells the story of an ordinary London civilian who finds himself in the middle of a spy mission after he is accused of killing a counter-espionage agent.

While on the run with an attractive woman, the man must prove his innocence and prevent the 39 steps, a spy organization, from stealing British military secrets. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the film features Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll in the lead roles.

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

bridge on river kwai

Directed by David Lean, the 1957 British-American epic war film Based on World War 2. The Bridge on the River Kwai is a fictional episode under the setting of the historical construction of the Burma Railway in 1942-43.

Featuring William Holden, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guinness, and Sessue Hayakawa in pivotal roles, the film is based on Pierre Boulle’s 1952 novel titled Le Pont de la Riviere Kwai.

Spy Game (2001)

Spy Game best Hollywood spy thrillers

Featuring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt as CIA agents, the 2001 American spy film Spy Game follows a rescue mission led by a veteran CIA executive to save his own recruit and once a friend.

Directed by Tony Scott, the film basically tackles the bureaucracy that prevails in the large Intelligence Agencies across the globe like CIA. The film is less action-packed but contains a lot of thriller moments during the rescue operation.

Munich (2005)

Munich best Hollywood spy movies of all time

The 2005 historical drama Munich is based on the book Vengeance written by George Jonas who accounts the details of the coveted Israeli assassination campaign under the codename Operation Wrath of God.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film features Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Ciaran Hinds, Mathieu Kassovitz, and Hanns Zischler as the team unofficially assigned with the task of eliminating the eleven Palestinian terrorists involved in Munich Massacre at 1972 Summer Olympics.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy best detective and spy films of all time

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 2011 spy film based on the novel of the same name penned by John le Carre. The film follows a secret mission led by the British secret service to find a mole at the top of their agency who is actually a Soviet double agent.

Directed by Tomas Alfredson, the film features an ensemble cast of Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciaran Hinds and David Dencik.

Ronin (1998)

Ronin best spy thrillers movies of all timeRonin best spy thrillers movies of all time

Directed by John Frankenheimer, Ronin is an American action spy thriller film featuring Robert De Niro in the lead role. The 1998 film follows a mission led by ex-special operatives to steal a huge metal briefcase from a heavily armed convoy.

The film is famous for its amazing and realistic car chase sequences and the complicated plot where the real mission is unveiled.

Kingsman Series

Kingsman film series on spy and detectivesKingsman film series on spy and detectives

Kingsman film series is a spy action-comedy series featuring a British secret service agency known as Kingsman. Only two films are released in the series till date with untitled third film in production.

The first film basically introduces the characters and follows the recruit and training of Eggsy Unwin, a street unemployed boy. Kingsman film series is based on the comic book series titled The Secret Service created by Scottish writer Mark Millar and English writer Dave Gibbons.

Rajeesh Nair is a true Gizmofreak and an addictive movie buff. He blogs at LifeBlender.com – a lifestyle Blogzine which focuses on general life related topics of the 21st Century.