"...The spooks are spooked. Not by anything that foreign enemies might do to America – but by what our CIA spooks and their political overseers did to America...."
"...Last week I had the pleasure of attending the fifth annual Latin Flavors, American Kitchens Symposium hosted by CIA, San Antonio. The purpose of these three-day gatherings is to expose American chefs, purveyors, and foodservice executives to traditional cuisines of Latin America, presented by innovative visiting chefs who work within those cuisines...."
"...legal system. But the worst task Bush leaves behind may be figuring out what to do with detainees seized in the war on terror still being waged in CIA-run "black sites." "There's a public debate about the efficacy and legality and morality of torture," said ACLU lawyer Ben Wizner when he was in Austin last week..."
"...The Central Intelligence Agency wants to do a better job of educating students about the exciting career opportunities it has to offer. "The CIA wants to change its image," said Grant Jones, a University of Texas finance major..."
"...Dear Editor, The CIA documents released yesterday may not have revealed much that is new, but they provide a good opportunity to watch, once again, how the corporate news media conveniently miss the point. CNN, NPR, and the rest talked on and on about Castro and poison pills. Hello? The point is that the CIA is hand-in-glove with the Mafia! The CIA used Mafia guys to try and make the hit on Castro..."
"...In addition to chef-training programs, the CIA in San Antonio offers periodic hands-on classes – some for culinary professionals and some for amateur "food enthusiasts" – that cover various facets of Latin American cooking. While not exactly the same as taking lessons in Mexico or Peru, these classes are the real deal, and they're practically in the neighborhood...."
"...While the fact that the client was the CIA raised eyebrows, where the class got tangled up was in UT "human subjects" policies, which require institutional approval for any research projects regarding people. These policies would apply whether the client seeking marketing data were Coca-Cola, Urban Outfitters, Greenpeace, or anyone else..."
"...Dear Editor, The CIA delivered a report to the president in July outlining how the war could go in the future. Reportedly, a range of possibilities was described. Now, representatives of both parties – despite election-year battling – want the report released..."
"...CIA's Marketplace ... Products & Recipes from the Campus Store at Greystone888/424-CHEF (2433), Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm PST; Sat-Sun, 10am-5pm PST..."
"...Directed by: Paul Greengrass. Starring: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Julia Stiles, Vincent Cassel, Riz Ahmed, Ato Essandoh, Scott Shepherd, Bill Camp, Vinzenz Kiefer, Stephen Kunken and Gregg Henry...."
"...Dewhurst himself wasn't quite so vague. The day before Perry announced the appointment (rumored to be a reward for Dewhurst staying out of the GOP Senate race against AG John Cornyn), Dewhurst tipped the Houston Chronicle, adding that (as the Chronicle put it) he had "some experience with terrorists as a CIA agent in South America in the early 1970s." The reporters weren't quick enough to ask: Was that experience with terrorists on behalf of terrorism, or against it?Our Bolivian Friends Just in case you've lost your handy itemized list of CIA-backed insurrections in South America, in 1971 -- when David Dewhurst was (as he told me this week) "a 26-year-old CIA case officer assigned to the U.S..."
"...Company Man purports to tell the real story behind the events leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis, a historical landmark not often noted as a comedy gold mine. In Askin and McGrath's script, the CIA's disastrous attempts to oust upstart Fidel Castro (LaPaglia) take all manner of bizarre forms (many of them drawn from real life, believe it or not): i.e., sneaking a depilatory into the leader's shampoo, sending him a box of poisoned cigars, poisoning him with arsenic-laced fountain pens..."
"...David Guggenheim's script takes its sweet time laying out the story, so much so that for the first 30 minutes or so you'll likely wonder what exactly is going on here. Suffice it to say, CIA spook films have apparently come back into vogue, and this is one of the better ones of late, maybe the best..."
"...American Assassin aims to be the first film in a new action franchise based on the popular Vince Flynn novels about Mitch Rapp, the clandestine CIA superagent who is known to be the worst nightmare of terrorists everywhere. The book series is beloved by ex-presidents and frequent fliers alike..."
"...Following the terrific notice Affleck received for writing and directing Gone Baby Gone and The Town, this third feature fully proves that the filmmaker knows what he is doing and that the previous two films were no lucky flukes. In fact, Argo, in which Affleck stars as Latino CIA operative Tony Mendez, may finally reveal that his talents are best expressed behind the camera rather than in front of it..."
"...Starring: Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, John Turturro, Alec Baldwin, William Hurt, Billy Crudup, Joe Pesci, Michael Gambon, Keir Dullea, Tammy Blanchard, Gabriel Macht, Timothy Hutton and Robert De Niro. Damon here abandons the cat-and-mouse theatrics of his Bourne identity to play Edward Wilson, the reserved fictional functionary whose life serves as the prism through which The Good Shepherd examines the early years of the CIA..."
"...The pleasure of watching two alpha males – Al Pacino and Colin Farrell – circling each other mano a mano substantially beefs up this otherwise routine spy thriller. The electricity they incite – along with no-slouch-herself co-star Bridget Moynahan – goes a long way toward making this celluloid CIA operation a fairly fun ride for the viewer..."
"...The attempt to make a politically passionate Hollywood movie is to be admired; it's just that the outcome in this case is likely to be one of mild consternation and easy dismissal due to the film's overreliance on stereotypes and diffuse melodrama. Gyllenhaal plays a CIA analyst portentously named Douglas Freeman, who becomes the U.S..."
"...Starring: Sam Rockwell, George Clooney, Rutger Hauer, Julia Roberts and Drew Barrymore. You wouldn't know it from the television ad campaign, which makes Confessions of a Dangerous Mind look like some sort of weird, CIA-assassin vehicle, but the story, from a script by professional oddball Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich) revolves around the minor-league, legend-in-his-own-mind television provocateur Chuck Barris..."
"...Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson. Starring: Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, James Cromwell, Liev Schreiber, Alan Bates, Philip Baker Hall, Ron Rifkin, Ciaran Hinds and Bridget Moynahan..."
"...Guatemala's first real film produced by the country's fledgling movie industry is an odd blend of the fantastic and the all-too-real that, although critically praised and the recipient of several festival prizes, never seems able to decide what it wants to be: a history lesson for the world at large or a period parable focusing on the destruction of innocence by an uncomprehending adult world. Set in 1954 Guatemala, the story revolves around 11-year-old Neto (Almengor), a young asthmatic who finds himself caught up in familial trials as well as the slow destruction of normal Guatemalan life by the encroaching CIA..."
"...That Dutchman is a twitchy hacker (Pitt) looking to sell a program that can control the U.S.’s entire missile arsenal. A dead CIA agent is the only person who knew the Dutchman’s whereabouts, so in a Hail-Mary, experimental-procedure pass, the agent’s memories are transferred to the brain of a bad motherfucker named Jericho Stewart (Costner)..."
"...It would be far too easy to draw the parallel of Bad Company = bad movie, but the film is really not so much bad as bland. The story borrows a standard-issue “twin brother whom you never knew you had” plot device as its means of roping Jake Hayes (Rock), a low-level street hustler of chess games and premium ticket sales, into going undercover for the CIA as a stand-in for his killed-in-the-line-of-duty brother Kevin Pope..."
"...The question is: where does that leave the old spy guys? The answer: in less of an espionage thriller than a modern buddy caper. An over-the-hill CIA operative (Hackman) is now reduced to piddling corporate espionage..."
"...Directed by: Francis Lawrence. Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Jeremy Irons, Mary-Louise Parker, Joely Richardson, Ciarán Hinds, Sasha Frolova and Sakina Jaffrey...."
"...Government’s all-seeing, all-surveilling extra-legal wizardry back in 2013. It seems like ages, does it not, since the young CIA employee and Booz Allen Hamilton contractor’s alarming revelations of illicit homeland spycraft were revealed in concert by UK newspaper The Guardian and The Washington Post (and soon after by Der Spiegel and The New York Times)..."
"...Who doesn’t love a great conspiracy theory? Whether it’s 9/11 being an inside job (probably not), or the CIA dumping narcotics into the ghetto to keep minorities in check (probably so), the proliferation of paranoia ranges from cocktail-party pastime to outright lifestyle choice. One of those perennials, that filmmaker Stanley Kubrick staged the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing in an England studio (see Rodney Ascher’s film essay Room 237 for homework), gets woven into a stoner-comedy framework with Moonwalkers, a film that debuted at South by Southwest Film 2015, and is just now getting a limited release...."
"...The Paul Feig/Melissa McCarthy comedy onslaught that began with Bridesmaids continues to crush everything in its path with this femme-centric parody of James Bond and Mission: Impossible-like hijinks. McCarthy gets top billing this time out, and although her Walter Mitty-esque, CIA analyst-cum-inadvertent superspy feels somewhat less brazenly comedic than her previous outings, there are enough laugh-out-loud moments to make this one of the better yuk-fests of the early summer movie season...."
"...Writers Adam Cozad and David Koepp plod through the lengthy opening, which reframes economics whiz Ryan as a post-9/11 enlistee in the Marines, who is eventually tapped to be an analyst for the CIA and work undercover on Wall Street. Because this is not Jack Ryan: Compliance Officer, the film finds a way to get Ryan out from behind the desk and off on assignment in Russia to investigate a hunch about an impending attack...."
"...Starring: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Sam Shepard, Noah Emmerich, Bruce McGill, David Andrews and Ty Burrell. Were it not for the fact that Sean Penn and Naomi Watts turn in a pair of top-notch performances as columnist/politico Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, a covert CIA field operative, Fair Game would have all the gripping suspense of an Urdu 101 class at Langley..."
"...Attorney General, former Texas Secretary of State and former board director for the State Bar of Texas Alberto Gonzales. Last week the Senate Armed Services Committee put him firmly in the legal decision making process that somehow made torture OK: Now Congressional inquiries are circling around Gonzo about how CIA intelligence was abused in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq...."
"...is nothing if not hellish. John Cusack, who co-wrote the screenplay with Mark Leyner and Jeremy Pikser (Bulworth), plays Brand Hauser, an ex-CIA assassin with an addiction to hot sauce and a streak of comic nihilism so bleak it might have been shorn from Anton Chigurh's hairdo..."
"...As the movie opens, we are given statistics that ominously announce that throughout Latin America one kidnapping occurs every 60 minutes and that 70% of the victims do not survive. Washington delivers another finely nuanced perormance as John Creasy, an alcoholic ex-CIA assassin, who, for lack of anything better to do, comes to visit his old colleague Rayburn (Walken), who has since married and retired from the business of killing..."
"...The movie even has its own Q, the gadget master of the Bond movies, though the reference is likely to be lost on the PG crowd. The addition of comic actor Anthony Anderson as Cody’s CIA sidekick adds to the film’s pacing, but his performance is uncomfortably close to minstrelry as he vamps as an overweight agent on probation and exiled to London..."
"...This accounting of the events occurring between 1978 and 1986 leading up to the Iran-Contra affair may sound historically snoozy – Oliver North, the Tower Commission, and Ronald Reagan’s morning in America – but in director Doug Liman’s hands it becomes a four to the floor, sky-high action comedy that never lets up until the end, wherein the apparent random puzzle pieces come together to create a bona fide American scandal. Liman’s always had a deft hand at creating multilayered tension shot through with absurdist touches (Go, Jumper), and here he returns with his Edge of Tomorrow star Cruise, who pulls off a socially sleazy and not all that bright role of Barry Seal, a gung-ho TWA pilot who runs a sideline smuggling Cuban cigars in the back of the cockpit..."
"...The plot, whose screenplay by Kurt Johnstad is based on Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s graphic novel The Coldest City, is convoluted enough to remain just out of complete grasp but not interesting enough to bother connecting all the dots. The story unfolds as Lorraine is debriefed by her MI6 superior (Jones) and a CIA official (Goodman) about the events of the previous 10 days during which she tangled with the ambiguously aligned Berlin Bureau Chief David Percival (McAvoy), an East German Stasi spy (Marsan) who has the prized list of operatives stored in his head, and the French agent Delphine Lasalle (Boutella), whose political alignments are also ambiguous even if her sexual interest in Lorraine is not..."
"...The stars in question are Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, two celebrities on such a rise that I'm pretty sure this film was greenlit without a script. But here it is anyway: Hart plays Calvin, an accountant who peaked in high school and is now living a boring existence until he's contacted through social media by fellow student Bob (Johnson), who was once the target of endless bullying because of his weight, and now, well, is the Rock, a badass CIA agent..."
"...Eisenberg is surprisingly well-cast in this less-than-serious role, and he uses his shaggy mane and mumbled dialogue to fine effect as Mike, a perpetually buzzed nebbish who suffers from crippling panic attacks and assorted neuroses alongside his long-suffering, co-stoner better half, Phoebe (Stewart). No spoiler here: Turns out Mike’s actually an amnesiac, deep-cover experimental death machine for the CIA – but not an actual Terminator, as he relentlessly worries..."
"...Directed by: Guy Ritchie. Starring: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Luca Calvani, Hugh Grant and Jared Harris...."
"...Just as Charles Bronson reluctantly saddled up for increasingly belabored Death Wish sequels well into his 70s, Taken 3 wheezes by with an inescapable sense of fatigue as Neeson enters his 60s. Having been framed for the murder of his ex-wife (Janssen), retired CIA operative Bryan Mills demonstrates a very familiar set of skills as his good name is taken for a change..."
"...The Interview, a bromance starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, is one for the history books; film historians and culture commentators will be poring over this film and its attendant fallout for quite some time to come. They’ll talk about the international incident it sparked; a corporation brought low by malicious hacking; a United States president stepping into the business affairs of Hollywood; the meek voices of Hollywood trade associations like NATO and the MPAA; the unprecedented release of a major studio film through a day-and-date release pattern, placing it in theatres and online simultaneously; the endless parade of posturing and blame-shifting by numerous players; the hue and cry of Americans of all stripes angry about being told what they can and can’t watch; and the Art House Convergence, the national association of independent movie theatres that petitioned Sony to show the movie despite the studio's previous declaration of a complete cancellation of the release..."
"...Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lucas Hedges, Michael K. Williams, Tim Blake Nelson, Paz Vega, Michael Sheen, Oliver Platt, Andy Garcia, Yul Vazquez, Dan Futterman, Richard Schiff and Ray Liotta...."
"...The November Man also benefits from a certain topicality since the backdrop that sets the story’s action into motion is the execution of all the former cohorts of Arkady Federov (Ristovski), the man who is about to become the new president of Russia. Bodies and secrets are scattered over Eastern Europe when the erstwhile CIA operative Peter Devereaux (Brosnan) is called back into action by his former handler (the wonderful character actor Bill Smitrovich)..."
"...The third entry in this franchise is as monotonous and forgettable as its drab and prophecy-fulfilling title seems to indicate. Sylvester Stallone is still at the helm of the mercenary black-ops crew hired by the CIA, but although he directed the first scrappy entry in this franchise and had a hand in co-writing all three, Stallone is outgunned by a flotilla of aging action stars and newby reinforcements in this scattershot configuration..."
"...It seems that CIA stooge Harold Attinger (Grammer) has formed a black-ops mission to eliminate Autobots and Decepticons alike, working in league with intergalactic bounty hunter Lockdown (voiced by Mark Ryan) and biotech giant Joshua Joyce (Tucci) to rid our planet of its alien threat. Harboring this otherworldly fugitive consequently puts Cade, Tessa, and secret boyfriend Shane (Reynor) right in the thick of danger...."
"...I couldn’t say whether 2010’s Red, based loosely on a mid-Nineties title from DC Comics, was as bone-crunchingly and brain-numbingly assaultive as its follow-up; I saw the first film sanitized and buffered by commercial breaks on TNT. It played like the kind of action-comedy my parents could get behind – a geezer Bourne movie meets Ocean’s 5 – or 6, maybe 4: It’s hard to keep the count straight, as the series’ clique of retired assassins expands and contracts depending on which way the international spy network winds are blowing and who feels like double-crossing or faking a death on that particular day..."
"...As a cinematic experience, Zero Dark Thirty can be downright punishing – a word not chosen lightly, given that U.S.-sanctioned torture figures prominently here and has been courting controversy since even before the film’s release. Some critics have wagged that Zero Dark Thirty is pro-torture, while other government officials have complained that the film oversells the efficacy of the enhanced interrogation techniques that for many came to define the Bush era..."
"...Cavill is Will Shaw, who, while on a sailing vacation in Spain with his family, including dad Martin (Willis) and mom Laurie (Goodall), finds himself pursued by persons unknown after he returns from shore to the family yacht, only to find it mysteriously abandoned. The local cops are no help, but that doesn't matter because Martin soon reappears with the (not very) startling revelation that he's a CIA operative and terrorists have kidnapped his kith and kin..."
"...spy comedy thriller. As one half – the horndog, seductively badass part, natch – of a CIA counter-something-or-other team, Pine plays his character in exactly the same way you'd expect Shatner would were he not currently age-inappropriate..."
"...Nathan flees with his project partner Karen (Collins) and continues to evade the killers throughout the film. Questionable help and explanations come in the form of a CIA chief (Molina) and Nathan’s psychiatrist, Dr..."