Privacy SOS

Ten surveillance and spy themed movies to watch over the holidays

Here are some great (and pretty good) surveillance-themed movies to watch over the holidays, as well as links to watch them online. Creepy entertainment is just a click away. The summaries, in quotes, come from IMDB. Enjoy, and happy holidays.

Barbara

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2012, directed by Christian Petzold: "A doctor working in 1980s East Germany finds herself banished to a small country hospital."

Watch on Netflix.


The Parallax View

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1974, directed by Alan Pakula: "An ambitious reporter gets in way-over-his-head trouble while investigating a senator's assassination which leads to a vast conspiracy involving a multinational corporation behind every event in the worlds headlines."

Watch on Amazon Prime, other places.


The Lives of Others

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2006, directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck: "In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives."

You can watch the entire movie — in excellent quality — on YouTube. Click the CC to turn the English subtitles on.


The Conversation

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1974, directed by Francis Ford Coppola: "A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered."

Watch on Amazon, Netflix, or elsewhere.


The Spook Who Sat by the Door

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1973, directed by Ivan Dixon: "A black man plays Uncle Tom in order to gain access to CIA training, then uses that knowledge to plot a new American Revolution."

Watch on YouTube.


Equilibrium

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2002, directed by Kurt Wimmer: "In a Fascist future where all forms of feeling are illegal, a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system."

Watch on Google Play, elsewhere.


Infernal Affairs

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2002, directed by Wai-keung Lau, Alan Mak: "A story between a mole in the police department and an undercover cop. Their objectives are the same: to find out who is the mole, and who is the cop."

Watch on Google Play, elsewhere.


The President's Analyst

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1967, directed by Theodore Flicker: "At first, Dr. Sidney Schaefer feels honored and thrilled to be offered the job of the President's Analyst. But then the stress of the job and the paranoid spies that come with a sensitive government position get to him, and he runs away. Now spies from all over the world are after him, either to get him for their own side or to kill him and prevent someone else from getting him."

Watch online.


Enemy of the State

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1998, directed by Tony Scott: "A lawyer becomes a target by a corrupt politician and his NSA goons when he accidentally receives key evidence to a serious politically motivated crime."

Watch on YouTube.


The State Within

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Ok, so this 2006 BBC miniseries isn't a movie — but it's excellent and full of intrigue and corruption at the highest levels of government. The story follows the British ambassador to the United States as he slowly discovers a powerful conspiracy around him. It's great television, and you can watch it streaming on Netflix.


And then, of course, there are the classics you've probably already seen: Blade Runner, Brazil, and 1984. Finally, the BBC miniseries State of Play is a great thriller. Happy viewing!

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