Before 'J. Edgar,' Catch Up With Films That Show How the FBI Really Works

More

From Mulder and Scully to the man who caught John Dillinger, five flicks get the bureau right

xfiles movie 20th century fox.jpg

20th Century Fox

Clint Eastwood officially reopens the file on J. Edgar Hoover this week with his new biopic, starring a heavily made-up Leonardo DiCaprio as the founder and longtime director of the FBI. In so doing, man/myth/legend Eastwood also launches yet another major-motion-picture investigation into federal crime-busting arcana.

But while the majority of these bureau-centric films concern agents in the field—like Silence of the Lambs' Clarice Starling, to name just one very prominent example—fewer films have offered more expansive pictures of the organization's inner workings, or hinted at its internecine rivalries and the complicated structure of its bureaucracy. Below are five worthwhile films, all readily available for rental, that give a broader glimpse of FBI operations than does the typical federal-investigation procedural.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Benjamin Mercer has written on film for The Village Voice, The New York Sun, The L Magazine, and Reverse Shot. He is a copy editor at Bookforum. More

He has also copyedited for two New York dailies: The New York Sun and amNewYork.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In