(In theaters, December 2001) With the end of the Cold War, it had been a while since the last espionage film, and so Spy Game arrives onscreen with perhaps a touch of nostalgia. Taking place over a period of twenty-odd years (from 1973 to 1991, which is when the movie is set), Spy Game tries to focus on the nitty-gritty of “real” spycraft while adding a touch of excitement. The film works best when grounded in realism; by the time the expected spy romance pops up and the resident spymaster can bankroll a special operation deep behind enemy lines, well, the real world is forgotten. It’s directed in a somewhat inconsistent fashion, with color schemes clearly branding each of the story’s four eras. The recruitment section is the most interesting, but it doesn’t last long. At least Brad Pitt and Robert Redford get the chance to exhibit why there’s more to them than just being pretty-boy types. Spy Game manages to be a good spy thriller without being much more than that. There are a few trade tricks and sequences, but the episodic structure of the film conspires a bit against the pacing and the end impression isn’t as dynamic as one could wish. Still, a solid film.