If you're looking for a film with an air of secrecy and intrigue inspired by the best national agents the United States has to offer, we've found 5 FBI movies worth investigating. The FBI investigates fraud, forgery, smuggling, murder, terrorism and other crimes that rise to the level of the national interest. They gather information and collaborate with the Department of Justice, the CIA and local police to quell threats to the common good. If you've ever been stressed at work, feeling like the world is resting on your shoulders, watch one of these films and breathe a sigh of relief that the security of the nation is not resting on your shoulders.
Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role tells an exceptional tale.
"Mississippi Burning" As a gruesome and evocative depiction of the 1964 FBI investigation of the murders of three civil rights workers by members of the Ku Klux Klan, "Mississippi Burning" brought home the Oscar for Best Cinematography as well as nine lesser known awards during 1988, '89 and '90. By showing the clash of local to national value systems, this depiction explored not just the issues around civil rights, but a truth about the clash between local and national conceptions of law and justice. No one went to jail for these murders, raising questions in this FBI movie about whether or not this investigation resulted in justice.
"Donnie Brasco" Revealing the life of true under cover agent, Joe Pistone, who in the 1970s infiltrated the New York mob to bring them down, this FBI movie tells the true challenge of secret agents. In a mission intended to last no more than three months, Pistone spends six years building rapport with his target, ultimately feeling like he has become one of them. He beats up cheats, cuts up bodies and rats out other mobsters as only a true made-man can. You will understand why in 1981 the FBI created new guidelines for oversight of undercover activities.
"Catch Me If You Can" follows the wily actions of real-life fraudster and identity chameleon Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) as he flees across the globe, writing bad checks and taking on alternate identities while being hunted day and night by FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks). This story shows the tension of the hunt. Unlike Donnie Brasco, where the identity of the agent comes under question, "Catch Me If You Can" focuses on the criminal and his ability to constantly mold his identity to play people for thousands of dollars. This is a delightful romp with twists and turns. And what did the chase result in? The true-life Frank Abagnale Jr. now runs a firm that helps to identify and catch fraudsters doing just what he did.
"The FBI Story" This early color FBI movie shot in 1959 brings a perspective nearly from the horse's mouth. The FBI was consulted on this production and scenes were even re-shot by director Marvin LeRoy at the behest of the agency. The film purports to tell the real story of the FBI and even has scenes showing forensic analysts with evidence below the microscope that anticipate today's forensic crime dramas. With James Stewart and Vera Miles, this film boasts some of the best actors of its time.
"G' Men" Billed as "the first scorching story that ripped the underworld wide open," this FBI movie depicts the agency before agents could carry guns or make arrests. Starring James Cagney, this black and white film is another great FBI movie to show the growth of America's national security agency.