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The Best Spy Movies and TV Shows on The Criterion Channel

Finding a good Spy movie and TV show to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Spy movies and TV shows of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.

VIEW: best
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1. The Lives of Others

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo93%
Reelgood Logo
94/100
Released: 2006Rated: R
Drama, Thriller

What it's about: A tragic love story set in East Berlin with the backdrop of an undercover Stasi controlled culture. Stasi captain Wieler is ordered to follow author Dreyman and plunges deeper and deeper into his life until he reaches the threshold of doubting the system.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Netflix & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 8 services (iTunes, Google Play & 6 others).

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2. The Conversation

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo98%
Reelgood Logo
86/100
Released: 1974Rated: PG
Thriller, Drama

What it's about: Surveillance expert Harry Caul is hired by a mysterious client's brusque aide to tail a young couple. Tracking the pair through San Francisco's Union Square, Caul and his associate Stan manage to record a cryptic conversation between them. Tormented by memories of a previous case that ended badly, Caul becomes obsessed with the resulting tape, trying to determine if the couple are in danger.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Vudu), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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3. The 39 Steps

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo96%
Reelgood Logo
84/100
Released: 1935
Mystery, Thriller

What it's about: Richard Hannay stumbles upon a conspiracy that thrusts him into a hectic chase across the Scottish moors—a chase in which he is both the pursuer and the pursued—as well as into an unexpected romance with the cool Pamela.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (SnagFilms), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, FilmBox & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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4. Ivan's Childhood

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 1962Rated: R
Drama, Independent

What it's about: Poetic journey through the shards and shadows of one boy's war-ravaged youth.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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5. Army of Shadows

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo97%
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 1969
Drama

What it's about: Betrayed by an informant, Philippe Gerbier finds himself trapped in a torturous Nazi prison camp. Though Gerbier escapes to rejoin the Resistance in occupied Marseilles, France, and exacts his revenge on the informant, he must continue a quiet, seemingly endless battle against the Nazis in an atmosphere of tension, paranoia and distrust.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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6. Foreign Correspondent

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo94%
Reelgood Logo
75/100
Released: 1940
Romance, Thriller

What it's about: The European war was only beginning to erupt across national borders. Johnny Jones, an American crime reporter dispatched by his New York publisher to put a fresh spin on the drowsy dispatches emanating from overseas, has a nose for a good story—which promptly leads him to the crime of fascism and Nazi Germany's designs on European conquest. In attempting to learn more about a seemingly noble peace effort, Jones walks into the middle of an assassination, uncovers a spy ring and—not entirely coincidentally—falls in love.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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7. The Lady Vanishes

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
66/100
Released: 1938
Comedy, Mystery

What it's about: On a train headed for England a group of travelers is delayed by an avalanche. Holed up in a hotel in a fictional European country, young Iris befriends elderly Miss Froy. When the train resumes, Iris suffers a bout of unconsciousness and wakes to find the old woman has disappeared. The other passengers ominously deny Miss Froy ever existed, so Iris begins to investigate with another traveler and, as the pair sleuth, romantic sparks fly.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (SnagFilms), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, Starz & The Criterion Channel), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Starz) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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8. Hopscotch

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo71%
Reelgood Logo
64/100
Released: 1980Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Comedy

What it's about: When CIA operative Miles Kendig deliberately lets KGB agent Yaskov get away, his boss threatens to retire him. Kendig beats him to it, however, destroying his own records and traveling to Austria where he begins work on a memoir that will expose all his former agency's covert practices. The CIA catches wind of the book and sends other agents after him, initiating a frenetic game of cat and mouse that spans the globe.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (Shout Factory TV, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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9. Q Planes

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
45/100
Released: 1939
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: An eccentric Scotland Yard inspector thinks something beamed from a spy ship is dropping planes.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $0.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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10. Ironfinger

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
35/100
Released: 1965
Action & Adventure, Comedy

What it's about: After being mistaken for an Interpol agent, a man who was just supposed to go on vacation gets mixed up in a war between two gangs intent on winning the favor of a notorious arms dealer.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).