The Oscar-nominated Charlie Wilson's War hit DVD shelves today, and with that came yet another CIA agent on the big screen -- Philip Seymour Hoffman's portrayal of real-life maverick agent Gust Avrakotos. It's a role that shows that playing by your own set of CIA rules isn't just a fictional theme picked up by filmmakers. Gust (with a 'T') plays by his own rules, whether that means using bugs to listen in on Charlie Wilson's conversations, or throwing fits at his boss and smashing office windows. He's a bit unhinged, but proves to be the perfect ally for a war championed outside the normal means -- and just so happens to be perfectly played by Hoffman.

But Gust is just one of many, many CIA agents on the big screen -- ones that come from both real and fictional means. There is Dabney Coleman's Cooper in The Man with One Red Shoe, Nathan Muir and Tom Bishop in Spy Game, the retired and sneaky Jack Byrnes who is wary of the Focker family, Agent Bob Barnes in Syriana, Johnny Depp's Agent Sands in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, or wonderfully recruited men like Emmett Fitz-Hume and Austin Millbarge in Spies Like Us.

From comedy to drama, they're out there, but I ask you: Which cinematic CIA agents stand out in your mind? Are they by-the-book men, or rogue dudes like Gust who make things work on their own terms?
categories Features, Cinematical