The 2017 Red Teamer’s Watch List


Several months ago we asked you what movies and shows you think red teamers should be watching. Well, we’ve finally compiled the list. As you’ll see it spans the decades and is, if anything, weighted a bit toward heist movies. Curiously enough, it also features two titles starring Martin Balsam and two starring James Garner.
      By the way, it’s not too late to contribute a title. Let us know if you want to add something to the list, and we’ll take care of it. And don’t forget to also check out the 2017 Red Teamer’s Bookshelf.

Movies (26)

36 Hours    (1964)

The Dirty Dozen    (1967)

Ender’s Game    (2013)

F for Fake    (1973)

Funeral in Berlin    (1966)

The Ghost Army    (2013)

The Hunt for Red October    (1990)

In Harm’s Way    (1965)

Jurassic Park    (1993)

Lawrence of Arabia    (1962)

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp    (1943)

The Man Who Never Was    (1956)

The Matrix    (1999)

The Maltese Falcon    (1941)

Ocean’s Eleven    (2001)

Red Cliff    (2008)

Rififi    (1955)

Romanoff and Juliet    (1961) … one scene in particular—you’ll know it when you see it.

Sink the Bismarck    (1960)

Street Thief    (2006)

Sneakers    (1992)

The Sting    (1973)

Top Secret    (1984) A Twitter user suggested that its “lightheartedness … could lead to dynamic thinking.”

Tora, Tora, Tora    (1970)

Twelve Angry Men    (1957)

The Usual Suspects    (1995)

Television Shows (11)

Babylon 5    (1994–1998)

Burn Notice    (2007–2013)

Fauda    (2015–)

Mission Impossible    (1966–1973)

The Prisoner    (1967–1968)

The Rockford Files    (1974–1980)

The Sandbaggers    (1978–1980)

Smiley’s People    (1982)

Taboo    (2017–)

Turn    (2014–)

Yes, Minister    (1980–1984)  In somewhat the same spirit as   this.


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  • Funeral In Berlin and the Prisoner probably the two best on the list. The Prisoner brings to mind the current elitism of Silicon Valley and academia. There is one mini series that is missing and that is Smiley’s People produced by the BBC sometime in the early ’80s.

    • Funeral in Berlin might be the best of Len Deighton’s Harry Palmer novels. The IPCRESS File was very good as well (and so was the movie). Smiley’s People [added] is an excellent addition.

  • The Hunt for Red October is an interesting example of thinking like the Other. I’d also add to your list The Signal and the Noise and Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era.

  • A forgotten gem of British spy shows is The Sandbaggers. Aired in the late 70s, it’s a cold war drama driven more by how the characters react to complicated, ambiguous situations than by extended action sequences. Even when field operations are happening, the viewpoint often stays in the operations center and the offices to focus on the discussions there.


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