The Culture Movies

'Jason Bourne' is one of the better entries in the series

'Jason Bourne' features the return of Matt Damon in the title role, with Tommy Lee Jones portraying a CIA director, Alicia Vikander as a CIA analyst, Julia Stiles returning as the spy's former contact, and Riz Ahmed as a Silicon Valley billionaire.

'Jason Bourne' stars Matt Damon.
Universal Pictures/AP
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  • Peter Rainer
    Film critic

It’s taken many movies for Jason Bourne to finally regain his memory, but, if “Jason Bourne” is any indication, he’s still unhappy. He probably will continue to be unhappy for as long as this franchise has a future. Since this new installment in the series is one of the better ones, it’s a good bet that Bourne’s memory issues will continue to wend their way through ever more punch-outs, sniper attacks, and skidding U-turns.

Matt Damon is once again Bourne, who is first glimpsed on the skids, bare-knuckle fighting in Greece for chump change. It’s not long before the stunning action set pieces ensue, expertly (if sometimes too busily) directed by series veteran Paul Greengrass (who co-wrote with his editor, Christopher Rouse). Before the film runs out of steam by the end, we’ve been treated to some whizzing crash-and-burn theatrics in Athens, London, and Las Vegas. The nefarious CIA director (Tommy Lee Jones, craggier than ever) wants Bourne eliminated, and his hired French assassin (Vincent Cassel, appropriately wolfish) is just the man to do it. Other welcome faces include Alicia Vikander as a CIA analyst who has a better bead on Bourne than her superiors; Julia Stiles, in a repeat appearance as the spy’s former contact; and Riz Ahmed as a Silicon Valley billionaire.

Some lip service is paid to the conflicts of global security in the Internet age, but basically “Jason Bourne” is a political thriller with politics as window dressing. Grade: B (Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief strong language.)