RANKED! The 8 Best Spy Movie Duos
Photo: 20th Century Fox.
The Spy Who Dumped Me may not smash the box office, but it is a feel-good movie thanks in large part to the favorite comedy duo Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon. The leading ladies have instant onscreen chemistry and deliver big on the laughs. It’s a perfect two-hour escape movie. Here are our picks for more best spy movie duos over the years.
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8. Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes (The Avengers)
You have to see The Avengers simply because sometimes ridiculously bad is as entertaining as ridiculously good. The spy duo of Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes is what makes this film worth a watch.
7. Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint (North by Northwest)
In the 1959 Alfred Hitchcock classic thriller North by Northwest, Cary Grant plays a man who is mistaken for a spy and has to go on the run. Eva Marie Saint plays a real spy who rescues him as the two escape from international spies and government agents. Through twists and turns, the duo ends up falling in love; fitting, since audiences and critics alike fell in love with the pair and their story, helping the movie to be recognized as one of the top 50 greatest American films ever.
6. Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.)
The main reason you’ll enjoy The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is because of Henry Cavill’s and Armie Hammer’s performances. Not only did the enemies-to-colleagues-to-friends trope play out like clockwork onscreen, the actors carried on a bromance off-screen that made their spy shenanigans and work-in-progress relationship even more believable.
5. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Mr. and Mrs. Smith)
Back when Brangelina was still a thing, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie applied their real-life chemistry to the big screen in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Out of all of the romantic spy duos, they certainly earn a top spot, not necessarily for the romance but because the formerly married couple was fire onscreen. You believed why the two characters would want to kill each other, and at the same time, why they loved each other.
4. Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, and Jason Statham (Spy)
OK, so this isn’t a pair but a trio, but Melissa McCarthy’s scenes with unexpected Spy partners Jude Law and Jason Statham are too much fun to pick one favorite pair over the other. How can you not love seeing Statham, the badass action star, as a bumbling spy? Or Law, who is only slightly more competent (see: the scene where he sneezes and shoots the dude in the head) charm his way through the spy world? While the two guys are on opposite ends of the personality spectrum in the movie, McCarthy finds a balance between them to become the hilarious heroine we know and love. Even though all three actors don’t have many scenes together, they create a spy trifecta of hilarity and sometimes dumbassery that makes them a favorite spy trio.
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3. Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol)
Sometimes a spy is only as good as his team, and bringing Jeremy Renner in to star as William Brandt opposite Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt was a breath of fresh air in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Not only do the actors play well off each other, but these guys both know how to deliver on the action and subtle humor expected from the Mission: Impossible franchise. The two can go toe-to-toe and just as easily fall into a perfect spy unit once their differences are put aside.
2. Daniel Craig and Judi Dench (Skyfall)
Daniel Craig’s Bond alongside Judi Dench’s M are a sophisticated and dynamic duo that help make Skyfall the most personal James Bond installment yet. While we don’t get to see too many scenes of the pair together, their relationship is peeled back in layers that reveal vulnerabilities of these two established characters. Skyfall is full of the usual impressive action shots and sleek comic timing, but this particular duo tests their loyalty to one another and comes face-to-face with Javier Bardem’s villainous character, making this a standout spy movie.
1. Taron Egerton and Colin Firth (Kingsman: The Secret Service)
Placing Kingsman: The Secret Services’ Taron Egerton and Colin Firth in the top spot was an easy choice. The uniquely violent and innovative fight sequences are obviously a popular aspect of the film, but the relationship between spy mentor Harry and his Padawan Eggsy is where you find the heart in a wild movie like Kingsman. Add the relationship, humor, and the symbiotic charm between the spy duo on top of the sometimes ridiculous — but always fun — action, and you are left with a very bloody good spy movie and memorable pairing.