The Ten Greatest Fictional Secret Agents of All-Time

Secret Agent Week

The movies this week are getting everyone to look over their shoulders. Not only are we afraid the Guru Pitka is stalking us, but we’re also getting paranoid that some secret agent is going to swoop down and shoot us in the head.

Well, maybe that’s just me. But it got me thinking of secret agents, ‘cause they’re just so cool in the movies. So here’s my picks for my favorite secret agents from film (and a few from TV because their level of cool was just too much to ignore).

Flame on!

Xander Cage from xXx

10. Xander Cage from xXx

I don’t care how many movies like The Pacifier he makes, Vin Diesel is one cool badass. And as the edgy secret agent for Generation X, he definitely made his mark. But please note that this doesn’t include Ice Cube from the lame sequel.


Derek Flint from Our Man Flint and In Like Flint

9. Derek Flint from Our Man Flint and In Like Flint

These films are so steeped in the 60s, they’re barely understandable, but they are a product of an era. As early spoofs of the James Bond films, they had their place, and they also inspired Mike Myers to create the Austin Powers character.


Nikita Taylor from La Femme Nikita

8. Nikita Taylor from La Femme Nikita

I’ll give a special nod to the French original, but I also dearly loved Bridget Fonda in the American remake (even if the movie itself was just okay), and Peta Wilson on TV was ultra-hot, paving the way for other modern secret agents from the not-so-weaker sex.


Carmen and Juni Cortez from the Spy Kids series

7. Carmen and Juni Cortez from the Spy Kids series

What can be cooler than kids that are secret agents? Sure, in the lukewarm Agent Cody Banks, Frankie Muniz proved that even he could make the spy game dorky, but Robert Rodriguez took two young pups and made them into some of the coolest kid secret agents imaginable.


Austin Powers from the Austin Powers series

6. Austin Powers from the Austin Powers series

Okay, he’s creeping everyone out as the Guru Pitka, but Mike Myers created the ultimate secret agent spoof when he made the Austin Powers series. Utterly quotable and unbelievably funny, these movies turned the genre on its ear.


Maxwell Smart from Get Smart

5. Maxwell Smart from Get Smart

We have yet to see if the feature film version of Get Smart is going to resonate with audiences, but the classic television show was memorable enough to land Agent 86 on our list.


Sydney Bristow from Alias

4. Sydney Bristow from Alias

Here’s to the series that made Jennifer Garner’s career. And here’s to the character that reminded us that you can look sleek and sexy even though you’re kicking butt in the game of international espionage. Not only was it a good action show, but Sydney Bristow wore about an outfit for almost every fetish imaginable.


Jason Bourne from the Bourne series

3. Jason Bourne from the Bourne series

He can kill a person with a book! What more could you want?


James Bond from the James Bond films

2. James Bond from the James Bond films

What list of secret agents would be complete without James Bond? Pick your favorite actor, but we’re going to give the biggest nod to Sean Connery for creating the role. With more than 20 films under the character’s belt, the series has persevered to this day, and I can’t wait for the next film, dorky title or not.


Jack Bauer from 24

1. Jack Bauer from 24

Jack Bauer is the ultimate secret agent because he refuses to play by the rules, has no qualms about torturing anyone he wants and manages to go rogue at least twice a day. He’s not going to top everyone’s list, but I’m just too scared of him to leave him out of the #1 spot.


Honorable Mention

Ethan Hunt from Mission: Impossible

Oh, if only it wasn’t Tom Cruise who brought the role to the big screen. Bring back the spirit of the old TV show, and the whole team would have made the list.

Want to make your own opinion heard? Vote in our poll and decide who is The Greatest Fictional Secret Agent of All-Time.

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Kevin Carr crawled from the primordial ooze in the early 1970s. He grew up watching movies to the point of irritation for his friends and was a font of useless movie knowledge until he decided to put that knowledge to good use. Now, Kevin is a nationally syndicated critic, heard on dozens of radio stations around the country, and his reviews appear in a variety of online outlets. Kevin is also a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA).

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