The movie centers around Edward Wilson (Matt Damon) who is one of the key figures in creating the CIA. The movie opens up in 1961 right before "The Bay Of Pigs" fiasco in Cuba. The momentum of the movie is derived from Wilson's attempts to figure out how intelligence information about the Cuba invasion was leaked, while flashbacks of his life give depth to his relationships and actions. The flashbacks begin when Wilson was a student at Yale University and take us through his life to to the point where the movie starts, involving family members, friends, and professional associates.
I won't give away too many specific plot points and spoil the movie for you but will say that Wilson's life and those around him aren't very happy ones. The reoccurring theme throughout the movie is that survival in the intelligence business means you can't trust anyone. As the movie unfolds seems to be very good advice, although the effect of such an attitude on life is also clear.
The acting is very good in this movie, though with a cast that includes Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, Timothy Hutton, William Hurt and Robert De Niro who also directed this movie, that is unsurprising.
Like I said before, if you're looking for a happy, uplifting movie to see for the holidays, then don't go see this movie. But if you're looking for a movie that looks hard at the world of espionage and makes you think, then I would recommend you go check this one out.