The world of cinema has been fascinated by the world of spies for decades. The years around World War II were filled with films about secret agents — Alfred Hitchcock grew his reputation all through the period directing inventive espionage-based thrillers — but spy movies really took off in the 1960s thanks to the work of one (fictional) man on Her Majesty’s secret service: James Bond. The popularity of Ian Fleming’s 007, both in novels and then in the Eon film series headlined by Sean Connery gave rise to a wave of spy movies of all shapes, sizes, tones, and styles.

Though the genre’s popularity has waxed and waned in the more than half a century since, it’s never fully gone away, leaving us with a massive library of spy movies — some great, many good, a lot absolutely awful (including a few of the Bond movies churned out every few years). And there are more all the time, including Argylle and The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.

The list below contains 20 of the most uninspired examples the genre has produced to date. It includes some of the biggest names in the spy game — which is admittedly a contradiction in terms when you’re supposed to be depicting a secret agent, but I digress — along with a fair number of infamous knockoffs and spoofs. As for how the specific order of films was determined ... well, I’m sorry but I’m afraid those details are classified.

The Worst Spy Films Ever Made

There’s no secret here: When spy movies are bad like the 20 films below, they’re really bad.
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