Earlier this week, I finished watching the first season of Graceland, a current television show about a group of undercover federal agents living and working out of a government-seized beach house in California. The show is addictive, suspenseful and smart, with secrets and lies in every storyline. By the end of the season, my opinions about each character had changed so many times that I wasn’t quite sure who to trust.
The world of undercover cops and federal agents has long been a source of inspiration for filmmakers. Audiences are fascinated by the idea of cultivating an undercover identity and infiltrating the criminal underworld. There is danger at every turn, secrets to guard and to uncover, and even the smallest misstep can lead to the very real possibility of exposure. Movies about undercover work not only give us a sneak peek into the criminal world, but into the psychology of what it might be like to live a lie. In nearly every undercover movie, there is a point where viewers worry the character might have crossed over the line and is in danger of becoming the very person they are trying to catch. It is this delicate balance between good and evil that invites filmmakers and audiences to explore the world of undercover cops time and again.
Of course, not every movie about undercover cops is dark and suspenseful. Some of them, like Miss Congeniality and 21 Jump Street, take a funnier, more light-hearted approach to undercover work. These movies may not delve as deeply into the psychology of undercover, but they certainly have their place.
If you’re in the mood for an undercover movie this weekend, browse the HCPL catalog and request one today!