Skip Ghosted, watch these 6 spy comedies instead

A still from the movie Spy, showing Jason Statham looking intense
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

The latest blockbuster movie from Apple TV Plus is Ghosted, a spy action comedy starring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas. Despite those two stars pushing it way over the legal limit for how much charisma one movie should be allowed, it hasn't been very well received, cruising to a 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Yes, it's has a more favorable 64% score from the audience, but that could just be the de Armas stans (they're quite fierce).

Given that it's probably not going to join the ranks of the best Apple TV Plus movies, we'd suggest skipping it for something that's much more of a slam-dunk – so here are six action comedies with secret agents that we think are definitely worth your time, and many are available on the best streaming services.

Some are more comedy than others, I'll admit – but at the very least, they're fun international adventures. One of them is a Mission: Impossible movie, for example – I picked the most fun one, but they're all worth a rewatch right now, with Dead Reckoning arriving soon, and they're available on Paramount Plus.


Where to watch: Rent (US), Disney Plus (UK)

I unashamedly love this movie about a super-suave spy's 'voice in the ear' analyst, who goes into the field to avenge his death. It is just so astoundingly unhinged, with Melissa McCarthy – not exactly a low-energy actor - as the most down-to-earth person in it. Jude Law plays the world's coolest and most infuriating spy, Rose Byrne plays the world's friendliest psychopath, Jason Statham plays a parody of his own characters, and it also features Allison Janney, Peter Serafinowicz, Bobby Canavale and Miranda Hart knocking it out of the park.

Available to rent from most streaming stores in the US. Available to stream on Disney Plus in the UK.

The Man from UNCLE

Where to watch: HBO Max (US), rent (UK)

Not strictly a comedy, but being a Guy Ritchie film, a dry wit is woven through it from start to finish. It's the most stylish movie here by a huge margin, full of people staying cool in tense situations, sharp ’60s outfits, gorgeous European locations, and withering one-liners. The story is about spies for the US and Russia who must team up during the Cold War to stop a nuclear threat. Henry Cavill steals the movie, and it was a great early showcase for Alicia Vikander and Elizabeth Debicki. Armie Hammer is also in it, and he's very good, though some people may (fairly) be put off by that these days.

Available to stream on HBO Max in the US. Available to rent from most streaming stores in the UK. 

Austin Powers

Where to watch: Rent (US), Netflix and ITVX (UK)

You know which ’90s comedy has aged pretty well (appropriately enough)? Austin Powers! There are so many great little jokes apart from the big ones that everyone remembers (my personal favorite is Austin's firm assumption about who won the Cold War), and even more fond James Bond references than you think. It's also the perfect balance of being earnest and heartfelt – it actually likes Austin as a character even when he's annoying everyone else, which makes you root for him to find his way in the new world.

Available to rent from most streaming stores in the US. Available to stream on Netflix or ITVX for free in the UK.

The Man Who Knew Too Little

Where to watch: Starz (US), Prime Video (UK)

If you like your laughs on the farce side, this is a full-on, old-fashioned comedy of mistaken identity. Bill Murray is a nice but, shall we say, basic man, who travels to the UK to visit his brother. Said brother buys him an 'interactive theater' experience where he'd be the center of an apparent international espionage plot. Except he accidentally becomes the center of an actual espionage plot, and has no idea. It's not a classic, but it milks Bill Murray's charm for everything it's worth, and there's a moment with an old couple in a hotel that is in the top 10 comedy moments of all time (for me).

Available to stream on Starz in the US. Available to stream on Prime Video in the UK.

True Lies

Where to watch: AMC Plus (US), Disney Plus (UK)

Speaking of farces, this movie was apparently based on a French farce movie, with James Cameron's whole thing layered on top, which is why it has such a truly bizarre "tricking your wife into a fake erotic spy mission" plot and then also has Arnie using a Harrier jet to rescue his daughter. The gender politics haven't exactly aged perfectly, but there are so many fun scenes, from Bill Paxton's pitiful pick-up artist, to Jamie Lee Curtis blowing Arnie's cover, to Arnie's whole deal when he's under truth serum.

Available to stream on AMC Plus in the US. Available to stream on Disney Plus in the UK.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Where to watch: Paramount Plus (US & UK)

Another one that's more of a straight spy movie, but it's probably the lightest and most purely fun of the Mission: Impossible movies, due to it being from the director of The Incredibles and featuring Simon Pegg heavily, specifically to bring comedy relief. From the uncooperative prison break opening to the infamous (real) climb up the Burj Khalifa, it's just a blast. Don't worry about the plot about a nuclear device being stolen or something, who cares about that.

Available to stream on AMC Plus in the US. Available to stream on Disney Plus in the UK.

Matt Bolton
Managing Editor, Entertainment

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Entertainment, meaning he's in charge of persuading our team of writers and reviewers to watch the latest TV shows and movies on gorgeous TVs and listen to fantastic speakers and headphones. It's a tough task, as you can imagine. Matt has over a decade of experience in tech publishing, and previously ran the TV & audio coverage for our colleagues at, and before that he edited T3 magazine. During his career, he's also contributed to places as varied as Creative Bloq, PC Gamer, PetsRadar, MacLife, and Edge. TV and movie nerdism is his speciality, and he goes to the cinema three times a week. He's always happy to explain the virtues of Dolby Vision over a drink, but he might need to use props, like he's explaining the offside rule.