The Spy

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
The Spy TV Poster Image
Espionage drama best for Baron Cohen fans, has violence.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Cohen makes personal sacrifices, including the willingness to hurt others, for the good of his country. 

Positive Role Models

Eli Cohen may have performed heroic actions in real life, but the series seems to present a one-sided version of a complex conflict.


The Spy features person-on-person violence, but also graphic war scenes that include bombings of innocent people.


Simulated sex, along with male and female nudity.


A moderate amount of profanity, including "f--k" and "s--t."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink and smoke socially. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Spy is an action drama based on the life of Eli Cohen, an Israeli man who infiltrated the Syrian military in the early 1960s. The show depicts interpersonal violence, some interrogation torture, and graphic war scenes, including the bombing of innocent people. The Spy stars Sacha Baron Cohen, who may be a draw for some who are familiar with his work in comedy (Borat, Da Ali G Show, Who Is America?), though he mostly plays it straight here. The content is mature, including simulated sex with nudity, violent bombings, and some profanity like "s--t" and "f--k."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

The Israeli government recruits a clerk named Eli Cohen (Sacha Baron Cohen) to infiltrate the Syrian government as THE SPY. Cohen must learn on the job, putting himself, his country, and his marriage at risk.

Is it any good?

Clearly a passion project for Sacha Baron Cohen, who has serious acting chops despite being mostly known for broad comedy, this feels stretched incredibly thin as a miniseries. Though there's an eye for detail, the slow pace and focus on minutiae undercut the The Spy's suspense and drama.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the historical context of The Spy. What is the conflict between Israel and Syria? Who was Eli Cohen?

  • What drives Cohen to become a spy? What makes him successful?

  • Do you think that the good Cohen does for his country outweighs the damage he does to his personal life? Why or why not?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate