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The Recruit

5.0 1
Director: Roger Donaldson

Cast: Al Pacino, Colin Farrell, Bridget Moynahan


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Filled with twists, The Recruit is an engaging movie, and the DVD is equally so. Though supplements aren't heavy, the few are noteworthy. First is a commentary track from director Roger Donaldson and star Colin Farrell. The two bounce off of each other, and are quite entertaining as they cover just about any and all subjects. Also included is a nice 16-minute


Filled with twists, The Recruit is an engaging movie, and the DVD is equally so. Though supplements aren't heavy, the few are noteworthy. First is a commentary track from director Roger Donaldson and star Colin Farrell. The two bounce off of each other, and are quite entertaining as they cover just about any and all subjects. Also included is a nice 16-minute featurette called "Spy School: Inside the CIA Training Program," which is, obviously, a look at the real CIA, with interviews from the producers and director, but more importantly, CIA veteran Chase Brandon. Finally, four deleted scenes are included with optional commentary from the same two men, but strangely enough, Farrell's notorious language has been censored with annoying beeps. The image, framed at 1.77:1 and anamorphic (in an odd move, the theatrical release was 2.35:1) is natural in every way. Composition is still excellent, while colors and black levels are terrific. It's a typically fine transfer from Touchstone; nothing less would be expected. As for sound, both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks are included, and while the film's tracks seem more centered up front, there is some good use of the surrounds at the appropriate moments. Dialogue is clear, while the bass levels seem right on target.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Thrillers almost always require some suspension of disbelief, but the really good ones -- those blessed with clever and intricate scripting, imaginative direction, and carefully grounded performances -- seem the least implausible and therefore the most compelling. The Recruit is one such thriller, a riveting cat-and-mouse affair with a narrative that twists around and then back upon itself like a Möbius strip. Al Pacino's trademark tics and excesses make him uniquely suited to portray Walter Burke, a flamboyant CIA operative spending his declining years as a recruiter for the Agency. Up-and-coming Colin Farrell, who's just as cocky as Pacino was in his post-Godfather period, plays James Clayton, an intellectually nimble rookie in whom Burke detects tremendous ability. For that reason, the old agent gives his protégé a dangerous assignment: Fellow trainee Layla (Bridget Moynahan) is suspected of being a "mole" ordered to burrow deep into the American intelligence community, and Clayton -- whose attraction to the slinky seductress has been noted by Burke -- is presented the task of exposing her. Director Roger Donaldson (No Way Out), an old hand at the crafting of cinematic suspense, maintains perfect pacing, lingering on scenes necessary to establish vital plot points and zipping through those that might otherwise give viewers an occasion to reflect on the sheer improbability of it all. The depiction of superspy training exercises initially comes off as rather fanciful but, in the context of the evolving story, ultimately seems believable. In the end, though, story gyrations and directorial legerdemain aren't as important to The Recruit as the performances of its two stars, Pacino and Farrell, old Hollywood and young Hollywood, meeting and matching wits. If you enjoy complex spy stories with visceral action, nail-biting suspense, and a palpable sense of danger, this Recruit is one you'll want to enlist right away.
All Movie Guide - Todd Kristel
The Recruit is a reasonably entertaining popcorn movie that suffers from ill-conceived plot twists. The best part of the film is when Clayton (Colin Farrell) is being trained by Walter Burke (Al Pacino) at the "Farm" to become a CIA agent. It's unlikely that this is a totally accurate depiction of the training process, despite the CIA's cooperation with the making of this film, but it's entertaining to watch anyway. The scenes are somewhat predictable, but that problem gets worse as the film leaves the Farm. The movie offers some plot twists that seem too contrived and builds to a big surprise that isn't much of a surprise. However, it also offers a fairly interesting gunfight that benefits from a good choice of location, plus a couple of other scenes that hold up well. Colin Farell conveys the appropriate combination of broodiness and naïveté in his role, but the character is a bit too simple and obvious; the only real mystery about him is how he manages to maintain a perpetual five o'clock shadow throughout the film. Al Pacino lends some of his star magnetism to another one of his mentor roles; he arches his eyebrows, doles out epigrammatic wisdom with his coarse voice, and holds back on chewing too much scenery until the appropriate big moments. Unfortunately, his character is underdeveloped and his hammy big moments are poorly written. Bridget Moynahan is appropriately inscrutable as Layla, and none of the remaining supporting characters are developed much. Overall this isn't a great movie, but it's fun enough if you don't think about it.
Entertainment Weekly
A CIA thriller that plays some very tricky and entertaining spy games. Owen Gleiberman
New York Post
In the explosive Pacino and the smoldering Farrell, [The Recruit] has a pair of stars who are not easily dismissed. Lou Lumenick

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Touchstone / Disney
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, THX-Supervised Mastering, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; "Spy School: Inside the CIA Training Program" -- never-before-seen look inside the CIA; Deleted scenes with optional commentary; Feature commentary with director Roger Donaldson and Colin Farrell; Director's original 1.77:1 aspect ratio shows more of the film than was presented to theaters; Widescreen enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions; DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound; THX-certified; French-language track; Spanish subtitles

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Al Pacino Walter Burke
Colin Farrell Jim Clayton
Bridget Moynahan Layla Moore
Gabriel Macht Zach Dawson
Karl Pruner Dennis Slayne
Eugene Lipinski Husky Man
Kenneth Mitchell Alan
Mike Realba Ronnie
Domenico Fiore Instructor 1
Ron Lea Bill Rudolph, Dell Rep
Jeanie Calleja Co-Ed 1
Jessica Greco Brunette at Blue Ridge
Angelo Tsarouchas Cab Driver
Veronika Hurnik Polygraph Interrogator
Steve Lucescu Instructor 2
Richard Fitzpatrick Rob Stevens
John Watson Guard
Chris Owens Art Wallis
Janet Bailey Young Instructor
Sam Kalilieh Elliot
Merwin Mondesir Stan
Elisa Moolecherry Lisa Sahadi
Sheldon Davis Security Officer 1
Oscar Hsu Psychiatrist
Arlene Mazerolle Psychiatrist
Brian Rhodes Psychiatrist
Steve Behal Exam Procter
Jane Moffat Polygraph Technician
Bart Bedford Co-Worker
Tony Craig Transit Cop
David Boyce New Security Guard
Tova Smith Beth
Michael Rubenfeld Felix
Mark Robert Ellis Test Instructor
Neil Crone Farm Instructor
Ray Paisley Farm Instructor
Scott McCord Young Instructor 2
Jenny Levine Blonde
Shaun Verreault Band Member
Safwan Javed Band Member
Earl Pereira Band Member
Conrad Bergschneider Firing Range Instructor
John Shafer Langley Gate Guard
Steven Lee Wright Running Instructor
Klaus Badelt Conductor

Technical Credits
Roger Donaldson Director
Jeff Apple Producer
Jeffrey Steven Authors Asst. Director
Klaus Badelt Score Composer,Musical Arrangement
Gary Barber Producer
Roger Birnbaum Producer
Julian Brain Asst. Director
Penny Charter Asst. Director
Andy Chmura Camera Operator
Robin D. Cook Casting
Gilles Corbiel Camera Operator
Dennis Davenport Art Director
Stuart Dryburgh Cinematographer
Robert Elhai Musical Arrangement
Mitch Glazer Screenwriter
Jonathan Glickman Executive Producer
Eric Hunsaker Art Director
Ric Kidney Executive Producer
Neil Lewis Asst. Director
Andrew McAlpine Production Designer
Blake Neely Musical Arrangement
Beatrix Aruna Pasztor Costumes/Costume Designer
David Rosenbloom Editor
Marcia Ross Casting
James J. Sabat Sound Mixer,Sound/Sound Designer
Roger Towne Screenwriter
Gordon White Set Decoration/Design
Kurt Wimmer Screenwriter
Megan Wolpert Co-producer
Janet Zdyb Asst. Director

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Titles/Job Fair [4:55]
2. CIA Material [5:53]
3. The Interview [5:55]
4. The Farm [6:52]
5. Bug House [6:31]
6. Field Trip [9:02]
7. Choke Point [8:41]
8. The NOC [4:07]
9. Welcome to the CIA [3:49]
10. Contact [4:42]
11. Mail Delivery [4:01]
12. Breakfast [1:50]
13. Tracking Layla [6:57]
14. Coffee and Data [6:50]
15. Spartacus [7:35]
16. Spotlight/End Credits [9:48]

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The Recruit 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie really kept me at the edge of my seat and kept me secound-guessing.Of course,Al Pacino was gr8 in it(who doesn't love him?)and Colin Farrell made me a fan of his.With all the twists and turns in this movie,I almost went a little psycho......