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The Recruit

Overview

A brilliant young man is tapped to join the elite branch of American intelligence, only to discover how complex and dangerous the job can really be in this suspense-drama. James Clayton Colin Farrell recently completed his studies at MIT, where he graduated at the top of his class and is pondering his next move while he works as a bartender at an upscale nightspot. One evening, Clayton is approached by Walter Burke Al Pacino, a recruiter for the Central Intelligence Agency, who describes himself as "a scary judge...
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Overview

A brilliant young man is tapped to join the elite branch of American intelligence, only to discover how complex and dangerous the job can really be in this suspense-drama. James Clayton Colin Farrell recently completed his studies at MIT, where he graduated at the top of his class and is pondering his next move while he works as a bartender at an upscale nightspot. One evening, Clayton is approached by Walter Burke Al Pacino, a recruiter for the Central Intelligence Agency, who describes himself as "a scary judge of talent" and believes Clayton is just the sort of man the CIA is looking for. Clayton, who has little interest in an ordinary nine-to-five career and suspects his father whom Burke claims to have known worked for the Agency, accepts the offer and is soon sent to the CIA's secret training camp. It soon becomes obvious that Burke's intuition has not failed him; Clayton is smart, fast on his feet, a crack shot, and possesses a very agile mind. In training, Clayton notices a few things, most notably one of his fellow students, Layla Bridget Moynahan, a beautiful woman whose skills equal his own. Clayton becomes quite infatuated with Layla, and after a fashion the attraction appears to be mutual, but Clayton has to keep in mind Burke's dictum that "nothing is as it seems," especially when Clayton is given a special assignment -- find the mole within the Agency's training program who is actually feeding information to America's enemies.
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Special Features

None listed
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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

A CIA thriller that plays some very tricky and entertaining spy games. Owen Gleiberman
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/16/2008
  • EAN: 8717418150976
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Source: Imports
  • Region Code: 2
  • Format: Blu-ray

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
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