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.