Whenever I see this movie I always hear Roger Daltry's voice singing, 'can you see the real me?' Which is what a less loquacious Robert Redford tries to do after what may be one of the top ten movie opening scenes of all time, 70's, 80's, 90's or beyond.
Earlier reviews have fairly well constructed and described the plot but what's interesting is the unbelievability of it. Sydney Pollack keeps the heat on and the emotional cul de sacs plentiful as Redford tries to whittle down not so much the who killed all his coworkers but the why.
I believe alongside "Bullit," "French Connection," "Body Heat" and a few others, this is an essential movie both for it's time and our time. In light of Vietnam and Watergate, we just didn't blindly trust Uncle Sam anymore and were frequently reminded of the protest idiom, 'love your country; fear your government.' And for a captivating two hours, Redford is 'everyperson' ever profiled, searched, audited, traffic stopped, drafted and perhaps far worse. We didn't have to read George Orwell to know big brother was and is watching.
Cliff Robertson, a gifted actor denied his peak years because of pseudo-administration influence (do you remember 'Flowers for Algernon/Charley?), ironically plays the government role, as you would expect, brilliantly, and Max Von Sydow, is as always, superlative. I agree with some of the criticism of Faye Dunaway. She did better in other roles than she did here. It could have been Meryl Streep or Glenn Close as well, possibly better.
Essential movie if you want to know what you're talking about. Larry Scantlebury. 5 Stars.