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The Recruit [Blu-ray]

Al Pacino , Colin Farrell , Roger Donaldson    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   Blu-ray
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Academy Award(R)-Winner Al Pacino (Best Actor, SCENT OF A WOMAN, 1991) and Colin Farrell (MINORITY REPORT) take you deeper into the CIA than you've ever been before in this action-packed psychological thriller. James Clayton (Farrell), one of the smartest graduates in the country, is just the person Walter Burke (Pacino) wants in the Agency. James quickly rises through the ranks and falls for Layla (Bridget Moynahan, THE SUM OF ALL FEARS), one of his fellow recruits. But just when James starts to question his role and his cat-and-mouse relationship with his mentor, Burke taps him to root out a mole. As the suspense builds in a maze of gripping twists and turns, there are only two things James can count on -- he can't trust anyone and nothing is as it seems. It's the ultimate CIA thriller with so many surprise plot twists, you'll want to watch it again and again.

Special Features

Feature Commentary By Director Roger Donaldson And Actor Colin Farrell

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars TWISTY AND EFFECTIVE THRILLER May 13 2004
NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS...that's true enough in the words of CIA instructor Al Pacino in Roger Donaldson's labyrinthine movie about a new CIA recruit, played with marvelous intensity by the gifted Colin Farrell. Pacino uses many of the elements of his previous roles, and why not--the man is a brilliant actor and sometimes you never know what to expect from him in spite of his familiarity. Bridget Moynihan (Sum of All Fears) co-stars as fellow recruit and would be lover for Farrell. (...) she possesses a strong sense of character in this multi-leveled role. Gabriel Macht in a smaller role as Zach is also very good, as Moynihan's other possible love interest. Even with the many clever twists and turns, the ending becomes predictable but not until the movie is almost over. Credit Donaldson for this succinct direction. The musical score is also brilliant; loved the use of usually boring synthesized music. It's effectively haunting in this movie.
Colin Farrell is destined for his Oscar; his intensity and his understanding of multi-levels of characterization will lead him to an even brighter future.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging and fun post-Cold War spy thriller Feb. 7 2004
While not the success "The Bourne Identity" was, "The Recruit" is a fun and involving spy thriller set in the post-Cold War era -- something so many spy films haven't been able to successfully pull off.
Pacino predictably chews up all the available scenery as a CIA recruiter, and Farrell is the MIT grad with the deus ex machina software recruit of the title. The film spends a little time at The Farm (the not-particularly-secret CIA training facility -- the counterpart to the FBI's training facility in Quantico) before moving to Washington, DC and an intrigue concerning one or more moles within the CIA and a not-as-complex-as-it-looks whodunnit mystery.
While there are a few wrinkles in this mystery -- who's the guy in the hooded jacket, for instance -- mostly the enjoyment of this film comes down to how they hit the fairly standard plot points, not which plot points they choose to hit. In the interests of keeping the plot moving, most of the training on the Farm was unfortunately cut -- watch the DVD extras for a glimpse at what is, perhaps, the most interesting part of the film.
A decent rental in the espionage genre, but not a must have purchase except for die hard fans of one of the principal actors.
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Roger Donaldson's films have always the same trait, which many film buffs can easily detect; that is, A) it starts with superb premise; B) it gives fine acting from the stars; C) it ends not so well. Look at "No Way Out" or "Dante's Peak." ("Thriteen Days" is one exception.) And with "The Recruit," did he change? Apparently not.
So, the film starts well. Al Pacino literally recruits a MIT computer wiz Colin Farrell. Come with me, and work for CIA. Al (with thick beard) trains him with other applicants in "The Farm," where the US government secretly teaches ABC of being spy. But the young Colin soon realizes that he can trust nothing during the tricky course of the training.
The first half is pretty interesting even though the training programs are obviously imagination of the filmmakers. Of course, CIA must have shown some part of the facilities but if there should be really 'The Farm,' they will neither affirm nor deny the existence of it, let alone show it to you. But still the production designs are polished (like that of "Anti-Trust") and the story is stylishly done.
The problem is the second half, in which another character (played by Bridget Moynahan) steps in. Quite honestly, the plot is predictable to the discerning eyes of the fans of the genre, and I want no more not-so-stylish use of guns, chases, and so on. And the conclusion is a huge letdown, or in other words, impossible.
Another weakness is (don't worry no spoilers) the characters' motives. Why Colin's character wants to be a spy when he is a top student from MIT? It is explained in the opening credits, but it is not strong enough.
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3.0 out of 5 stars WHOS ON FIRST? Jan. 12 2004
By A Customer
This film has you wondering who is who what is what and what is the truth. In a complex set-up AL Pacino is the guy who finds new dudes for the C.I.A. He lands head first at Colin Farrells door turns him on to it. They test all the new guys at a hangout called the "farm" But it isnt long before you realize you are being tricked one turn after another. All the new agents are being fooled by each other untill they all distrust everyone. Finallly big Al busts Colins charecter out of the program and sends him home where he spends his days laying in the shower in dispair at being cut. But wait! this is a trick too, he really was the best guy in the program and he is needed for a mission. He has to discover a mole buried deep within the c.i.a. the maximum prob here is they think its his main squeeze and she thinks its him. Here we go again- with bullets flying and danger everywhere. Colin has to fiqure it all out and still keep his love jones on. does he do it? Does the director lay out the spreadsheet or what? This is a heavy kind of scene that will burn you down. Finally we all are treated to an ending that leaves us limp in our chairs.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Suspense
Al Pacino very good in this role, was a great movie to watch, love him as a actor, as good as ever
Published 6 months ago by Larry Smet
5.0 out of 5 stars The Recruit
This is a great movie as advertised. It was received as promised. This movie is very well done and I enjoyed it very much.
Published 19 months ago by Ronald Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars rerally good movie
My son asked for this movie which he likes very much. It was convenient to order it online as we did.
Published 20 months ago by Irene
3.0 out of 5 stars average,cookie cutter action/suspense/pseudo espionage movie (2.5/5)
the recruit is an OK movie,i guess.certainly nothing spectacular.there
are some suspenseful moments in the movie. Read more
Published on Nov. 22 2007 by falcon
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
A non-stop thriller till the very end. Al is at his best again. A must see!!!
Published on June 8 2007 by M. Larson
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing is what it seems
An oft-repeated phrase throughout this film is that with the CIA, nothing is what it seems. Unfortunately, that is not always true. Read more
Published on Feb. 1 2006 by FrKurt Messick
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique approach
I really liked this movie because it took a different approach to the genre. Rather than focusing a heist or some spy's mission, this movie is about the training CIA field... Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2006 by Virus
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good movie
This action-thriller is a great movie, in which "nothing is what is seems"; for the characters, as well as for the viewer. Read more
Published on June 20 2004 by Wouter van den Berg
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing is as it seems
When you watch this movie you will remember two things. "Everything is a test", and Nothing is as it seems. Read more
Published on May 24 2004 by S. M. Anderson
The theme of a grizzled mentor and a hyper-energetic but gullible new recruit is a somewhat dated one (in recent memory, Spy Game, Training Day etc) but I watched this movie with... Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by Shashank Tripathi
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