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Cinema The Recruit (2003) - Good Times at the CIA


Staff member
5.00 star(s)

After re-watching I, Robot, I looked up some of the other past movies Bridget Moynahan has played in out of curiosity and this movie stuck out to me. Al Pacino? CIA spy thriller? Sign me up for that, baby. Though, in the back of my mind, since I hadn't ever heard of this film, I was kinda expecting it to bomb or at least be average. As you dig deeper and watch more and more films, it's a depressing fact that finding another movie you really like starts to get harder and harder because you'll reach a point where you've seen all the good famous ones. And after that, only the more obscure movies are left, and chances are, if the movie's obscure, there's very probably a good reason why you haven't heard of it.

Not always, but probably.

Thankfully though, The Recruit is one of those happy exceptions. I have no idea why this one went under the radar, but it was pretty dope. Maybe the only thing I can put against it is that it's not the most original movie I've seen. But I'm starting to get to a point where I'm seeing certain stories repeat due to sheer experience in the film space anyway, so unless a film is super cliche (like Puss in Boots: The Last Wish), I'm not gonna hold that against a movie automatically.

What this film is is CIA Training Day. Young eager recruit is looking to enter the hard covert world taught by a salty mentor who is later revealed to have become too weather-worn and cynical and has become corrupted. Al Pacino plays the mentor role absolutely perfectly and him and Colin Farrel clearly work very well together. Not just that, Bridget Moynahan plays her role to amazing effect here (not to mention how unbelievably gorgeous she is, but that's just me). While you kinda suspect that character in the film is up to some dastardly deeds, it still hurts when you hear that Colin's character will have to work against her and backstab her in order to prevent a nasty computer weapon from falling into the hands of some dicktatorship.

Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. Let's talk about some technical details about the movie as well. This is definitely not enough to bring the movie down at all, but still, it should be known that there is some Hollywood Hacking going on here and it's funny as hell to me every time I see it. (What the fuck, is this person seriously executing terminal commands at a login prompt? What's the CIA using, the Walmart Bargain Bin operating system? Are they actually writing a program to execute??? LOL) And it's kinda weird too because while I'm certainly not an expert on the CIA, the script writers really do seem to have done SOME homework, so their portrayal of the agency is pretty believable. It just contrasts pretty wildly with all the 90s/2000s computer silliness going on. Still, it's got some quaint charm to it.

All in all, definitely give this movie a watch. If anything else, watching Al Pacino be Al Pacino should be entertaining enough for you.