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  • beyonder-323 September 2013
    This is a movie in which you debate with yourself, where would you draw the line in search of justice against greedy corporations, if that corporations inflicted on you the kind of damage they did on the characters of this movie. Knowing that it was inspired by actual actions that some corporations have taken, just makes us think even harder on whats going on in our world. The acting is very good, everyone plays their character very well. You just have to feel sympathy for all of the character especially "Doc". I recommend anyone who wants to see a movie which gives you something important to think about to watch this. Very well done. 8 out of 10!
  • I generally get tired of films pushing politics throughout their story with all this left-wing, right-wing crap, that because of the focus of the group of people who make that type of film, so becomes an entanglement of an unnecessary debate with audiences and critics, that the film itself becomes lost. The East tells its message straight and clear and understands that most will agree with a majority of its ideas, but never loses sight of the story and the characters its wants to portray.

    The East follows an operative for a PI firm who is handpicked to infiltrate an extreme anarchist group who focus their sights on major corporations for the crimes they have committed on humanity. I agree that that basic synopsis probably will make a few shy away from seeing it, but I don't believe anyone will come out of the film in a heated debate with the next person on its political issues, however timely. It has a great perspective instead on what we as individuals value most. It never allows itself to succumb to any political wash-over, but instead takes a side for the characters and where they stand as people that manages to invest us in the emotional elements rather than just straight ideals.

    Brit Marling plays the operative at hand and also co-wrote the screenplay with up-and-comer, Zal Batmanglij. They both worked together and the equally excellent Sound of My Voice last year and its apparent that they have continued to build their ground in their respective fields, each finding a voice to be heard away from the mainstream flow.

    The East is simply just a solid, taut and investing thriller that values telling the story of its characters, while keeping the political stance to the side and also having fun tangling the audience up its in web.
  • The East is the kind of movie that makes you want to join the fight, raise your voice and be heard.

    The good. Extremely immersive. A incredible story with lots of emotions, conflicts, opposing moralities, and a stupefying journey. It is gripping and you will not be left unmoved.

    The actors. Brit Marling and Ellen Page both give us a great performance. I was disappointed by Alexander Skarsgård, I thought that he was the weak player of the cast. The rest of the cell was pretty solid: Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Aldis Hodge, and Danielle Macdonald. And I should mention the nice work done by Patricia Clarkson as the director of the private security firm.

    The bad. The ending is rushed. It feels like there was missing material at the end of filming and they couldn't go back to get what they needed and had to edit it with what they had.

    The ugly. Nothing.

    The result. A must see for anyone.
  • Since 2011's Another Earth landed at Sundance and nabbed the Special Jury Prize, Brit Marling has quickly cemented herself as one of the most exciting and challenging new talents. When she feels a genre hasn't been explored to its full potential, she takes it further. When she notices women her age are typecast in boring roles, she writes her own. She's a visionary filmmaker with something to say and the talent and ambition to make sure she's heard - her second collaboration with director and co- writer Zal Batmanglij, The East, is no exception, and is perhaps the peak of her already illustrious career so far.

    The film follows Jane Owen (Marling), an undercover security agent, as she leaves behind her doting boyfriend (Jason Ritter) to infiltrate an eco-terrorist group known as The East, who have publicly targeted massive corporations for their covered-up crimes against humans and nature. In between reports to her icy, amoral boss (Patricia Clarkson), Jane slowly grows fascinated with the group, its morals and goals, and its core (Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, Shiloh Fernandez, Toby Kebbell), observing with a mix of horror and infatuation as they execute their violent "jams" on the corporations' key members.

    The East will inevitably draw comparisons to Sean Durkin's Martha Marcy May Marlene because of the subject matter and its ingenue leading lady.The East is not as much of a psychological profile, but there are interesting similarities - like Durkin, Batmanglij and Marling never really villainize or condemn their subects; instead, they make a point of showing the East's appeal. We, the audience, begin to understand why these troubled young people would find solace and purpose in what is essentially a band of guerrilla terrorists, and, in turn, why Jane is so hypnotized by them. It makes for an uncomfortably provocative watch: as we learn more about the characters, their backgrounds, and the corporations' crimes (which are based in fact), it's hard to determine who the "bad guys" are. I saw the film at a festival where Batmanglij gave a short Q&A after and he revealed that he, Marling, and Page had lived with similar groups (without the terrorism) before and were sympathetic with the East's cause, if not their methods. The sympathy shows in the writing and most of the time that's a good thing, but there are times when it gets closer to bias and muddies otherwise brilliant storytelling - but these are blips in the overall outstanding product.

    Marling is, as always, enigmatic and hypnotizing, but she is an observer and lets the other characters do the talking; it takes highly skilled actors to command empathy for villains and the cast doesn't disappoint. Alexander Skarsgard is incredibly charismatic and persuasive, and he fills in the blanks admirably whenever his development is cut short. Patricia Clarkson surprises in an unusual role for her - she hints that her character might be more evil than any of the terrorists she is hunting. Jason Ritter and Hillary Baack are affecting in their small roles, and Julia Ormond dominates her five minutes of screen time - her last scene is perhaps the most haunting in the film. Ellen Page gives a career-best performances and reminds us that she's a force to be reckoned with if only she were given the chance to show off more often. She commands the screen with intimidating animosity from the second she walks on screen and has some genuinely heartbreaking moments later on.

    In spite of occasional misfires, the screenplay is exceptional especially in its efficiency: there is so much going on that there isn't much time to devote to individual characters or relationships - Marling and Ritter's suffers the most - but Marling and Batmanglij make every second count as each line is weighted with enough subtext to tell us the stories implicitly and thoroughly nevertheless. The major characters are very well-drawn; even though we only get glimpses into Skarsgard, Page and Kebbell's pasts, we feel we know them inside and out. The film moves along at a fluid, adrenaline-pumping pace and the tension is genuine and organic rather than forced - the audience's investment in the story grows from affection for the characters and connection with their ideals rather than cheap editing tricks, manipulative music and stylized lighting or sound. Music is used so sparsely that when The National's "About Today" plays over a silent montage of Marling's character breaking down, its emotional weight surprises and stuns. The ending is comparatively underwhelming, but the overall package is one of the best, most provocative thrillers in years and firmly establishes Batmanglij and Marling as a sensational and important pairing.
  • The east is one of those movies the just fall from the tree, and when they fall you realize it is probably on of the best movies of the year. The fact some eco-terroristts decide to fight against large evil corporations(pharma,oil,coal etc.) makes the story even more interesting. Brit Marlin does a brilliant acting, being an undercover agent, but a human one, not one of those Hollywood super-heroes-I-save-the-world-again. The rest of the actors have a brilliant acting. If you want a "human" movie where intelligence and reality clash from start to finish, this is your movie, but remember to watch it slowly, so you can get the most of it.
  • Certainly a good subject and a touchy one. We have several movies treating this subject, the environment, the corruption. When I left the cine I asked me the question : Could this be true and yes, certainly. And that its all about, if you leave the cine and keep on thinking about the subject and discuss it with others. I didn't knew that much about Brit Marling and this film awakened my interest. Good acting and she has many opportunities to go as actress, writer or director. The movie is a must see, but ... it is not that much of a thriller, the action scenes are rather short and don't ask that much of attention and that is what it is meant to be, because the movie target is to show us how Brit Marling integrates in the East, her feelings, her changes in ideas. But also in the emotional part I find this movie rather general. It seems that they don't want to go a bit in depth on the subject, keep it simple for the spectator, the client. Keep it mainstream. So, it is not an action movie, but either enters in difficult matters. The subject is although unique and a must see. The end of the movie. Seems that it was time to finish and so they did, a bit in a rush.
  • Just saw this movie courtesy of the San Jose Camera Cinema Club. This is a well-acted, thought-provoking movie that asks many questions about the balance between the excesses of corporate America and the excesses of violent anarchist groups fighting against them. (Think Weather Underground and the SLA.) The protagonist is a young woman working for a top private security company in the Washington DC beltway on behalf of those corporations. She's assigned to infiltrate an anarchist group called "The East" to prevent damage to her company's corporate clients. The ensuing exposition of the anarchist group's actions ("jams") makes for a very suspenseful and credible movie with many plot twists and turns including the ending of the movie, which is diffused with the credits. Nothing is as it seems, just like a good spy movie ought to be. So go see the movie and don't leave until the credits finish rolling.
  • shellycaldeira80822 September 2013
    After watching some of the trailers for this movie, I assumed it was going to be qua-say Fahrenheit 911 done in a dramatically acted story... I assumed is was a film only for the 99%'er liberal democrat.

    Boy was I wrong! AND pleasantly surprised. This film is full of heart and ugly truths delivered brilliantly and beautifully. I particularly enjoyed the side characters as their roles were impact-full to the overall feel one cant help but take away. This film evoked feelings of remorse, gentleness, a sense of being cheated, love, anger and sorrow. Yet it was uplifting and gave me a sense of hopefulness as well.

    The only reason I don't give it a full 10 is because I really wanted to see more and more at the end!! Don't get me wrong, its got a great ending... I just wanted MORE!!!
  • The East: an environmentalist group following the philosophy of an eye for an eye. The movie follows Sarah, an agent trying to infiltrate The East. The movie was almost always exciting, but showed more of the emotional side of the characters.

    I had a lot of fun with this one. At times I found myself holding my breath, and couldn't figure out why. The movie had a good flow to it, with enough exciting parts to keep you from falling asleep. My biggest complaint with the movie is it didn't go as deep into the emotional sides of things and felt like it wanted to be more of a mainstream movie because of it.
  • This is a film that fails in several ways. It opens without providing the viewer with any sense of Sarah's beliefs, background, and reasons for working for what eventually we come to understand is a corrupt and unprincipled private security firm. Without establishing this starting point, there is no basis or gauge that we could use to understand Sarah's apparent change-of-heart as the story unfolds. The film also fails by stacking the deck against the East movement and making it almost impossible for the viewer to identify with their actions. The dumpster diving, their ragged appearance, and the ridiculous dinner at which they sit in straight-jackets and eat by picking up spoons with their mouths all serve not to make them sympathetic but only to alienate them from us. The dinner scene is so bizarre and aggressively ludicrous that it short-circuits whatever sympathy and identification we might have with their political actions. Finally, the film fails by ending not with a bang but a whimper as we see Sarah in various brief scenes in which she seems to be meeting individually with other undercover agents for the secretive private security firm and attempting to persuade them of the negative consequences of their actions. So, in the end, the film backs off from any conviction concerning the necessity of social movements or collective action to resolve social ills and instead valorizes the reactionary concept of the power of the individual, armed with nothing but logic and reason, to change the world. This notion doesn't change the world but only serves to reproduce the class structure and allow capitalist polluters and profiteers to sleep easy.
  • This stands out as one of the most cinematic independent films that i have seen, felt like a real film. Independent films almost always have a great story to tell, as it requires such dedication from the cast and crew to make; therefore wouldn't be made if it did not have something to say. But most independent films seemed to find it except able to feel like and independent film, not saying they suck, it just doesn't feel like you are actually watching a film, and is (rightfully so) normally excused by the audience at film festivals, and in the select theaters it plays at, this film was highly cinematic and overall just told and utterly amazing story. It's the kind of film that keeps you thinking for weeks about the ideas portrayed in the film; and actually makes you want to rethink how you live your own life. All in all a great film to watch, amazing values, a great way to learn about a new life style; and a picture that really just gets you thinking. I'd recommend it for anyone to view.
  • Without going into a lot of detail, this is the perfect movie for a summer day. And it just keeps on growing on you. The fact that there is another movie on this topic waiting to be made, well, that is often the case. The really exciting part of this is that Britt is not, drum roll, a star, but now she is. It can always be said that a film that is a stunning star vehicle for an actress, well, that only seems to come along every few years. And this ranks right at the top of those. Britt is not only beautiful and charismatic, but she obviously has a deep intelligence and creativity that is a perfect mix for this day and age. I say -rush out a see this, do not read about it, and try to remember one thing, great actresses are like great bottles of wine, they get better and better for a long time. Looking at what is coming for her, she is already very busy. And the fact that she hit this out of the park, is a great career lift off. Brit, this is your time.
  • christophe9230012 September 2013
    Even if The East relies on a pretty original theme — eco-terrorism —, ultimately the movie is just a rather banal infiltration thriller.

    The start is rather good but the script gradually gets bogged down into flagrant linearity and predictability. Boredom even shows up during certain tedious scenes at the farm, which by the way completely chop the rhythm.

    As for the cast, it is pretty good overall even though we are sometimes under the impression that it wasn't fully exploited: Ellen Page, so often excellent, is, for example, totally transparent.

    The intention was good but the movie turns out to be a lot too clumsy. Nevertheless, the reflections it arouses are pertinent and that's what's to remember from this rather dispensable thriller.
  • Original and very relevant premise with a plot that's intelligently done and engaging even though it has its share of stretches/missing pieces and would benefit from a little more in the way of hard suspense. Really fine cinematography and use of settings. THE EAST quietly and convincingly raises questions about who's right and who's wrong, who're the good guys and who're the bad guys. While the acting by all is competent if nothing spectacular, the character development of Benji and "the East" in general is another strong aspect of this film. THE EAST is definitely one of the better things to come out of Hollywood in recent years.
  • lee_eisenberg23 September 2013
    The idea of eco-terrorism is one of the most controversial due to risk that it equates activism with al-Qaeda's activities. Zal Batmanglij's movie "The East" looks at this issue, with Brit Marling playing an agent for a private intelligence firm infiltrating an environmental group that forces CEOs of polluting companies to experience the pollution.

    People can debate forever whether the group's actions constitute terrorism, and even if their actions are justified whether what they do is the right way to deal with it. The fact remains that the pollution is real and will outlast us all. This is a movie that I recommend to everyone.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Given that I was watching it at a cinema in London, I was surprised to see a classification certificate from the Irish Film Classification Office appear at the beginning of 'The East'; I know there are shedloads of people from the Republic in London, but I didn't think things had gone that far! Anyrhoda... an agent for a private security company goes undercover in a group of eco-terrorists ('The East' of the title) to try to deduce what their next targets are going to be, so her boss (an icily-efficient Patricia Clarkson) can get business from the targeted companies. The eco-terrorists' spiritual leader is played by Alexander Skarsgård (him off 'True Blood') who has done a Brad Pitt and uglied-up for the occasion by growing awful facial hair (and why is a Swede playing an American in an American production anyway? Did they run out of American actors?) Although the terrorists themselves are portrayed as a fairly well-rounded bunch - there is discussion about whether their ends justify their means - the businesspeople they target are almost all soulless evildoers - only once does one of them get to point out "But people want cheap coal!" shortly before the terrorists try to dump her in a polluted lake. And the ultimate reveal about the terrorists' relationship with the agent is not a surprise. Brit Marling makes a personable heroine, although I'd like to know what came first: her winning the role, or her title of 'Producer'...
  • johanrattus16 July 2013
    Truth is stranger than fiction so it's hard for a two-hour fictional film to compete with real examples of immorality, greed, and corruption that are rife within corporate America. Documentaries such as Enron, Who Killed the Electric Car, and Food, Inc. are more powerful because they're real. However, The East is solidly produced and acted as it dishes up fictional corporate misdeeds and misinformation perpetrated in the name of power and profit. The East humanizes its activist characters by giving insight into their varied and often mainstream pasts and into what fuels their battles against the system. Activists can be people too. At two hours, The East is limited in the number of corporate transgressions its activists can pursue and attempt to undermine, but it is an entertaining reminder of the type of malfeasance that goes on as it builds to a suspenseful and thought-provoking end. Good movie, not great, but worth watching.
  • The trailer presented this film as thriller focused on eco-terrorism. Unfortunately it delves into a drama leaving anything engaging about a thriller in the foyer. Leaving the cinema I felt disappointed and glad to have a cineworld membership in the UK. Paying for this would have been upsetting given the cost of tickets today.

    How often do we want the bad guys to succeed? Not often in my book but when up corporations they choice was easy. However a dull storyline, convoluted script and predictable outcomes hindering this film from being a memorable thriller. It's a shame because it had a very interesting and real concept, with a strong 20 to 30 mins opening phase.

    After that I lost interest. The story unfolds slowly here onwards and focuses on the drama between characters, which can be a good thing if executed well. Unfortunately because none of the characters are worth caring about it becomes uninteresting and not engaging.

    I did enjoy the eco-terrorism acts and wanted more of it. Use of the internet to spread their message was also quite realistic, along with the mystery behind organising them to ensure secrecy.
  • Patricia Clarkson has a role so small in this film, but like a tiny piece of Uranium has a massive impact.

    Here she is the head of the main character's company, a firm that supplies intelligence for corporations, infiltrating underground groups that act out against companies.

    In the course of this film, there is a sequence in which our heroine is present when a "monkey wrench" (called a jam) of sorts is about to happen and a large number of people are about to be badly treated. She then calls Clarkson with concerns about the event about to take place mere minutes (like nearly seconds), Clarkson has a response that is the essence of corporate evil.

    In this one, brief line, Clarkson nails Corporate Swine Person as well as if not better than Gary Cole in Office Space or Paul Reiser in Aliens.

    Overall the film is well made, well directed and has Ellen Page in it. (Anything with Ellen Page is worth watching at least once IMHO.) A good gripping thriller, well made and with an edge. 9/10
  • Diddisnap15 October 2014
    This was a really interesting movie and it didn't take long before I was hooked. I think the reviews are far lower than what they should be. This is an intense drama, not a terrorist action movie. I initially watched about 10 minutes (about half way through) while channel surfing one evening. It didn't really appeal to me, but considering I just jumped into it, that shouldn't be surprising. But I recently decided to give it another shot - starting from the beginning - and I am glad I did. Again, this is a drama, with a real story – something you can't just jump into like your typical action movie. The performances are believable and the standouts are Brit Marling, Alexander S., Ellen Page, and Toby Kebbell. In the end, the movie left me wanting more and it would be great to see a Part 2 !
  • maritz0121 January 2014
    The East is one of the best films I've seen from 2013. It's a mystery thriller, about the emotional an physical journey of an intelligence officer while infiltrating an anarchist group. It takes you trough all the emotions, with some intense and captivating scenes that keeps you hooked for the start, right to the end. I would have personally like a little more detail and even a deeper and closer look into the lives of the anarchist, but I find myself wondering if that's not the real hooking factor of this movie, the need to want to know more. I can definitely see a sequel in the future and even though this might not be every bodies cup of tea, if you enjoy a good mystery, this movie will not disappoint.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    How talented is Brit Marling? The lady just has oodles of talent! Juggling multiple roles of screenwriter, producer and actress – plus doing justice to each role in most of her films must not be an easy job! After watching "The East" this weekend, I found myself craving more fare in the same vein. I also ended up watching "Sound of my Voice", which I had strangely missed, considering I vowed to keep a close eye out for anything Brit Marling was involved in, after the satisfaction of "Another Earth".

    The East is a type of film I have grown to appreciate gradually, and what I would like to term "The Delicate Thriller". It's the type of film that takes its time to build up, is well structured and subtle, doesn't insult your intelligence by spelling out everything for you, and uses background score brilliantly. The Best part? – It never has in-your-face type of moments. It's the type of film that makes you obsessively seek out similar offerings. The last time I remember this happening was with "Margin Call" and I ended up watching "Inside Job" and a slew of other similar themed movies in a frenzy.

    The East deals with the theme of the less glamorized arena of environmental terrorism. It focuses around a covert operative for a private intelligence firm, Jane, played superbly by Brit Marling. She attempts to infiltrate a radical group that gives corporations toying with the environment and human life quite literally, "a taste of their own medicine".

    Jane's initiation to the group does not go too well, and there are some dissenting members who question her loyalty. She partakes in some of their stranger, cultish rituals, feeling like an outsider. As Jane become more involved with the group, she begins to see the driving force behind their actions, though she does not approve of the drastic measures they employ to make a point. One of the most tense scenes in the movie is the setting of one of the group's jams. It involves the group poisoning the heads and stakeholders of a major pharmaceutical company with their own lethal and untested drug. Jane has volunteered for this, to get the group to gain her trust, but the actual plan was never made clear to her. As she pieces things together bit by bit, we follow her in her sudden realization and attempts to make amends, but she is too late.

    Jane is a protagonist one can root for, and this is one of the reasons the movie works so well. Her every action is engaging. Well trained, talented and driven, she finds herself clearly conflicted in the course of events. However, she is not easily swayed by anyone's thoughts and opinions but her own. This culminates in Jane taking her own stand. She doesn't side with her firm and their clients, nor does she crossover to what she sees as the misguided group. She adopts their philosophy, but not their methods – and sets about to make a difference in her own way. A very satisfying ending!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    First and foremost, this is a nice movie overall. Shot well, acted well, generally pleasing as a story but I really felt the heavy hand of ideology above all else. This was easily the biggest turn off of the film. It's an attack on class, on corporate America, on wealth all kind of rolled into one and while I actually agreed with much of the general idea, being told repeatedly how bad "they" just wore me out. Now, that's not to say the film takes this as it's message. The anarchist collective (The East) carries out it's terror pranks as a way to show those who they feel have done wrong a taste of their own medicine in an eye for an eye style vengeance. Where the message really rests is the contrast between their heavy handed and petty methods of dealing justice which yields almost zero result and only goes to further a growing divide (call it wealth, power, whatever the case) and the protagonists view of showing the world and exposing the injustices, allowing people to make their own decisions, take their own action, and generally play within the system how the system was meant to be. In a sense, allowing society's laws and such to be acted upon instead of vigilante justice. It's the old feeling that the system doesn't work so abandon it vs. the system doesn't work, so fix it. Each has it's merits and will play to a certain person but neither is entirely in the right either.

    All this is nice and interesting, however, over the course of the film, it's made abundantly clear that the collective, while well intentioned, is completely hypocritical. We want you to stop hurting people so we're going to hurt you... whoever we deem "you" to be, even if you have nothing to do with the actual act. One could say the pharmaceutical company who hurts hundreds but saves hundreds of thousands is "well intentioned", right? Much like a collective who hurts dozens to help hundreds? Well, as collectives tend to be... self righteousness comes in buckets. Simply put, I was keenly aware of this hypocrisy very quickly and thus, couldn't quite wrap my head around the protagonists shift from undercover agent to sympathetic co conspirator. That single dynamic really caused the film to be a bumpy ride for me. In a sense, why would I ever root or sympathize with the people who are simply looking for petty and empty vengeance to send a message? So, the alternative ends up being a path that nearly everyone takes when faced with an injustice. They show it to the world and the world reacts. For that being the final sentiment, I was left feeling a bit let down.

    Another point to make about The East is that the protagonist is generally passive. Things happen surprisingly easily for her. She is almost immediately accepted into this secretive anarchist collective, she is then trusted by those who were only moments before highly suspicious of her to carry out a fairly intricate plot, she (without much effort) is able to fall in love with the leader of the collective. This isn't to say she doesn't progress as a character, she does, but it's at a snails pace for much of the film.

    Some other minor things that just bugged me is that supporting characters made very abrupt exits never to be seen or heard from again. I wasn't overly happy with Page's character, Izzy. Not that her performance wasn't very good, it was, simply that her moment in the sun is so unsatisfying. It could have been done purposely but I don't know.

    All this negative aside, The East is a decent film and certainly provokes some interesting questions. As I said, the acting is very good in the film and quite enjoyable. The visuals are mostly simplistic but again, tastefully done. In general, the film is pretty solid. Unfortunately, for me, the philosophical and societal questions the film raises were just a bit too easily answered. Yes, big business who manipulates and poisons while operating above the law is wrong. Yes, going after them and trying to give them cancer as retribution is wrong. Yes, instead of essentially becoming the devil you despise, tell the world, expose truth and let society's laws which are there for a reason be the rule.
  • Brit Marling made a helluva splash in 2011 with Another Earth. Writer and star, it was fantastic storytelling and acting. One of the only films to make a DV style work and be both compelling and convincing. It's really upsetting that her potential is squandered with The East. Writer and star again, this film is the furthest thing from Another Earth. However, perhaps this is due to the director/co-writer who has really condescending storytelling techniques. I skipped their pairing last year for The Sound Of My Voice because I heard mixed things but if it's supposedly worse than this then I don't want to know. Nothing about The East is convincing. It feels like there wasn't a lick of research done on either the anarchist group or the CIA or whatever random intelligence agent Marling worked for. There wasn't a convincing moment for the characters either. There's loadsa stuff that feels like it should work on paper but in execution, it just made me groan. It's like a cartoon of what the writers think this kind of stuff is like. So terribly contrived as well. It forces emotion too but it ends up just cold and melodramatic. It gets a little better in the second half when I decided to lower my expectations and just go with the flow but nothing could recover its messy first half hour. Impossible to invest in or take seriously.

  • Hey, wake up IMDb reviewers. Hiller Brood, the security firm that is half the focus of The East, is based on Booz Allen, the Chicago firm that is the largest private spy company in the world and that supplied Edward Snowden with his felicitous job at the NSA. Business Week's site has a good summary article on their business model.

    Also: every review I've read seems to think the female lead's terrorist love interest, played by Alexander Skarsgård, is the group's leader, despite the only slightly subtle dig at that expectation the movie provides, when the infiltrator calls him the leader and gets surprised looks, after which the Ellen Page character is shown to exercise the most influence. (Hey, they're anarchists, no leaders, duh!)

    Don't know why some reviewers think the movie doesn't take a stand on the issue at its core: the morality of retaliation against corporate wrongdoing. The terrorists (and infiltrator) are young, good-looking and thoroughly moral, while their corporate enemies are ugly, brutish and thoroughly unpleasant, tho they have, of course, the law, and all its apparatus, firmly on their side.
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