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"THE RECRUIT"
(2003) (Al Pacino, Colin Farrell) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Moderate Extreme Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor Extreme None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Minor Mild Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Thriller: A new CIA recruit must figure out what's real and who to trust when assigned to find a mole within the organization.
PLOT:
Walter Burke (AL PACINO) is a CIA recruiter who's always on the lookout for potential future agents. His latest mark is James Clayton (COLIN FARRELL), a computer whiz who fits the CIA profile. While initially reluctant, James soon joins other recruits including Layla Moore (BRIDGET MOYNAHAN), Zach (GABRIEL MACHT) and Ronnie (MIKE REALBA) in going through training at Langley's "the farm."

There, they learn the fundamentals of espionage and experience various simulations of what their actual work may be like. After James is let go for breaking under some brutal interrogation, Burke informs him that he's actually been chosen as their top Ops Officer. His assignment is to find a possible mole that may be working inside the company trying to gain access to a top secret and potentially damaging software program.

The catch is that Burke believes Layla's the mole. From that point on, James must put aside his romantic feelings for her and go undercover as a double agent within the organization to discover whether she or someone else is working against their efforts.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast or spy-related plots, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For violence, sexuality and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
To avoid giving away any late in the game surprises, only the initial and some later characteristics and behavior are noted here.
  • AL PACINO plays a CIA recruiter who actively drafts James and then teaches him and others the foundations of how to do their espionage related jobs. He uses profanity, some of which is briefly strong, and smokes a few times.
  • COLIN FARRELL plays a computer whiz who's recruited by Burke to join the CIA. He uses some profanity, is drunk in one scene, has sex with Layla and tries to figure out what's real and who to trust as he tries to track down a mole in the organization.
  • BRIDGET MOYNAHAN plays another CIA recruit who others believe may be a mole working inside the organization. She ends up falling for but then questioning James with whom she has sex.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this dramatic thriller that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Sexually related dialogue occurs in several scenes, while the beginning of one sexual encounter (with disrobing, passionate kissing and heavy breathing) and the end of another (a man rolling off a woman under the covers) is seen.

    Violence consists of two deaths via shootings, attempts at shooting others, some beatings (that turn out to be part of a training exercise) and some fighting. Some of those scenes have bloody results, while they and other moments may be tense or suspenseful to some viewers. Those who turn against the CIA have bad attitudes, while one character smokes a few times and various characters drink in several scenes (one to the point of being drunk with another feigning that).

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, some of that occurs during the opening credits during several close-up views of computer screens.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Various people drink in a bar where James works as a bartender and serves Burke a martini.
  • James tells Burke he was hoping he could buy him a beer, but Burke declines the offer.
  • James and other recruits have beer in front of them as they play poker.
  • People drink in a bar where James finds Layla who appears to be quite drunk and worried about vomiting from being that way (we later learn all of that's just a ruse).
  • Burke has a drink.
  • We see James in a bathtub (nothing explicit) and see various empty mini bottles of booze next to him while he drinks more liquor straight from the bottle. Later, he's drunk and drinks more.
  • James' boss comments about going to a restaurant for Margarita Mondays.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A thug informs James that Layla "pissed" her pants and hands them to James as proof (and he smells them).
  • A man has some blood on his jacket after being shot.
  • A man purposefully bangs his head through a glass panel (leaving a chunk of glass in his head that he then removes, with bloody results).
  • James has a few bloody scrapes on his face.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Those who work for, yet turn against, the CIA obviously have both types of attitudes (particularly when it comes to trying to kill others).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be tense or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Men from a van suddenly rush James and Layla. James punches several of them, as does Layla, but the men overpower and carry them into the van. Later, these men interrogate James with one man backhanding him and another stomps down on him (we don't see the later impact). More struggling later follows and they put him into a cold shower. After James spits on one of them, a guy punches him in the face. They later push him down to the floor and then later shock him with some sort of device (we hear his screams from that, but don't see them shocking him).
  • James sees and hears someone at his door, trying to get in. He then grabs the person by the throat when they enter the room (but it turns out to be Burke).
  • James rifles through Layla's belongings and tries to access files on her computer as we see her approaching her office (and he barely escapes without being noticed).
  • He later tries to do the same at her house while she sleeps.
  • James chases after a man through a train station and then ends up below it through tunnels and other close quarters. The man suddenly grabs James from behind and knocks him down before running off again. James then chases after him with his gun drawn and tries to find him in a cat and mouse scene that involves more searching, some gunfire, fighting and then a death.
  • James then tries to avoid the police who are looking for him.
  • James holds a gun on a man who says everything's been a setup and then urges him to pull the trigger to prove that the gun is empty. James eventually does, but the man blocks the shot that blows out the back window. James flees and that man then searches for him through a building with his gun drawn as James hides.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Automatic weapons: Carried, fired during training and/or used to threaten or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • A bomb explodes beneath a car (destroying it) during a training exercise, while we also see a Molotov cocktail being thrown during the same.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You don't know sh*t," "Bullsh*t," "Sh*t bag," "My d*ck's on fire" (what Burke says after coffee spills on his lap), "Chick" (woman), "Geeks," "Suck up," "Pissed," "Sweating my ass off," "How the hell did she get in?" "Piss like a racehorse," "What the hell is going on?" "Screw" (nonsexual) and "Bitch" (problem).
  • James has a large tattoo on his arm.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A man suddenly grabs James.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous, suspenseful and action-oriented music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 12 "s" words, 2 slang terms for sex ("laid"), 2 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck" and "pr*ck"), 3 asses, 3 hells, 1 damn, 4 uses each of "G-damn" and "Jesus," 2 of "God" and 1 use each of "Christ" and "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Burke tells the recruits that working for the CIA isn't about sex and that it won't "get you laid."
  • Burke takes his male recruits on a training mission to a bar where he tells them that their goal is to convince one woman to have sex with each of them. Accordingly, James lies about being a released convict who has one thing on his mind and a woman (who shows cleavage) at the bar seems ready to leave with him. However, he sees Layla who appears to be drunk and wants to make sure she's okay. She then comes on to him (while apparently drunk) and talks about the possible "comfort sex" they could have.
  • Later, and while serving as her interrogator during more training, James asks Layla if she really wanted to go home and have comfort sex. He then asks if she "wanted to have sex with me last night, yes or no." She says no but the machinery hooked up to her shows that she's lying.
  • James' new boss at the CIA tells him that his badge will get him "laid" with Republican girls.
  • We see Layla's bare back as she enters a shower and then see a diffused view of her figure through the shower curtain (but nothing explicit).
  • Layla informs James of several places in the parking garage where the cameras won't see them for a number of seconds. They then passionately kiss in that garage. We then see them back at her place where he removes her shirt (we see her in her bra) and then gets on top of her on the bed where she removes his shirt. More passionate kissing and heavy breathing follows in a torso shot of him on top of her. We then see them asleep in bed after presumably having sex (in the "spoons" position where we see her bare back).
  • The next morning there's more passionate kissing while standing and we then see him rolling off from on top of her in bed (under the sheets with no nudity or sexual movement).
  • James jokes that he and Layla could go and see Dillinger's penis at the Smithsonian Museum.
  • SMOKING
  • Burke twice smokes cigars.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that James' father died in a plane crash in 1990 and see that James is stiff affected by that (primarily because he still doesn't know what his father's job or role was).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The CIA and work as an agent.
  • Trusting others.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A bomb explodes beneath a car (destroying it) during a training exercise.
  • Some trainees are flipped over by others during training exercises.
  • During more training, a sliding security door slams into one student, trapping him, while James dives and breaks through a glass window to escape.
  • Men from a van suddenly rush James and Layla. James punches several of them, as does Layla, but the men overpower and carry them into the van. Later, these men interrogate James with one man backhanding him and another stomps down on him (we don't see the later impact). More struggling later follows and they put him into a cold shower. After James spits on one of them, a guy punches him in the face. They later push him down to the floor and then later shock him with some sort of device (we hear his screams from that, but don't see them shocking him).
  • James sees and hears someone at his door, trying to get in. He then grabs the person by the throat when they enter the room (but it turns out to be Burke).
  • James chases after a man through and then below a train station where that man jumps on James and knocks him down. He then shoots at James who shoots back and continues his hunt and chase. The two then struggle over a gun (that fires several times). James elbows him several times and then ends up shooting and killing him (with some blood).
  • James breaks glass in a door to gain entry into a house.
  • Layla blasts through a fence in her car while being pursued but ends up crashing into something. A man then holds a gun on her after breaking her passenger side door window.
  • James holds a gun on a man who says everything's been a setup and then urges him to pull the trigger to prove that the gun is empty. James eventually does, but the man blocks the shot that blows out the back window.
  • A man purposefully bangs his head through a glass panel (leaving a chunk of glass in his head that he then removes, with bloody results).
  • A man fires some warning shots near another man to intimidate him. He then shoots a computer and then fires at that other man several times, but misses.
  • Officials open fire on a man, riddling him with bullets and killing him.



  • Reviewed January 28, 2003 / Posted January 31, 2003

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