The Recruit

Touchstone Pictures / Spyglass Entertainment Released 2003




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Movie Summary

Roger Donaldson

The Recruit is about the recruitment of a talented young computer programmer into the CIA. The film, directed by Roger Donaldson, follows the story of James Clayton from his days attending MIT to his enlistment into the CIA by veteran agent Walter Burke. Clayton joins the CIA in hopes of uncovering information about his father who he believes was a former CIA operative. Once joined, he is brought to The Farm ' a CIA training and testing grounds. He is put through a series of psychological and physical tests to teach and prepare him for espionage. In the training course with him is fellow new agent Layla Moore who Clayton begins to fall for. After failing to complete one of his training exercises, Clayton is released only to realize he was released on purpose by Burke. Burke then puts him on a secret mission to follow Layla because she is thought to be a foreign spy. Clayton finds that Layla has been shoveling information out of the CIA via a flash drive, but when Clayton confronts Layla he finds that the CIA actually hired her to test it's security protocol. Now Clayton must get to the bottom of the true corruption stemming from now friend and mentor agent Burke.


Metacritic Score

  • 70

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    The whole picture may be hokey, but the first part is agreeably so, the second part not. At the very least, one comes away with a new appreciation of the difficulty of inner-office...

  • 60

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    Like Christopher Walken or Marlon Brando, Mr. Pacino frequently uses his gifts to make mediocre movies more interesting. Everything else in The Recruit may be tiresomely predictabl...

  • 60

    Los Angeles Times Manohla Dargis

    No matter how seriously everyone works to make the CIA impossibly sexy, the illusion that these pencil pushers are incarnations of Bond, James Bond, is difficult to sustain.

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More Info About This Movie


Thrillers, Espionage