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The East

Drama . Thriller . Adventure . Crime

An operative for an elite private intelligence firm finds her priorities irrevocably changed after she is tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations.

Actors: Brit Marling , Alexander Skarsgård , Ellen Page , Toby Kebbell , Shiloh Fernandez , Aldis Hodge , Danielle Macdonald , Hillary Baack , Patricia Clarkson , Jason Ritter
Directors: Zal Batmanglij
Country: UK , USA
Release: 2013-06-28
More Info:
  • Steve Persall

    The East is a crackling thriller and a political statement tough to peg.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Leah Greenblatt

    The East is still a compelling portrait of what gets lost (and found) when a cause becomes an obsession.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Guy Lodge

    The film keeps its good-evil borders compellingly supple, at least until a wobbly finale that requires Sarah to act like the Hollywood heroine she has so strenuously avoided becoming. It’s a minor blot on a film otherwise propulsively alive with prickly politics.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Kevin Harley

    Another Brit hit, plus Batmanglij is beginning to show dash as director. The duo make a tight fist of hot topicality and high tension from an ideas-packed genre piece.

    Total Film Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    The magnetic Alexander Skarsgard is the leader, Benji, a soft-spoken dreamboat, ever-direct but with a haunted quality, with something in reserve. Ellen Page gives a Lili Taylor–worthy performance (high praise) as a suspicious, abrasive young woman.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    It’s more that the filmmakers close out this oddly inspiring yarn of apocalypse and paranoia with a note of false reassurance. Yes, the world is fundamentally screwed and most people are apathetic or paralyzed. So start ringing doorbells! Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    As the cracklingly cool The East shows, they’re the real deal. It’s not easy to make a thriller where brains and guts are so clearly in cahoots.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    Eventually it’s go time, and if The East loses a little steam on the grounds of action mechanics (a skill these plots always require), it’s never dumb on the subject of covert allegiances.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Jordan Hoffman

    This is a movie that proposes a genuine, intelligent solution, both for the main character and for us. It comes at you kinda quickly (and economically, in about three wordless shots), but it hit me like a bag of dumpster-dived apples to the gut. Full Review
  • John DeFore

    Batmanglij balances emotional tension with practical danger nicely, a must in a story whose activist protagonists can make no distinction between the personal and the political.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Bill Zwecker

    Marling has crafted a nicely taut, suspenseful cinematic journey into the world of corporate espionage.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    As usual, Marling is a pleasure to watch for the psychological complexity and contradictions of her character. This time, the story almost lives up to the performance.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    This is an effective genre piece. And Marling's quiet way of anchoring a scene is subtle enough to escape detection in almost any narrative circumstance.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Provocative, issue-oriented thrillers are in sadly short supply these days. But The East fills the bill with its examination of the intense commitment and anarchic impulses of eco-terrorist organizations. It's a fascinating subject on which to anchor a spy thriller.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    You leave The East with a hunger to know more and a good idea of where to look. For Marling and Batmanglij that counts as mission accomplished. For audiences, it’s that rare thing these days – a movie that matters.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    It’s best, perhaps, to just accept the movie on its dramatic terms, as a reasonably gripping thriller about the dangers of deep cover, anchored by a terrific actress on the brink of stardom.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    It’s too much a movie of “types,” and loses track of story elements that would seem important enough to warrant further exploration. The whole Christian conservative law-and-order mantle feels like a fuzzy afterthought on Jane, forgotten far too soon.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • R. Kurt Osenlund

    It showcases the evolving interests and talents of Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling, but expands them and channels them into a more traditional thriller framework.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    As slickly paced as a big-studio espionage movie, it nearly succeeds as a pure adrenaline-rush thriller. In the end, the problem isn't that there's too much plot, but rather a certain dramatic illogic.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    It is a smart, well-acted drama, and another chance for Marling to exercise her unique talents, creating intriguing characters on the page and the screen.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    The East makes for a passable thriller, as 1 percenters get theirs in satisfying, if incrementally implausible ways.

    NPR Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    For the most part, The East is a dizzying cat and mouse game with all sorts of moral implications.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    It may be asking too much of The East — which is, after all, a twisty, breathless genre film — to wish that it would frame the contradictions of contemporary capitalism more rigorously. The movie is aware that they exist, and wishes that they could be resolved more or less happily, which is hard to argue with, though also hard to believe.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    This clever, involving spy drama builds to a terrific level of intrigue before losing some steam in its second half.

    Variety Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    The East never goes as deep undercover as it should.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Cory Everett

    The East is definitely a movie that's going to divide people but it'll be a conversation worth having.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Tim Robey

    Come the final act, the best political thrillers don't play nice, after all – they twist the knife. This one’s so concerned with making the world a better place, it retracts the blade and wipes it clean

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Henry Barnes

    The East – a sleek thriller clogged by its noble message – heads south. It becomes sanctimonious, makes you contrary. I left craving a Big Mac.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Kim Newman

    Well-acted and suspenseful, with a great deal of editorial content, this feels a little awkward and earnest, and perhaps not angry enough.

    Empire Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Even if it doesn't provide all the answers, "The East" asks some pretty darn good questions.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Amy Nicholson

    For all its empathy and equilibrium, The East has nowhere to go after the script backs itself into a corner.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    The film looks good (nod to cinematographer Roman Vasyanov). The images are sharp even when the film’s ideas are not.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

    The East prizes an initial air of mystery over consistent drama, and as a result ends up squandering its intriguing premise. Full Review
  • James Adams

    Unfortunately, The East is not a very good movie, hobbled by an excess of plot, a lack of believability and big gaps of logic.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    A good cast and the speed-dial theme of eco-terrorism should really add up to a film of more substantial mind over matter than the dull, talky and ultimately pointless espionage thriller The East.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Let’s say you wanted to have another go at “Red Dawn” but you think more like Redford. Voilà: You’d have The East, a cockamamie valentine to eco-terrorism.

    New York Post Full Review
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