The Recruit

Rated 3.0 “Trust no one, for nothing is as it seems” is the paranoid mantra that drives this well-crafted, seductive but overly familiar spy thriller from director Roger Donaldson (Thirteen Days, Smash Palace). The CIA candidate of the title is brilliant MIT graduate James Clayton (Minority Report’s Colin Farrell on a fast track to stardom). He is subjected to cat-and-mouse mind games with his recruiter (Al Pacino as a super-manipulative government spook) and the difficult secret training regime at The Farm, the infamous place where all greenhorn agents are molded, constantly tested and ranked. The story has some promising sidebars, such as Clayton’s continuing search for information about his missing father, who may have been a CIA operative, and his relationship with a female agent (Bridget Moynahan). However, the film’s gripping, insider’s view into the agency is neutralized by Hollywood formula and a couple of ludicrous wrong turns.