- Starring: Aldis Hodge, Alexander Skarsgård, Brit Marling, Danielle Macdonald, Ellen Page, Hillary Baack, Jason Ritter, Julia Ormond, Patricia Clarkson, Shiloh Fernandez, Toby Kebbell
- Summary: An elite private intelligence firm contracts ex-FBI agent Sarah Moss to infiltrate a mysterious anarchist collective, The East, suspected to be responsible for attacking major corporations. Sarah goes undercover, but as she gets closer to the action and the organization's leader, herAn elite private intelligence firm contracts ex-FBI agent Sarah Moss to infiltrate a mysterious anarchist collective, The East, suspected to be responsible for attacking major corporations. Sarah goes undercover, but as she gets closer to the action and the organization's leader, her commitment to her task begins to waver.… Expand
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Jun 25, 2013What I like best about movies that highlight corporate greed and revenge for the little guy is that the ultimate message is, people matter.What I like best about movies that highlight corporate greed and revenge for the little guy is that the ultimate message is, people matter. The health of their environment matters. Their health matters. Their children matter. And it's not okay for them to be treated as collateral damage by corporate money-mongers.
Such is true in real life.
On a personal level, what I most appreciated about The East was that it accurately depicted the horrors of a real class of prescription antibiotics, fluoroquinolones. (Per Brit Marling in a Huffington Post interview, they modeled the horrors of the pharmaceutical industry in the film after the real horrors of fluoroquinolone toxicity.) The fictionalized Diaoxin (or something like that) that causes central nervous system damage, tendon rupture, seizures, rash, tremors, etc. is based on real reactions to real drugs, antibiotics that go by the names Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox and Larium. As The East depicted, the effects of these drugs can be devastating. The East also illustrated that onset of adverse symptoms can be delayed, leading to people not identifying the drugs as the culprit in their ill health, the fact that a lawsuit is impossible, or at least difficult, because the side-effects are listed on the package insert, that these drugs are being given to our armed forces in massive quantities, that these drugs are toted as a miracle cure for anthrax, that these drugs are commonly used in Africa (and other places in the world where malaria is common) to treat traveler’s diarrhea and malaria, etc. Really, they did an awesome job at portraying as complete a picture as possible of fluoroquinolones and their toxicity. I know, it sounds unbelievable, as if I'm basing my assessment of reality on the movie. In reality, the movie was based on true stories of fluoroquinolone toxicity. Please look at The Fluoroquinolone Wall of Pain on Facebook for stories of illness and my blog, www.floxiehope.com, for stories of hope and healing.… Collapse
Jun 21, 2013Compelling....................................................................................................................................Compelling....................................................................................................................................................................… Expand
Jun 27, 2013I have to say that this is a very good movie.... I find the acting superb the story line also very good and for this type of suspenseful dramaI have to say that this is a very good movie.... I find the acting superb the story line also very good and for this type of suspenseful drama it was beyond antiquate to keep my attention and interest for the entire movie. it provides a lot of fascinating looks at the way we live and how society reacts and acts about some difficult questions that need some answers in regards to our respect of our planet and the people who inhabit it.… Expand
Sep 11, 2013Recently co-writer and lead actress Brit Marling starred in a similarly themed film, Sound of My Voice,a film also about a mysteriousRecently co-writer and lead actress Brit Marling starred in a similarly themed film, Sound of My Voice,a film also about a mysterious organization but these two films couldn't be more different with The East being a logical and compelling piece of cinema. When Jane (Brit Marling) is sent in undercover to assess a fundamentalist group called The East, a group led by Benji (Alexander Skarsgard) and Izzy (Ellen Page) she starts to understand their cause as the company she works for begins to twist the truth until she doesn't know who to trust. The only flaw with The East is it really isn't as clever as it thinks it is, it uses cliched twists to convey key plot points and lacks the subtlety and strength of its conviction to pull its twists off. The end is almost ruined by a twist so half arsed it really deserves mocking but by doing so I may ruin it for the few who might not catch it. The filming is splendid with every shot feeling grey as the film blurs the lines between black and white as Jane loses herself in a web of deceit, a web so complex that be the end I had forgotten her real name. Filled with some excellent performances, Marling proves her worth as an actor after disappointing turns in her own projects such as Another Earth and the previously mentioned Sound of My Voice. Skarsgard is the best of the bunch as he is completely fearless in his depiction of this utterly lost soul. The film begs the viewer to pick a side before the end but the finale makes that strive for agreement pointless as the film ends on its own terms. Most of the political ideas on display are half baked at best and it really shows with the conclusion feeling like a safe way to bring this story to a close, although I have to say I did get a little bit of satisfaction with the neat and tidy nature of the ending, something this story really doesn't deserve. While interesting and well performed it finds itself let down by a lack of thought going into what the writers really wanted to say.… Expand
Nov 17, 2013Cautionary tale of the consequences of getting too close to a cause you're to undermine or subvert. In this case, the protagonist (Sarah)Cautionary tale of the consequences of getting too close to a cause you're to undermine or subvert. In this case, the protagonist (Sarah) flips from "establishment" to counter-culture but is intent on pursuing their aims non-violently, contrary to the group's MO. Could also be seen as another tale of how one person can make a difference.… Expand
Jul 17, 2013The trailer presented this film as thriller focused on eco-terrorism. Unfortunately it delves into a drama leaving anything engaging about aThe 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 unengaging.
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.
See this on DVD instead.… Expand
Sep 5, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I really like movies that take on the corporate structure and by the trailer, you'd thins one does. And you wouldn't be disappointed if you are shallow and half only half a brain cell.
Jane's character is terrible, she lives with her effeminate boyfriend who seems more like a dog than a man. Then we move on to the rag-tag band of "revolutionaries" each with a grudge against the system. And for a while you sympathize with them until you notice the quirks. There are so many stereotypes in this movie it should be called "TV stereotypes the movie".
The hacker is fat, the doctor is a nerd with glasses wow original the leader is the macho guy who would have guessed one of them seems to motivate her action not by corporate malice but because she seems to want revenge against her dad dafuq.
And finally we hafve the super -secret agent Jane, who is so unlikeable it's not even funny anymore.
She is bland and acts well as a 'serious' character, but as a hobo, not even close. Characters seem to forget what happened to them 10 minutes ago and generally react totally un-natural to their environment like they are bad actors on a stage.
And finally the icing on the cake for this fiasco, the ending.
Watch the ending speech, in the Mercedes between the two she is making the same apology as people who claim Manning and Snowden should have shut up and kept quiet because "it exposes the system".
And then it hit me. This whole speech is PROPAGANDA.
And of course while the credits roll she is seen heroically reasoning with cold hardened hired professionals who what else are they known for if their affectionate side that corporations are bad and ...stuff.
Some might wonder is this "Jane" living in her own head? In reality most of these people know EXACTLY well what they defend and they just don't care as long as the pay check comes on the table.
They are like mercenaries with no morality or substance.
Just like this movie.… Expand