‘The East,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


A movie that’s bound to set your paranoia sensors flashing, “The East” is a cerebral thriller in which it’s hard to tell who’s the hero and who’s the villain.

That’s especially true for the film’s central character, a former FBI agent named Sarah, played by the film’s producer and co-writer, Brit Marling. Sarah works for a secretive security firm that specializes in corporate espionage. Her chilly boss, Sharon (Patricia Clarkson), gives her a new assignment: infiltrating a radical environmental group that calls itself The East.

The East, taking to the Internet, has announced that it has selected four corporations for action. The targeted companies either pollute the environment –secretly or in ways that minimally comply with the law – or knowingly market products that cause harmful side effects. A company that fears it may be on The East’s list has employed Sharon to find and quash any efforts to embarrass or otherwise call attention to its corporate malfeasance.

So Sarah goes undercover, hopping trains and otherwise blending into a growing community of disaffected young adults who have purposely dropped off the grid. She insinuates herself into this world, doing the kind of things that get her noticed as a possible recruit for The East – until she is invited to join the group. Now what?

This review continues on my website.

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