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<< Entertainment >>

New Movie Review

"The East"

Thriller. Rated PG-13. 1 hour, 56 minutes.

Photo by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard in Fox Searchlight's "The East" - 2013

 

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

::: Sundance Selection (2013) :::

|

This is the story of a mysterious network of anti-corporate militants whose actions ranged from pranks to terrorism. Members of “The East” lived off the grid in an abandoned house near the Mason-Dixie Line. Their goal was to hold the executive class accountable for poisoning the water and polluting the environment. They targeted after three multi-national corporations in this movie.

Brit Marling starred as Sarah Moss, a former FBI agent. The movie opened with a shot of her waking up in bed with Tim (played by Jason Ritter). Moss went on a job interview to work for the private intelligence firm, Hiller Brood. She really hoped to get this new job.

Hours later, Moss got the job. She told Tim that she needed a ride to the airport for a flight to Dubai. However, it was all a hoax. After he left the airport, she walked outside the terminal and got into a taxi cab. Moss was working undercover as part of The East. She was able to convince the members of this group that she was a part of them.

A multi-national pharmaceutical company was the first target of The East. The militants learned that this corporation was selling dangerous antibiotics. The East showed up at one of their corporate parties where all of the big whigs were drinking champagne. This is where Ellen Page entered the movie. Her father is the CEO of the pharmaceutical company. She had a casual conversation with him and then gives him a shot in the leg. He passed out.

An electric company was the next corporation The East held accountable. It was selected for releasing poison into a river, which in turn caused a man to die from his bad drinking water. The militants brought the CEO and his wife to the side of the river at 3 a.m., the exact time when poisonous chemicals were released. Members of The East pushed the CEO and his wife into the contaminated waters.

Later in the film, Moss fell in love with fellow East member Benji (played by Alexander Skarsgård). He caught on to the fact that she was undercover. Benji demanded that Moss give him a list of all the private investigators working with her. She returned to the company’s headquarters and recorded a video of her co-workers on a computer screen. The P.I. firm saw the whole thing and took her Blackberry away.

Will Moss be praised for her undercover work or does she get tortured? I’m not going to tell you that now. You’ll have to see the movie to find out how it ends.

Zal Batmanglij directed and co-wrote “The East” along with actress Brit Marling. Also starring in the film are Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Aldis Hodge, Danielle Macdonald and Hillary Baack. Scenes for the movie were all shot in and around Shreveport, La.

I thought this film was more of a documentary-thriller than just a thriller. I was hoping to see more of Ellen Page. She first appeared 20 minutes into the movie and then died about a half hour later. There were a few gory scenes, so I wouldn’t recommend it for children, even though it has a PG-13 rating.

“The East” made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 20, 2013. Eleven days later, it played at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor as part of its Sundance Film Festival USA program. Look for it right now in select theaters nationwide. "The East" will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

OVERALL RATING: B

 

Watch the Official Movie Trailer

 

 

Graphic by Fox Searchlight Pictures

"The East" movie poster

 

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