The Recruit (2003)

The Recruit



Critic Consensus: This polished thriller is engaging until it takes one twist too many into the predictable.

Movie Info

A brilliant young man is tapped to join the elite branch of American intelligence, only to discover how complex and dangerous the job can really be in this suspense-drama. James Clayton (Colin Farrell) recently completed his studies at MIT, where he graduated at the top of his class and is pondering his next move while he works as a bartender at an upscale nightspot. One evening, Clayton is approached by Walter Burke (Al Pacino), a recruiter for the Central Intelligence Agency, who describes … More

Rating: PG-13 (for violence, sexuality and language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Kurt Wimmer, Mitch Glazer, Roger Towne
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 27, 2003
Box Office: $52.7M
Touchstone Pictures - Official Site


as Walter Burke

as James Clayton

as Layla Moore

as Dennis Slayne

as Dell Rep

as Instructor 1

as Cab Driver

as Polygraph Interrogat...

as Husky Man

as Rob Stevens

as Art Wallis

as Polygraph Interrogat...

as Instructor No. 1

as Co-Ed No. 1

as Brunette at Blue Rid...

as Instructor No. 2

as Young Instructor

as Lisa Sahadi

as Security Officer No....

as Psychiatrist No. 1

as Psychiatrist No. 2

as Psychiatrist No. 3

as Exam Proctor

as Polygraph Technician

as Co-Worker

as Transit Cop

as New Security Guard

as Test Instructor

as Farm Instructor No. ...

as Farm Instructor No. ...

as Young Instructor No....

as Band Member No. 1

as Band Member No. 2

as Band Member No. 3

as Firing Range Instruc...

as Langley Gate Guard

as Running Instructor
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Recruit

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Critic Reviews for The Recruit

All Critics (177) | Top Critics (40)

Above-average thriller, but not very memorable.

Full Review… | December 29, 2010
Common Sense Media

I'm still hoping Pacino will dazzle with a great performance eventually...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Watchable only for its star power and scarce caffeine kicks...awfully predictable. [Blu-Ray]

Full Review… | June 1, 2008
Groucho Reviews

Many would believe Pacino could do no wrong but he has. The Recruit serves only to ignite a pilot light in the imagination of espionage lovers everywhere.

Full Review… | August 8, 2006
Cinema Sight

The film still makes a diverting entertainment in spite of its obviousness.

Full Review… | February 8, 2005

Pacino's puppet-stringing of his recruit is reminiscent of Peter O'Toole's manipulative character in 1980's 'The Stunt Man.'

| October 15, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Audience Reviews for The Recruit

The Recruit is a film that showcases an interesting idea, but simply doesn't quite get there. It's a great shame because this film could have been something great, unfortunately it falls flat after 45 minutes in, and the plot seems to stop dead in its tracks. The recruit could have been a good film, but instead it just becomes a mediocre film that ends up being a waste of time. You'd think that a film with a strong lead in Al Pacino would be good, right? Well, this one disappoints and by the end of the film you feel that something is missing to really make this film a must see film. Unfortunately , this film is not interesting, and the plot goes nowhere after 45 minutes. The acting was decent, but overall everything seems out of place after a while. The Recruit is a pointless action film that just doesn't deliver. I thought the film could have been much better than this, and it was a total waste. The Recruit had a good idea for a plot, unfortunately the second act of the film just doesn't deliver, and that's what makes this film mediocre. The Recruit is one of those films that had a good idea, but due to a poor script, simply doesn't cut it, and ends up being a flawed film. If you're looking for a good action spy thriller, then don't watch this film. This film is quite disappointing and ends up being a dud by the time the credits role.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

'The Recruit' is a nasty little thriller whose twists and turns keep you guessing until the end, even if its obvious who the real antagonist is. The plot is a bit contrived and the performances aren't spectacular, but the movie delivers cool, swift entertainment. It's not incredibly well-made, but much more enjoyable if you sit back and let the plot unfold before you.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer


Okay performances in a rote exercise of predictability.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

The Recruit Quotes

– Submitted by Sidharthan A (3 years ago)

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