The Numbers Station (2013)
After his latest mission goes disastrously wrong, veteran CIA black ops agent Emerson Kent (John Cusack, 2012) is given one last chance to prove he still has what it takes to do his job. His new assignment: guarding Katherine (Malin Akerman, Watchmen), a code operator at a top-secret remote CIA "Numbers Station" where encrypted messages are sent and received. When an elite team of heavily armed assailants lays siege to the station, Emerson and Katherine suddenly find themselves in a life-or-death struggle against an unknown enemy. With the station compromised and innocent lives at stake, they must stop the deadly plot before it's too late. (c) Image … More
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Critics Consensus: Pain & Gain is Visceral But Uneven
– Rotten Tomatoes
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Critic Reviews for The Numbers Station
John Cusack replays his role as a lethal operative with occupational angst for a routine thriller with a female cryptographer at secret CIA site. Dire workplace issues ensue.
A predictable hodgepodge of uninteresting psychological cat-and-mouse, dimly lighted action filmed by director Kasper Barfoed in standard-operating shaky-cam ...
With Cusack's help, Barfoed holds your interest without resorting to car chases, a rarity in a contemporary thriller.
This dreary spy drama is as flat and airless as the concrete bunker in which it unfolds.
Akerman does work hard to keep up the energy level. Cusack, though, seems bored by the superficial proceedings, which don't even offer the distraction of a real romantic connection or a suspenseful confrontation.
Cusack and Akerman scramble down a series of dimly lit, identical-looking passageways. The setting is as ill-defined as the characters.
Danish director Kasper Barfoed, who makes his English-language debut here, makes fine use of the movie's tight constraints, painting it in concrete hallways, electrical panels, and glowing computer screens.
The claustrophobic location gives the film a clammy suspense, though it's so dimly lit that it's sometimes hard to work out who is shooting at whom.
A potentially intriguing idea is thrown out the window in this predictable low-budget thriller.
There's an interesting, timely idea in this espionage thriller, as well as adept leading actors who are able to make the most of the script's dry wit.
The Numbers Station is a cheap and predictable thriller that works only because of its two leading cast members: John Cusack and Malin Akerman.
'The Numbers Station' is a competent film and it does manage to create some tension. But you're conscious of the fact that it all feels familiar and wondering why there isn't a little more to it.
John Cusack is back in a ferocious spy role updated to the information universe. Look out.
John Cusack's usual clipped way of talking serves him well in the role of a disillusioned black ops agent. He's also convincing in the film's gunplay sequences and in his guarded interaction with others.
Cusack's glum visage immediately lays a wet blanket over Danish director Kasper Barfoed's English-language debut and keeps it firmly in place until the final fade-out.
It's little wonder the movie spends so much time running in circles when we see where it ultimately goes.
The Numbers Station is a lean, tactile thriller that grabs you from the opening and keeps you aptly entertained.
Assembled from competent elements and featuring more dedicated performances than one might expect, The Numbers Station is still a tad too nondescript to leave much of an impact.
If you're looking for a dynamic, politically-tinged thriller, you could do a lot better, but you could also do a lot worse.
Claustrophobic and repetitive...a numbingly tedious would-be thriller.
Audience Reviews for The Numbers Station
An intelligent, fresh and high-octane edge of your seat thriller that's laced with explosive action and character development. A sharp and well-crafted movie with gripping performances. John Cusack and Malin Akerman are right on the money, have have engaging chemistry and give strong and rather soulful performances. Cusack hits all the right notes and shines. Akerman is charismatic and gives plenty of heart to her role. Liam Cunningham is terrific. Director, Kasper Barfoed keeps the films pace moving good and it keeps your attention firmly on the main characters in isolated locations to give a more claustrophobic feel. An explosively entertaining action-packed thrill-rideMore
It wasn't great nor awful. It fell somewhere in between. I am usually biased when it comes to John Cusack films. I am and have been a huge fan of his for forever. In my opinion he never turns out a bad performance. He just has the misfortune of being in bad films.
The movie reminded me a bit of Wanted. Not nearly as good though, but still worth seeing if you get a chance.
The code has never been compromised. Until now..
Mediocre movie! This movie is like those novels from authors you've never heard about sold at petrol stations and supermarkets, the kind of fiction that exists purely to shift a small portion of units to generate some kind of income. A potboiler, really. Just a way to keep food on the table for the screenwriter and add to the revenue streams of the film company, in some small way. There is precisely nothing exciting, interesting or original about this movie. It's just a copy-paste straight to DVD thriller flick about spies and stuff. Hire the cameramen, find some location to shoot it, get the actors there on time, let's get this crap over and done with and move on with our lives. That's all I got from the Numbers Station. Nothing but a money grab. This is why piracy exists, because film companies are so utterly uncompetitive.
When the moral values of a longtime wetwork black ops agent is tested during his last operation, he receives an unfavorable psych evaluation. Now he is given a break and a seemingly uncomplicated assignment of simply protecting the security of a young female code announcer, code resources and remote station they are assigned to. After an ambush and one phone call later, it becomes a complicated fight for their survival.
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