The Recruit - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Recruit Reviews

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Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
January 23, 2003
...a waste of time that would have seemed more pleasant had it not retained a whiff of something better - we get the queasy feeling there was once an idea for a movie here, an idea that was eventually subsumed by Hollywood positioning and base-covering
Full Review| Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 31, 2003
It's the kind of movie you can sit back and enjoy, as long as you don't make the mistake of thinking too much.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
January 31, 2003
Although The Recruit isn't Len Deighton or Robert Ludlum, it is enjoyable until the screenwriters develop a collective brain cramp.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Larry Carroll
January 31, 2003
It could have been a much better movie. But, unfortunately, Al Pacino can only play one character at a time.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star
January 31, 2003
Watching James tap on a computer isn't so exciting. And neither is The Recruit.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Michael Szymanski
January 31, 2003
Somewhere in Al Pacino's contract there must be a clause that says he must have a 10-minute speech somewhere toward the end of the movie that allows him a super-dramatic moment and gives him an ultra-dramatic speech.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Scott Weinberg
January 30, 2003
A movie sort of paints itself into a corner when characters repeatedly look directly at the camera and yell None of this is real! It's all just a test!
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
January 21, 2003
The top-billed Al Pacino and Colin Farrell bring plenty of emotional oomph to their shallow and routine characters, but audiences may find these spy games somewhat disappointing.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
January 31, 2003
Director Roger Donaldson is so preoccupied by mood that he forgets about story.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Todd Gilchrist
June 9, 2003
. . .the film ends as a nonentity, arriving at a conclusion that is not satisfying and completely nonsensical because it preys on our stupidity rather than that of the characters.
Garth Franklin
Dark Horizons
February 9, 2003
Rather predictable but slick entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Eric D. Snider
February 1, 2003
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
January 31, 2003
It's nothing but style and noise, threadbare of content, empty of ideas.
Rob Vaux
Flipside Movie Emporium
February 4, 2003
...cinematic comfort food, filling us up until more nourishing fare comes along. It's a pity the filmmakers couldn't do more with it.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
January 30, 2003
The Recruit is little more than a fairy tale, one in which the prince gets to shoot the ball to smithereens.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Kit Bowen
January 31, 2003
For a ringside seat at the secret CIA training process, The Recruit delivers a somewhat fascinating view. Yet, if not powered by Colin Farrell's strong performance, the predictable film would ultimately fall flat on its face.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Frank Ochieng
Movie Eye
January 30, 2003
'The major twists and turns are relentlessly predictable and register as sharply as being poked by a stick of margarine. The Recruit needs to undergo some more training from the Hollywood creativity department.'
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
April 29, 2009
I'm still hoping Pacino will dazzle with a great performance eventually...
Christopher Null
January 28, 2003
While the spy games at the beginning of the film are plenty of fun, once James is on his covert mission, the story gets embarrassingly silly.
| Original Score: 3/5
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
January 30, 2003
Even if you haven't seen the commercials, the ending shouldn't surprise you.
Full Review| Original Score: 2/4
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