The Recruit - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Recruit Reviews

Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 19, 2004
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
February 12, 2003
Here I suspected the ultimate villain almost from the very beginning -- and, if I wasn't fooled, I can't imagine anyone else will be, either.
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
February 5, 2003
The Recruit weighs in like a porous brick of recycled polypropylene.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
February 3, 2003
I liked all those set pieces where they set up these elaborate schemes, and you're not sure who the good guy is, and the bad guy.
Top Critic
February 1, 2003
A conjurer's trick that delights for about an hour, then spirals into idiocy.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 31, 2003
A compelling, if throwaway, drama.
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
January 31, 2003
It's nothing but style and noise, threadbare of content, empty of ideas.
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
January 31, 2003
The Recruit manages to be almost utterly without innovation apart from its heroic determination to make matinee idol material out of a spy agency that pioneered the process of extra-legal bureaucratic sociopathology known as 'black ops.'
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
January 31, 2003
The Recruit feels like a training exercise, for a star who's still in the making.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
January 31, 2003
Unfolds more like a 100-minute game of Gotcha! than a conventional spy drama, and, depending on your tolerance for such things, this will either thrill or bore you.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
January 31, 2003
The Recruit falters after it leaves the Farm, throwing in unbelievable plot devices and losing its high-wire tension.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
January 31, 2003
An entertaining ride.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
January 31, 2003
It's hard to tell which brand of coffee they're plugging in The Recruit but they sure drink a lot of it. Which is a good thing. A vicarious caffeine buzz is better than nothing, and you're going to need something to keep you awake.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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
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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
January 31, 2003
This is Donaldson's third thriller set amid Washington's powerful. They've all been winners -- smart, taut and more satisfying than anyone has a right to expect.
| Original Score: B+
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Tom Long
Detroit News
January 31, 2003
The Recruit is serviceable spy fodder made a great guilty pleasure by Pacino's 'OK, no Oscar here, let's have some fun' performance.
| Original Score: B-
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Ricardo Baca
Denver Post
January 31, 2003
The foreshadowing is a bit heavy-handed, but the writers and director largely manage the tension and mystery tactfully.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
January 31, 2003
A serviceable spy thriller that stumbles over one too many plot twists, one too many shots of its hero typing desperately at his computer, and a romantic subplot that's nice to look at but awfully silly.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 31, 2003
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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
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John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
January 31, 2003
The Recruit adds little to the already overworked espionage genre, but it completes its mission, working quietly and stealthily, without drawing too much attention to itself.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
January 31, 2003
Beyond the opening frames, the whole movie has an altogether musty odour, as if those up-to-the-minute lines had simply been tacked on to a mothballed script.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
January 31, 2003
The Recruit may have a storyline as generic as its title, but in the explosive Pacino and the smoldering Farrell, it has a pair of stars who are not as easily dismissed.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
January 31, 2003
In this tepid spy thriller, everything is pretty much what you would expect.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
January 30, 2003
A less-than-middling melodrama whose subject matter and talent never click as much as its credits portend.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
January 30, 2003
Preposterous CIA thriller.
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
January 30, 2003
Everything else in The Recruit may be tiresomely predictable, but [Pacino], at least, is not.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 30, 2003
Probably better than anyone else working today, Donaldson knows how to knit a thriller. Each time you think this taut yarn is about to unravel, that's when he pulls the wool over your eyes.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
January 30, 2003
Fun but make few demands on moviegoers.
| Original Score: 4/5
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
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
January 30, 2003
We've seen movies like The Recruit before, but this one is fun.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
January 30, 2003
The Recruit may not bring anything new to the spy genre, but it passes the test as entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Chuck Wilson
L.A. Weekly
January 30, 2003
Colin Farrell's wild-eyed intensity manages to cover, for a good long time, the fact that the film's plot is going nowhere.
Top Critic
January 30, 2003
The Recruit is not a bad film, it's just not a very good one.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
January 30, 2003
While The Recruit is fast and slick enough to carry us along during its setup scenes, the screenplay isn't witty or tricky enough to sustain the payoff.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
January 30, 2003
You've seen this before, but probably not done this well.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
January 23, 2003
For more than an hour, The Recruit is slickly entertaining escapism that deftly plays into common fantasies about what training to be a CIA op might be like.
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.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
January 16, 2003
A CIA thriller that plays some very tricky and entertaining spy games.
Full Review | Original Score: B+