The East (2013)



Critic Consensus: Tense, thoughtful, and deftly paced, The East is a political thriller that never loses sight of the human element.

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THE EAST, a suspenseful and provocative espionage thriller from acclaimed writer-director Zal Batmanglij and writer-actress Brit Marling, stars Marling as former FBI agent Sarah Moss. Moss is starting a new career at Hiller Brood, an elite private intelligence firm that ruthlessly protects the interests of its A-list corporate clientele. Handpicked for a plum assignment by the company's head honcho, Sharon (Patricia Clarkson), Sarah goes deep undercover to infiltrate The East, an elusive anarchist collective seeking revenge against major corporations guilty of covering up criminal activity. Determined, highly-trained and resourceful, Sarah soon ingratiates herself with the group, overcoming their initial suspicions and joining them on their next action or "jam." But living closely with the intensely committed members of The East, Sarah finds herself torn between her two worlds as she starts to connect with anarchist Benji (Alexander Skarsgård) and the rest of the collective, and awakens to the moral contradictions of her personal life. (c) Fox Searchlight
PG-13 (for thematic elements, violence, some disturbing images, sexual content and partial nudity)
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
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Ellen Page
as Izzy
Aldis Hodge
as Thumbs
Julia Ormond
as Paige Williams
Billy Magnussen
as Porty McCabe
Wilbur Fitzgerald
as Robert McCabe
John Neisler
as Rory Houston
Jamey Sheridan
as Richard Cannon
Pamela Roylance
as Diane Wisecarver
Ryan Grego
as Johnny Perkins
Ava Bogle
as Johnny's Mom
Nick Fuhrmann
as Johnny's Brother
Patricia French
as Fake Mom
Ron Flagge
as Hiller Brood Security
Han Soto
as Sharon's Assistant
Billy Slaughter
as Trevor "The Fed"
Benjamin Passmore
as Backroom Speaker
Sedef Seren
as Boxcar Singer
Richard Zeringue
as Railroad Bull #1
Brian Oerly
as Railroad Bull #2
Randy Fife
as Railroad Bull #3
Orpha Cabigting
as Filipino Maid
Lani Bemak
as Lani
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News & Interviews for The East

Critic Reviews for The East

All Critics (140) | Top Critics (41)

Marling and Batmanglij don't fear or resent entertainment: They make effective thrillers... If they reach a major studio and bigger budget, they could be the right kind of dangerous.

Full Review… | January 6, 2014
Top Critic

Its morally ambiguous investigation of extreme left-wing politics is ... light years away from usual multiplex concerns.

Full Review… | June 25, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

The latest collaboration between director Zal Batmanglij and screenwriter Brit Marling suffers from the same problem as their previous picture, Sound of My Voice: It's taut, compelling, unpredictable and completely wipes out in the final few minutes.

Full Review… | June 20, 2013
Miami Herald
Top Critic

"The East" leaves questions unanswered, but at least it asks those questions.

Full Review… | June 13, 2013
Detroit News
Top Critic

A fast-rising newcomer to film, the willowy Marling is maturing fast, and encouragingly unwilling to dumb herself down for stock girlfriend roles. This is her strongest work yet and I hope a harbinger of much more to come.

Full Review… | June 13, 2013
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Marling and Batmanglij bring an evenhanded perspective to their portrayals of the characters and issues involved.

Full Review… | June 13, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The East


It's uneven, especially in its lack of real suspense and character motivations. But The East's moral ambiguity and complexity of ideas makes for an engaging thriller that the studio system should be making more often. Writer/actor Brit Marling is quickly developing into a force to be reckoned with, standing alongside a great supporting cast with wit and ferocity.

Edward Boxler
Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

Good movie. The writing is clever and topical, and obviously hits quite a few nerves for those viewers who object to its criticism of corporate America. I applaud the film makers for daring to challenge a system that all too often succumbs to greed and corruption, and leaves behind death and grief. Not at all a dull movie, full of some really great acting...

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

I was pleasantly surprised by this movie and I am starting to admire Brit Marling as writer and actress. While some may love or hate the ending, I was thoroughly engaged in the story-line and I appreciate movies that leave me thinking afterwards.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

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