The East - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The East Reviews

January 6, 2014
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.
June 25, 2013
Its morally ambiguous investigation of extreme left-wing politics is ... light years away from usual multiplex concerns.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 20, 2013
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 | Original Score: 2/4
June 14, 2013
"The East" leaves questions unanswered, but at least it asks those questions.
Full Review | Original Score: B
June 13, 2013
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.
June 13, 2013
Marling and Batmanglij bring an evenhanded perspective to their portrayals of the characters and issues involved.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
June 13, 2013
A watchably confused eco-thriller that's never sure who its heroes are.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
June 13, 2013
It is a smart, well-acted drama, and another chance for Marling to exercise her unique talents, creating intriguing characters on the page and the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
June 11, 2013
"The East" prizes an initial air of mystery over consistent drama, and as a result ends up squandering its intriguing premise.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
June 10, 2013
As is often the case with people who become major stars, [Marling] seems as if she has always been there. She's new and yet familiar, as if we've known her all along.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
June 7, 2013
As a scriptwriter, actress Brit Marling has so far demonstrated an unerring instinct for creating meaty, if somewhat hard-to-swallow, roles for herself.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 7, 2013
Another project that proves this actress and filmmaker has the chops that will guarantee her longevity in the movie industry.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 7, 2013
The East is not a very good movie, hobbled by an excess of plot, a lack of believability and big gaps of logic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
June 6, 2013
When the filmmakers try to flesh out the terrorists, they fall back on the conservative cliche that they're spoiled rich kids, mad at their parents.
June 6, 2013
A taut espionage drama that pits global corporations against a radical band of ecoterrorists.
June 6, 2013
Marling has a focus and poise that keeps us invested in her character's journey - even when the film begins to falter, as The East eventually does through inconsistency and expedience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
June 6, 2013
It's irritatingly smug.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
June 6, 2013
The reason the movie works, despite some "movie-stupid" developments in the second half, has everything to do with the low-key and unaffected quality Marling brings to the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 4, 2013
Marling and Batmangli are smart enough to know that character and ideas matter, and how the presence of those things can improve action and suspense.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
June 4, 2013
Fast-paced and energetic.
Full Review | Original Score: B
June 3, 2013
In most respects a conventional genre picture. But it's passionate (and weird) enough to evolve into something mysterious and moving.
May 31, 2013
As uncertain as she is as a screenwriter, Marling is even less accomplished as an actress - problems she compounds by invariably giving herself the lead role in her own scripts.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
May 31, 2013
A cockamamie valentine to eco-terrorism.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
May 30, 2013
It gives us an interesting character with genuine moral ambiguity and demands that she make tough choices and that we think about what tactics we support -- and then it completely fritters it all away with a pat ending.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
May 30, 2013
The whole movie has the smugness of a cult. At one and the same time it's devoid of reality and insufferably full of itself.
May 30, 2013
Almost but not quite the truly terrific movie that Batmanglij and Marling are going to make one day ...
May 30, 2013
By spicing up a complex morality tale marked by sophisticated themes with down and dirty back stabbing and betrayals, the movie turns corporate malfeasance into a spy game that is entertaining without being dumbed down.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
May 30, 2013
This well-paced story is tense and thoughtful, and is anchored by a trio of terrific performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
May 30, 2013
The East makes for a passable thriller, as 1 percenters get theirs in satisfying, if incrementally implausible ways.
May 30, 2013
Eco-terrorism drives the plot of The East, but this propulsive thriller is laced with a humanism that trumps any political agenda.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
May 30, 2013
"The East" is a neat little thriller about ends and means and ethical quandaries.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
May 30, 2013
This great, industrial-strength thriller is busy thinking even when it's quiet.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
May 30, 2013
The East deftly mixes spy-movie pleasures with headier concerns.
Full Review | Original Score: B
May 29, 2013
The East suffers from the same weakness as the cult members Sarah works so hard to understand: a questionable definition of morality that overpowers an ultimate sense of reason.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
May 28, 2013
Coming in our moment of recent domestic terror, the movie has a boldness in diving into the whys of political violence.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
May 28, 2013
It's disappointing that, for all its empathy and equilibrium, The East has nowhere to go after the script backs itself into a corner.
May 27, 2013
This absurdly superficial and tendentious drama, directed with no distinction, wastes a superb cast in the interest of self-righteous attitudinizing.
May 22, 2013
A compelling portrait of what gets lost (and found) when a cause becomes an obsession.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
January 30, 2013
If "The East" were from anyone other than writer/director Zal Batmanglij and writer/star Brit Marling, I'd be much more excited about it.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
January 22, 2013
The second picture in a fascinating collaboration with producer-writer-star Brit Marling, this clever, involving spy drama builds to a terrific level of intrigue before losing some steam in its second half.
January 22, 2013
Undercover anxieties drive satisfying eco-minded suspense film.