The Recruit (2003)

The Recruit is a 2003 American spy thriller film directed by Roger Donaldson, starring Al Pacino, Colin Farrell, and Bridget Moynahan. It was released on January 31, 2003 in North America by Touchstone Pictures.
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 43% of critics gave positive reviews based on 163 reviews with an average score of 5.5/10. Metacritic gave it an average score of 56 out of 100 from the 36 reviews it collected.

Plot: James Clayton (Colin Farrell), a computer programming expert at MIT, is recruited by senior CIA instructor Walter Burke (Al Pacino) to test for a position with the agency. After witnessing an extraordinary demonstration of Clayton's computer skills, Burke further tests the intelligence of Clayton with an open puzzle encoded on the sports page of a common newspaper, the solution of which gives to Clayton Burke's telephone number. Clayton agrees to be recruited, in part, to find information concerning his father who he suspects was a CIA operative that disappeared when Clayton was a child. After passing numerous psychometric, psychoanalytical, aptitude, and polygraph tests, Clayton is taken to The Farm, a CIA training facility. There, Burke and other instructors teach the candidates the skill sets of espionage, covert operation protocols, and intelligence gathering techniques. During a surveillance exercise, Clayton and fellow recruit Layla Moore (Bridget Moynahan) are kidnapped by men apparently from a foreign intelligence service.
Clayton is brought to an isolated cell and tortured for several days but refuses to give up the names of his CIA instructors. When the interrogators provide evidence that his defiance is contributing to Layla's suffering, Clayton relents and names Burke. The rear wall of the cell then opens to reveal Burke, Layla, and the other recruits sitting in the lecture theater at The Farm, having witnessed the entire event; the kidnapping being just another training exercise. Clayton is cut from the program, but Burke arrives at his hotel the next morning to advise Clayton his dismissal was a fake and he has been appointed to be a non-official cover (NOC) operative. Burke assigns Clayton to spy on Layla, claiming the CIA has evidence she's a mole for a foreign intelligence service attempting to steal a top secret computer virus from the CIA's database. Clayton is provided a job as a low-level CIA data-entry processor and enters a romantic relationship with Layla. He eventually uncovers proof that she is removing the virus piece-by-piece using a USB flash drive.


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