2003 Certificate: 12


Colin Farrell and Bridget Moynahan find love undercover after being recruited to the CIA by Al Pacino's seen-it-all-before security boss. But Al's playing a game with unusual rules. Director Roger Donaldson draws viewers into the intrigue as he did in the Costner classic No Way Out.


  • Roger Donaldson


  • Al Pacino

  • Colin Farrell

  • Bridget Moynahan

  • Gabriel Macht


Workplace romances can be a bit of fun - the air of anticipation before the knee-trembler in the stationery cupboard at the Christmas party.

But if the lovebirds in question happen to be CIA rookies, the potential for disaster could be a little more severe than being caught on the office photocopier.

James Clayton (Farrell) and Layla Moore (Moynahan) have been plucked from obscurity to train as CIA operatives at the spy school known as The Farm.

In charge is wizened old spook Walter Burke (Pacino), who has convinced net-head Clayton that the agency isn't a "bunch of fat, old white men who were asleep when needed most".

A nifty bit of origami at the bar where Clayton works and he's in (if you tried that in London, you'd get an Australian with a dozen phrases for vomit onside).

At The Farm they are put through their paces - trained in counter-espionage, sent on gruelling route marches and lectured on justice, the American way.

"We're good people and we're on the side of right," intones Burke, a point of view that would raise eyebrows in most of Latin America.

Anyway, Clayton is soon giving Layla the glad eye on the assault course... but this office romance is fraught with the sort of risks you won't get at Vision Express headquarters.

This is basically the usual old cloak-and-dagger shenanigans, with lots of computer tinkering and more package handovers than an episode of Postman Pat.

Just when Farrell begins to convince as a clinically ruthless operative, it dawns that he bears a scary resemblance to Kevin from Coronation Street.

That illusion shattered, Moynahan doesn't really rise above eye candy while Pacino, fresh from his triumph in Insomnia, sticks to auto-pilot.

In a strange way, like most CIA operations, this rarely achieves what it sets out to do except make Americans feel good about themselves.