Entertainment Weekly - 01/24/2003
"...A CIA thriller that plays some very tricky and entertaining spy games....[Farrell] shoots across the screen with the authority of a sleek bullet....He becomes a star not by decree but by command..."
Rolling Stone - 02/20/2003
"...[Farrell] is a young Irish actor of promising gifts. His eyes reflect intelligence and danger..."
Hollywood Reporter - 01/21/2003
"...Al Pacino and Colin Farrell bring plenty of emotional oomph..."
Total Film - 12/01/2003
"...Colin Farrell's roguish recruit is the principal reason to watch, matching Al Pacino's wily old pro play for play, scene for scene..."
James Clayton is fired up. A bartender by night and computer hacker in the few hours of daylight for which he manages to leave his water bed, the kid is flying high, on a roll with a laid-back lifestyle that suits him just fine. Played by an agile Colin Farrell, Clayton is also a heartthrob with his five o'clock shadow and chiseled pecks. A cushy job offer from Dell computers peaks his interest in securing a professional career, and at the same moment he meets Walter Burke (Al Pacino), a recruiter from the CIA. Though Clayton's better judgement tells him to stay away from the shady Burke, he is curious to learn whatever he can about his father, who was also a CIA agent, killed in the line of duty. Clayton is sent to an intensive CIA training camp called "The Farm," where he quickly learns the gravity of his decision as he undergoes gruelling tests of physical, mental, and psychological strength. His romantic interest in the gorgeous, tough-as-nails Layla (Bridget Moynahan), a fellow trainee, becomes a weakness as the pressure of the tests steadily increases. Finally, without warning, Clayton is thrown into action as he and Burke go head-to-head in a mission that is more dangerous than either of them realize. With top-notch performances from a sly Pacino and a pumped-up Farrell, THE RECRUIT's best moments come from the intensity resonating between its characters. In addition, the settings and training activities at "The Farm" give intriguing insights into CIA recruitment and initiation.