Utterly gut-wrenching to watch, especially because these are true events. Produced by the very talented Scott brothers, the film unflinchingly explores the moral dilemmas of spycraft.
Clever, sharp dialogue, superb directing and photography. Acting is outstanding, especially Michael Keaton as the legendary and very controversial James Jesus Angleton, and Rory Cochrane as Yevgeny.
The recruitment of CIA and KGB agents are similar: both appeal to patriotism and the belief that the system is worth defending and preserving. The differences between the US and USSR (not as stated in the film as between Communism and Democracy, but correctly as between Communism and Capitalism) are of degree, not kind. From FDR, who let the butcher Stalin free in Eastern Europe to exterminate millions, through Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon and the rest up to Obama. All have blood on their hegemonic hands.
Who are the "good" guys, who are the "bad" guys? Depends which side you are on.
Best line: "It wasn't supposed to end this way." Famous last words.
1/2 star off the mediocre and overwhelming music. Other than that this is a must-see.
One might find it boring & slow. Since reading McIntyre's book on Philby I've pursued this subject with fascination. Compare 2003 Cambridge Spies to The Company 2007 for other perspectives. M. Keaton is brilliant as J.J. Angleton - a complex man of immense fame as spymaster. Fact & fiction seemed well done & possible. Experts still debate this issue in 2014.
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