“THE EAST is spectacular, the kind of gripping thriller that precious few mainstream Hollywood directors even attempt these days. Taking the time to dig deep into its characters and constantly blurring the line between right and wrong, THE EAST is provocative and thoughtful—but also far more entertaining that you’d ever think it had a right to be. Britt Marling, who played the ethereal cult leader of SOUND OF MY VOICE, is this time the audience surrogate, a corporate spy who infiltrates herself into The East, an environmental terror group intent on attacking many of the fat cat clients who keep her employed. Marling’s Jane has experience in the CIA and has clearly impressed her hard-nosed boss (Patricia Clarkson), but she’s soft and canny enough to fit right in with the kind of anarchist freegans you see hanging around public parks, and then eventually The East. The group is camped out in a crumbling mansion, planning their next attack (or “jam” as they call it) and engaging in all kinds of rituals familiar from cult stories, from group baths in the lake to a touchy-feely game of spin the bottle. Alexander Skarsgard’s Benji, with his sharp good looks and enormous frame, is the classic charismatic leader, but he’s matched in passion and chilly intensity by Ellen Page’s Izzy, who is the hardest on Jane upon her arrival and seems most committed to the cause. …This is a thriller with so much to enjoy”—Katie Rich, Cinema Blend. PG-13. 116 Min.
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