THE EAST (2013)


Starring: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Patricia Clarkson

Directed by: Zal Batmanglij

Synopsis: An operative for an elite private intelligence firm finds her priorities changing dramatically after she is tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations.

Written, produced and starring Brit Marling, The East was pretty underwhelming to say the least. I found it to be dull, poe faced and heavy handed. Not to mention implausible and down right stupid in places.

First there is the fact that every time I saw Brit Marling I thought I was looking at Nadine from Girls Aloud, then there was the deaf girl who could sometimes hear, sometimes not. Next, during Sarah’s (Marling) initiation meal they are all wearing strait jackets. Seriously, the whole gang. How did they get them on?! Next up, the scruffy bunch of anarchists (think a Hollywoodised version of The Levellers) lose their day wear (your usual camo, knitted jumpers, fingerless gloves kind of thing) and slip into something more opulent so that they can infiltrate a party being thrown by a CEO of a pharmaceutical company. Where did they get these suits, dresses and jewellery from? They squat in a derelict old building! Finally, the scene at the arsenic filled creek with Juno’s dad. One minute he is a corporate fat cat who couldn’t care less about the little people who drink his polluted water, the next minute he is swimming in it and crying. Surely that transformation wouldn’t happen would it?

Despite the gang thinking they were doing right, and fighting the good fight against corporate tyrants, I couldn’t help disliking them. They all took themselves way too seriously (as I suppose those kinds of people do) and I just wanted them to go and have a bit of fun (aside from a bit of a creepy game of spin the bottle).

I think The East thinks it has a message behind it, but I just thought it was over long and and very average.

2 clappers

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.


  1. Yeah, I was excited for this film, but then reading some reviews I lost interest.. Have you seen Sound of My Voice (same director & Brit Marling)? I thought that was an excellent film about cults, feels very Sundance-y 🙂

  2. i heard little about this movie, and the reviews have also been lukewarm, i think i would give it a pass

  3. Darn! I really liked the IDEA of this film & the trailer made it look quite exciting. Guess I’ll be skipping it, though.

    • You might like it, just wasn’t for me. Can’t like them all I guess!

      • No, I trust your negative opinion! I guess it’s just a big shame because there aren’t enough movies about this. So I had hoped that one with relatively wider distribution would be effective at spreading the anti-corporate message. But that’s probably not a popular theme in Hollywood and helps explain why the movie is such a mess if it didn’t get proper support/editing haha

  4. Good review Thomas. Seemed like it really wanted to talk about and dive into the idea of something huge and revolutionary, but instead, just fell-back on the same sort of tropes we’ve seen thrillers do a hundred times before and seemed like a bit of a cop-out.

  5. Good review, Tom. Not my cup of tea, either…

  6. This actually looked interesting. Laughed at your review tearing it apart in a way, and it turns out I also hate movies that are filled with stupid implausible material. Looks like I’ll be ignoring this one!

    • There are some films that just annoy you aren’t there. This was one of them. Everyone was sullen and mopey and miserable and serious.

      Maybe I’m getting old!

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