It loses its footing a couple of times but The East still manages to be though-provoking and smart, linchpins of the films crafted by director Zal Batmanglij and his co-writer and star, Brit Marling. Corporate spy Sarah (Marling) infiltrates an anarchist collective whose actions are dubbed “eco-terrorism” by the press. The group’s mission is to uncover ways major corporations destroy the environment and make them pay in public. Not exactly an eye for an eye, but that’s the general premise. As Sarah stays undercover, her perspective starts to change: Who’s doing the right thing and who’s doing it for the right reasons? Going for a highly predictable Mansonesque cult leader (Alexander Skarsgard) is a sour note, but that’s still OK until we reach a really flimsy ending that fumbles away all the consequences for anyone and everyone.
Director: Zal Batmanglij
Producer: Ridley Scott, Michael Costigan, Jocelyn Simpson, Brit Marling and Tony Scott
Cast: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Julia Ormond, Patricia Clarkson, Billy Slaughter, Billy Magnussen, Wilbur Fitzgerald, Pamela Roylance, Ava Bogle and Danielle Macdonald