Alexander Skarsgård and Brit Marling look sharp in The East.
THE EAST (Zal Batmanglij) Rating: NNN
Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling, creators of the creepy Sound Of My Voice, once again explore underground movements, this time without the SF trappings.
Set in the here and now, The East follows Sarah (Marling, who co-wrote the film with Batmanglij), a security contractor assigned to infiltrate a group of activists known as The East who've declared war on mega-corporations indifferent to the collateral damage caused by their products and policies. But the longer she spends among them, the cloudier her loyalties become.
Batmanglij and Marling are out to explore belief systems, contrasting Sarah's understated Christianity with the anti-capitalist zealotry of the collective, and get layered performances from Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page and Toby Kebbell as The East's inner circle. But as the movie goes on, the restrictions of the thriller genre force it toward a fairly predictable finale, taking some of the wind out of its narrative sails.