Lights, Camera, Covert Action

Lights, Camera, (Covert) Action? 1

Touchstone Pictures, Photofest

The stars of The Recruit at the film's version of the CIA memorial wall.

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close Lights, Camera, (Covert) Action? 1

Touchstone Pictures, Photofest

The stars of The Recruit at the film's version of the CIA memorial wall.

How do you feel about spy thrillers?

For those of us who are fans, the genre's usual blend of action, intrigue, and cynicism is irresistible. Even if warned that a new movie is overly formulaic and derivative, we may take a chance—just to enjoy the odd thrill, performance, or setting. Safe House, this means you.

But there's one audience for whom the frisson of tension isn't always so pleasant. That audience clusters in Langley, Va.; it's often grumpy;