Antitrust (2001) Poster


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Not "The Net 2"
Darth_Tirranus14 January 2001
When I first saw the preview for Anti-Trust, I thought 2 things. 1) It was a not-so-disguised movie about Microsoft. 2) It was probably "The Net 2." It looked like another computer-based movie that would be as realistic as "Hackers," but with a more obvious plot. From the first 30 seconds of the preview you can pretty much tell that the open-source sidekick is marked for death and Bill Gates...I mean Gary Winston was a criminal mastermind who will do anything to get ahead in business. I'd happy to say that while the first half of the movie went without any surprises, there are enough plot twists in the 2nd half to keep you guessing who's on who's side. Tim Robbins and Ryan Philippe both give good performances, and nobody seems out of place talking about technology. It's not the best movie I've seen this year, but it definately blew away my expectations.
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It took the time to be accurate - but at what cost?
delahoc14 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the few movies about computers, programming and those that make it happen that actually demonstrates that at least a little research was done by the writer/s. Not only is the script filled with real technical lingo (IP addresses, LZ compression, etc), but it actually uses it all in the correct context. (For examples of correct lingo in incorrect usage, see films like 'Jurassic Park'). So in that sense at least, the writer did their job.

Alas, in other areas they let the team down.

I like the basic premise. Tim Robbins (Gary Winston) as an evil Bill Gates (Gary Winston = William Gates, GW=WG) is certainly an idea that appeals to me (as a an anti-Microsofter from way back). There are even a number of little in-jokes through the plot that pick out the Gates-Microsoft connection (the artwork screens in Winston's house, a character called Redmond, the Dept of Justice accusations, etc). And it was so nice to see so many computers on screen, and not one Windows window anywhere.

Into all of this comes Ryan Phillipe as a hotshot programmer - who, as far as I can see, never actually programs anything. He stares at a lot of code on screens, and types in some pseudo-unix commands, but I can't recall him actually coding anything. As a geek he looks the part, and certainly has the introvert/social inept bit down pat. But even geeks have other emotions.

And how the hell does a guy like him get a girl like Claire Forlani?? Surely that must have sent alarm bells ringing for him early on? Yes, even allowing for the plot twist half way through, guys like him just don't get girls like her - because they're rarely out of the garage.

Rachel Leigh Cook - stunning, and wasted. There was so much more scope for her in this. And the final twist with her character at the end just was not believable.

I'm glad to finally see a movie in which computers and computer programming are an essential device actually treat them with some accuracy. It's fantastic to have a fantasy in which an evil Bill Gates actually gets whats coming to him.

All it needed was a little more character injected into the three main young characters and it would have worked perfectly.
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About as unrealistic and irrelevant as "All the President's Men".
Roger-14129 July 2001
OK, make no mistake, this movie was made to convey a message. If criticised in terms of, say, similarity to "the Firm", or "yet another cyber thriller", then you really missed the point. The message is pretty blunt, and guaranteed to anger a certain large corporation. (This is not an anti-corporate movie, it is anti- a ~particular~ corporation, and if you can't guess which one, maybe you should go back to exploring the Kalahari or whatever you've been doing for the last ten years.) This corporation has been known to spend extraordinary resources on PR (including, for example, bribing journalists and college professors), so almost certainly some of the comments on this message board will be produced by that corporation and should be read in that light.

Second, while murder is a bit over the top, pretty well all the other crimes committed by the large corporation in this movie are things of which the real corporation has been seriously accused, been found to be planning, or in some cases, convicted; yet in every case managing to escape with fines or compensation payments much smaller than the profits they made from the crime. That is why we hate them so much, and why this movie was made. It's also obvious why the motif of murder was added: some of the technical details of why their actions are pure evil are difficult for a non-techie to understand, so to make the movie accessible to a wider audience, they added a more blatant crime (plus pyrotechnic special effects, a tense chase scene, love interest, etc).

Thirdly, it is not a futuristic movie, it is present day; nothing in this movie is more than about 1 or 2 years in the future, at most, and most of it is happening now or happened several years ago.

Fourthly, technical realism: while some of the tech stuff is rubbish (hey, it's a movie!), the effort put into realism is dramatically good compared to information technology in any other movie I have ever seen. When we see IP's, they are actual IPs, but martian (I guess they don't want geeks going home and whois-ing them!), the code is all real code: some HTML, some C++, real scripting, but mostly VB (a language the certain large corporation is known to use a lot). The algorithms they discuss improving are even algorithms the product would really require! Not only that, the product is frighteningly similar to the large corporation's actual current development path!

So, if you walked away from this movie thinking "just for geeks" or "totally unrealistic", you need to give yourself a good hard slap, wake up and see what is really going on in the world around you. This movie was about as unrealistic and irrelevant as "All the President's Men".

Oh, by the way, I better say that all the above comments are only my personal opinions, in case they try to sue me, because they do do stuff like that.
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Young computer programmer discovers inter workings of corporate software giant
lmlftl_aml17 July 2005
This movie is interesting on a surface level. It has lots of action and suspense to engage even passive viewers. Antitrust contains lots of ideas that are specific to the software industry however. The most significant theme of this movie is not one that seeks to implicate major corporations in illegal activities; it is instead one that blatantly discusses the idea of open source code sharing. For those of you who do not know what this is, it is the free sharing of computer programing code. This movie is designed to entertain though. It makes corporate software companies look like organized crime rings. This is simply Hollywood's appeal to its audiences.This is a good movie for all audiences; however a Linux user would particularly enjoy it.
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Tim Robbins- He is an actor who is a head and shoulder above the rest.
g_gib2313 January 2001
I saw "Antitrust" today the 1:15 matinee. I loved it. I became acquainted with Tim Robbins through 5 copies of" Top Gun." I will not give away the plot or read the last page of the book, but for those of you who like "Arlington Road" ,"Antitrust" may be a good sequel. So this movie does not win rave reviews. Movies are entertaining , some of them are informative. This one says that without computer geeks not many of us could not enjoy this modern day tool. Back in the 70's I thought the electric typewriter with a ball going across the page was exciting.
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Techno thriller panders to a digital generation
Axdyne-213 January 2001
I praise Hollywood for creating a movie that does not have mass appeal. Too often movies of this type are designed to be for too wide an audience and all credibility is lost. This film avoids this, for the most part, by primarily appealing to a core target audience in the 15 to 35 age range.

The credits sequence began and I immediately cringed and thought, "Hacker 2...ugh." but it didn't turn out that way, much to my pleasure. Horrible computer idiocy was kept to a minimum, and generally only used for dramatic effect rather than the "computerz r kewl" aspect.

The dramatic performances were very good in my opinion and the film was superb in creating suspense. The soundtrack is rather excellent as well.

By my guess, huge changes were made to this film (based on the trailer) and I look forward to seeing an alternate version or cut-scenes on the DVD.

I definitely recommend this movie for anyone who likes technology and computers. For everyone else, I don't know if you would like it, honestly, but I can tell you it's not a whole movie about computers.
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A really entertaining flick
KatieJoy14 January 2001
I really enjoyed this film--it was exciting as well as thought-provoking. If you enjoyed "The Net" and "The Firm" you'll probably enjoy a hybrid of the two, although I found "Antitrust" to be more satisfying than either of those. Tim Robbins as always was terrific as the "Bill Gates" character and Ryan Phillippe was excellent as his genius protege. "Antitrust" was a great, entertaining way to spend an afternoon at the movies.
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Great flick!!!
sonjamtu19 January 2001
I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. Tim Robbins is excellent, as always. His uncanny Bill Gates like character will leave true computer geeks rolling in the aisles. Geeks will get the inside jokes of the film....but the script doesn't leave the computer illiterate hanging. I thought they did a good job of thoroughly explaining things to avoid confusion. Ryan Phillipe did a pretty good did Claire Forlani. I gave this movie a vote of 9...I can't wait for it to come out on DVD.
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Microsoft were warned about the EU-CC
soccermanz8 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
What kind of computer expert can I be that I had forgotten that I submitted a comment the first tiem that I watched "Antitrust" - yet I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. A great deal of trouble was taken to ensure that the Computer Programming was authentic and the planned Synapse system would ultimately be feasible - wonder if Ronald Reagan ever watched it ? i take back what I said about the Male Lead, he wasn't as wet as I first thought even though it only occurred to him almost too late that both the Females seemingly attracted to him were too hot to be true. And he hardly looked to be out of short pants. The script made it quite clear that the Villain was not Bill Gates but a potential competitor for him and Microsoft but the plot fell down over the idea of being able to spy on LCD monitors from a relevant angle and extract useful information off the screen (before having the owner murdered in appropriate style). I'll let new viewers work out the relevance of the Sesame seeds for themselves and the light pictures which seemed to reflect the wrong moods for the characters nearest to them - but a great idea for a potential LCD guard dog. But then have the Israelis been working on this ? All in all a far more enjoyable film than the previous reviewer suggested.
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For once, it looks real
Tom-Duhamel13 August 2006
For once, a movie about computers where computers look real. The display on the monitors isn't just some 3D animation that seems to serve no purpose. You can recognize interfaces, or at least can imagine that on a real computer monitor. The code on screen looks real (it's either C++ or Java or some kind of C derivative), even though it probably doesn't do what they pretend it does; they don't show it long enough to figure out what it's suppose to do anyway.

Just some things I noticed: All IPs are 10.x.x.x, which is a range reserved for local networks, it should not be accessible remotely, thus would not be usable for a global system such as Synapse. But that is probably done on purpose, just like they do for phone numbers in the movies, all starting in 555-XXXX.

The networks seem to be freaking fast. In particular, for the data transmitted through the satellites with just about zero latency.

The CD burner is quite fast, it can burn a CD in just 20 seconds.

The server which Synapse is being distributed from seems to be very effective, taking millions of hits within hours. In particular, considering that they have never seen that many hits.

Beside the technical details presented, good movie, good action, good plot twists.
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Microsoft bashing in thin disguise.
TxMike7 October 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Not a bad movie, but not really a good one either. Ryan Phillippe (Mr Reese Witherspoon) plays Milo Hoffman, a graduating computer genius who is being recruited by the biggest computer corporation run by Tim Robbins to write code for their grand data-sharing plan, which includes a system of satellites. Rachael Leigh Cook plays Lisa Calighan, one of the programmers already working there. Not everything is like it seems to be, and Robbins is not necessarily the benevolent boss that he appears to be in public. Entertaining, if you have 90 minutes to waste on a rainy day, if you can't find anything better.

SPOILERS FOLLOW, quit reading, OK?!! Robbins also has a system for monitoring non-company programmers remotely, and stealing their code. Murder is sometimes in the plan also, if it is needed. Robbins plays a big boss who is totally devoid of moral fiber, will do anything to advance the goals of his company. It is the detective work by Milo and Lisa that break the case and bring Robbins and his bad guys to justice.
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A brainless movie that requires brain.
LT-1015 January 2001
I didn't expect much from AntiTrust, but I was surprised. The story was fast-paced and exciting, it never really slowed-down. When the movie was over I felt satisfied, it had a lot of what I look for in a movie. It requires you to think about what is happening, even if sometimes it gets un-realistic with plot twists. Good things aside, AntiTrust had its share of problems. There was some techy-talk that went on too long, whenever something bad was discovered by Milo(Ryan however you spell his last name) the camera would zoom in and then shake around, and it got a little un-realistic in the finale. All-in-all AntiTrust was good, but I just found-out it opened it 12th place. It deserves better.
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Too stupid to comprehend
Charles-3115 October 2001
This is an incredibly bad film. It fails in just about every possible area, from script to "technology" to acting to directing. I have a theory about films like this. There is an old saying that you can never underestimate the intelligence of the public. Movies like this are obviously created by people who live and breath that mantra. As they are making it, I'm sure many people are sitting around screaming that this makes not sense, but they just say it doesn't have to. And yet another bad film gets made.

I object most vehemently to three major elements of this film:

1. The geek stereotype! This film is the most insulting presentation of Computer Scientists that I have ever seen. It is obvious that no geek could every have a girlfriend that looks that good and girlfriends in general are rare at a software company. None of them have a life. They all dress badly. One is referred to as "stinker". Not one programmer in this film is presented as a professional. Any concept of a software project management structure is ignored.

2. The technology. You can't look at a screen of code and tell what an entire program will do. Huge systems are not written by one person. The system does not know when you have "finished" a module and inform you that you are done. You can't access a satellite by its IP address. You can't take over all of the worlds communications with any company's satellite network. I could go on and on. They are bound to have had consultants on that film or at least the local systems staff who would tell them this was all dumb.

3. Information wants to be free. This is practically a mantra in the film and was clearly planted to try to get the open-source people to watch the film. So, are they releasing this film without a copyright? They sure preached at me enough. And, this mantra is portrayed as the fundamental belief of the open-source community. In reality, most open-source advocates believe that they have an obligation to release what they have done, but don't believe they have some right to other peoples work. This matra gets preached in the movie without a shred of debate or discussion. It's stupid.

This film also avoided dealing with real issues such as antitrust violations, cloning source you have add access to, buying out competition, and other issues that would have make this an interesting film in the same vein as Wall Street. Instead, it turns into the standard "giant conspiracy" story with lots and lots of gun-toting bad guys. You can tell they took the cast, tossed them into a bin, and pulled out the names of who would get to be the few good guys. It's a tried and not so true plot line and it's just plain dull. They buy this script in a store and just fill in the blanks.

Don't waste your time.
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Entertaining and intriguing.
twalkeroh26 May 2001
The aspect of speeding up network traffic was definitely intriguing, but of course nothing much was done with it in the story since this is, after all, a mainstream movie. As a software developer (a.k.a. Geek) I was hoping to see this concept developed more. Very entertaining and I recommend it.
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Geeks beware
pressman-114 December 2001
This movie was obviously written by a graphic designer (much like myself) or someone in a similar position who has a vast understanding of programming jargon and corporate culture, but doesn't actually understand what is being said or the politics behind it all. This will appeal to people who don't work in this environment, but to people who do... well. They're just going to laugh at the sheer absurdity of the title credits.
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sometimes "realism" is not always better.
out-flow23 August 2006
i think a lot of people who rated this movie negatively due to the fact that it's "not realistic" or "true to life" probably do not have a lot of experience with writing novels or screenplays.

first off, let us all accept the fact that most screenwriters, as much as they may love their craft, probably want to make money off their work. and, as they are human, and have human desires, chances are, they probably want to make a lot of money off their work. that means that sometimes, they have to alter their work (or otherwise "dumb down", but let's not phrase it that way) to make it more accessible to a mainstream audience. now, some people may view this as "selling out", but this isn't necessarily the case: generally, most writers want their work and their message to be appreciated and recognised by the public. this isn't easy to do if the public doesn't understand what the hell they're talking about.

it's not always best for a movie (or a novel, for that matter) to be 100% accurate, because even if everything about the topic completely fascinates you (and generally the author as well, else they wouldn't be writing a story about it), chances are, it's going to bore nearly everyone else--even some of the people who are interested in and are as knowledgeable about the exact same topic. if you want to see a film that is completely and in every way accurate, watch a documentary. do not watch a movie. a movie, like a novel, is supposed to imitate the interesting aspects of reality (conflict, struggle, victory, love, et cetera), it is not supposed to actually be reality. it is supposed to filter out the mundane and uninteresting parts of life.

for example, the fact that we rarely see milo typing code for synapse--we know he can do it (as in the daycare scene), what would it possibly at to the story to actually watch him code synapse? that would be boring. it's much like saying, we never saw any of the character sleep. well, we know they do--but we don't need to watch 8 to 12 hours of them actually doing it.

the only thing that really disappointed me about the movie was the fact that it didn't really explain the motivation for some of the characters' actions. why does lisa turn against milo, and in that same vein, why does allison suddenly decide to lie for him?
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Great movie, especially if you're into computers!
clemir25 August 2005
I recently got to see this one, not expecting to much, but man was I surprised! Antitrust is about young programer Milo (Ryan Phillipe) who gets an offer from the computer leading firm NURV, whose CEO Gary Winston (Tim Robbins) needs him for finishing a big project until deadline. So he and his girlfriend Alice (Claire Forlani) move there and he is treated with lots of respect, makes big money, gets a nice car...and finds out that NURV doesn't alway play by the rules. From there on, you can call it Thriller! A very well written story with a lot of references to the real world and a big Redmond based software company, with good leading roles, nice and surprising twists, and some action. I can only recommend you watch this movie if you get a chance, its well worth it!
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Milo is cool...the movie lacked
AppleAsylum11 October 2002
Its hard to write about this film. Lets do good, bad, & ugly... The Good is Ryan is the star. As Milo, he's a well educated student going to work for this extremly secure company. The dream job for all the knock-off Computer Programmers that never did anything with their certificate! Nice car, nice home, beautiful girl... The Bad, the story of this film gets very interesting when something tramatic happens in Milo's life. But, the closer you get into the movie, the more you stop trusting each person that is around Milo, when your just right there in a place that very few motion pictures take you, you get to the ending sequence...& that ladies & gentlemen is where The Ugly is. (6) Z.
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It really did surprise me
tovishbovish5 January 2002
The story of a young computer geek named Milo (Ryan Phillipe) who is torn between working with his best friend or making it big, way big. He is offered a hot shot job to finish an invanetion called Synapse for Nurv by billionare Gary Winston (Tim Robbins). He diecides to take the job and moves to Portland with his girlfriend Alice. At Nurv he meets alot of people who are just like him, geeks, and one of them are good looking Lisa (Rachael Leigh Cook). Milo who is a genius, gets Gary as his councelour and they are very simliar to each other. He starts to suspect that everything isn't quite alright when Gary starts giving him reslutions without telling the source. And when his bestfriend is killed, Milo knows he has to do something. A very wellwritten story about doing the right thing, but also about that things are worth a second look.

Tim Robbins' acting is, as always, very good. He uses the frase "surpise me!" in so many ways, that you can imagine he had alot of fun filming this movie. Ryan Phillipe stays pretty low with his acting, but on the other hand that is what this movie needs. An overacting leading man can often ruin the whole story. And honors to Rachael Leigh Cook, the future really belongs to her. She might not be as much of an actress as she is a star.
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This is about as unrealistic as it gets
Raivenblade5 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The ending of this movie almost made me laugh out loud. It is by far about the most unrealistic ending I have ever seen in a movie. In the real world, it wouldn't be the character of Tim Robbins who got arrested, but the character portrayed by Ryan Phillippe.

The illegal broadcast, combined with the illegal distributing of the software that made that broadcast possible, would ensure a lifetime in a jail cell for Milo and his friends, instead of being treated like heroes as happens in this movie Basically, If you hate companies that make money, and wish to make heroes out of people who can't abide by the law, then this movie is something for you.

However, if you actually have a working brain in your head, you won't need to bother with this film, which in the end is nothing more then a very unrealistic propaganda film for open source software
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so bad it's hilarious
per813 January 2001
This has got to be the worst film of 2001, and I can say that confidently even though there's still eleven months left. Who knows how Tim Robbins or the director of "sliding doors" got talked into this train wreck of a film. With technical advice by Linus Torvalds (creator of Linux) and a guest appearance by Scott McNealy (Sun Microsystems) you have to wonder what the (*#& is going on.
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The Firm with computers
dmusucksdonkey17 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
To be honest when I stuck this on one evening, it was to just put something on in the background. I actually found myself keeping track of what was going on, but not through paying much attention to the storyline. It was by guessing what was happening as it tends to follow pretty much the same storyline as The Firm (The John Grisham one, not the cockney git one). Basically, computer dude gets his dream job and is getting along great guns with Bill Gates until he finds out he's evil so he goes about trying to expose his crimes and bring him down.

It's horribly predictable all throughout. I was cooking during the first twenty minutes, but my mate had been watching it from the start. I did not miss out on anything in the storyline. I kind of assumed who everyone was and what had already happened. Very obvious that Ryan Phillipe's mate is going to get killed when he tells him it's good to hear from him again, even though he is working for their enemy.

The best part of the film was noticing that the three main henchmen who carry out the murders and stuff on behalf of the Bill Gates type character (Tim Robbins) are called Schmeichel, Sheringham and Solskjaer. Seriously, that was the most entertaining part.

I would say, as usual, that watch it with a pinch of salt and a few beers and it'll be a good laugh, but it's not. This is a film trying to be good and for that reason I did not enjoy it. If it at least starting taking the mick out of itself, I would've had a good laugh.

The two birds are pretty hot, but I cant help but feel disappointed that he doesn't get off with either of them. The quality of this film could have been vastly improved if there were some breasts on display. A major disappointment.

I was astonished to see that the average rating for this piece of work was 6/10. I am currently in the middle of watching the Tourist whilst watching this and it only got 5.9/10, and it has Timothy Dalton in it! (Something that immediately warrants a 10/10 rating in my book - he certainly is tenacious)
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What's *really* technically wrong with this movie
bryanlockwood3 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A lot of people are bagging on the movie as having been technically inaccurate in some way. Truth is, they got more things right than they got wrong.

It's not a bad movie, really. It's also not really a blockbuster - not enough special effects, and the drama aspects ... well, they don't really *pop*. Still, it's a solid middle-of-the-pack effort.

Yes there are good looking geeks, and yes there are geeks with hot girlfriends (and sometimes, the geek *is* the hot girlfriend!). Enough with the stereotypes already, guys.

The plot holes are really the girlfriend's sudden change of heart, and the other girl's equally sudden role reversal. Also, the Tim Robbins 'surprise me' approach wouldn't work too well in real life; his goons would get caught too often.

But here's the big spoiler: the idea that a couple of guys in a back room, peering over the shoulders of garage hackers everywhere, would be able to differentiate brilliant source code from typical spaghetti code is ... well, it's the biggest error in the movie, and after reading five pages of comments I am surprised no one else spotted this. Source code is mind-numbingly dull to read, even when the reader is another coder. The primary way to tell what works is to compile and run it, and without an army of code-savvy typists reading inputting that code as they read it from video feeds, there just wouldn't be any way to tell the good stuff from the bad.

Secondly, and I just realized this one, fiber-optic video feeds from every hacker garage on the planet would require a pretty large team of operatives to set up and maintain. So their payroll alone generates a paper trail a mile wide; not to mention the trail generated by all the broadband subscriptions that would be required.

Still, if you are willing to suspend disbelief for an hour and a half, this isn't a bad movie. The Microsoft hatred is slathered on a bit thick, but that's true in most geek hangouts already, so there's nothing new there. The girls are hot, the dialog isn't bad, the general plot is alright. Milo's trick at the end is a good one. The geekery isn't overwhelming to a non-geek, and isn't wrong enough to set off (many) alarm bells for real geeks.

I'd watch it again.
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Gary Winston Meet Sister Aimee
bkoganbing29 October 2006
When Herbert C. Hoover became Secretary of Commerce in the Twenties radio was just getting established and he was instrumental in founding the Federal Communications Commission which is under the Department of Commerce auspices to regulate the new form of communication. Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson also saw the new medium as a way to reach folks for Jesus. Although eventually she complied with the new FCC regulations when they tried to limit her to an assigned frequency at first she told Hoover to keep those 'minions of Satan' away from her as she was doing the Lord's work.

Now how the FCC or anyone else was going to control Tim Robbins as Gary Winston or anyone else when SYNAPSE got going was going to be a real chore. SYNAPSE is a program that will allow one to break into all television broadcasts all over the world. Trouble is that Robbins didn't invent it, in fact he had the guy murdered who did. That's not sitting well with Ryan Phillippe a brilliant computer programmer in his own right who works for Robbins, but is a good friend of the murdered man.

As in the political film Bob Roberts, Robbins creates a really frightening character who will do anything to stay on top. I'm sure Bill Gates's attorneys checked the libel and slander laws very carefully after seeing Antitrust.

But as frightening as Robbins is, more frightening is SYNAPSE itself especially if the technology is in the hands of one man. Think what it might mean if something like that was possessed by Al-Jazeera or Pat Robertson?

Antitrust is a thought provoking film and if it teaches you nothing else, be kind to the computer geeks you meet. For better or worse they are destined to rule the world.
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It's true: it loses my trust (DVD)
leplatypus7 February 2010
This is a failed techno-thriller because the techno part is dumb while the thriller is better.

Now that computers have become ordinary things, the simplistic "wargames" can't be repeated and the hacking has become more daunting. But the movie can't explain what it's about: what's Nurv? Why is-it so powerful? What does it achieve? At the end, I still don't know so I can't relate to the movie: I see people working, thinking but I don't understand anything.

On the other hand, the thriller is well done with the character becoming more and more paranoiac.

Thus, I help this movie with a little "4" vote instead of an awful "1" just because of the turn of events and the good cast (even thought a decade later, no one has made a big name!).
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