6.8/10
29,162
131 user 85 critic

Cypher (2002)

An unsuspecting, disenchanted man finds himself working as a spy in the dangerous, high-stakes world of corporate espionage. Quickly getting way over-his-head, he teams up with a mysterious femme fatale.

Director:

Vincenzo Natali

Writer:

Brian King
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5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Northam ... Morgan Sullivan
Lucy Liu ... Rita Foster
Nigel Bennett ... Finster
Timothy Webber ... Callaway
David Hewlett ... Virgil C. Dunn
Kari Matchett ... Diane
Kristina Nicoll ... Amy
Joseph Scoren ... Digicorp Technician #1
Stephen Brown Stephen Brown ... Digicorp Technician #2
Arnold Pinnock ... Pilot In Mensroom
Jocelyn Snowdon Jocelyn Snowdon ... Stewardess to Buffalo
Boyd Banks ... Fred Garfield
Steve Jackson Steve Jackson ... Waiter Buffalo
Dan Duran Dan Duran ... Buffalo Speaker #1
Valerie Buhagiar ... Buffalo Speaker #2
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Storyline

Hoping for a more exciting life than the suburban drawl he currently inhabits, nerdy salary man Morgan Sullivan takes a job as an industrial spy at Digicorp, a global computer corporation. Digicorp assigns him the duty of flying to various conventions around America, recording the speeches that are made. But when Sullivan meets a mysterious woman he begins to realize that his job may not be what it seems, as he descends into a dark underworld of brainwashing and struggles to maintain his own identity. Written by beansproutlord@yahoo.com.au

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Never forget who you are. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 January 2003 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Company Man See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$898,365
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kari Matchett appeared on the Cube (1997) sequel Cube²: Hypercube (2002) on the same year this film was released. Vincenzo Natali directed the first movie, but had nothing to do with the sequel, though. See more »

Goofs

Morgan Sullivan's fake California Driver's License expires on 05-30-03. His birth date is listed as 08-13-65. An actual CDL would expire on the same day as the licensee's birth date. Even the cheapest of fake ID's wouldn't overlook this important point. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sunways Security Guard: You planning a vacation, Mr. Sullivan?
Morgan Sullivan: No. No, just some reading to pass the time.
See more »

Connections

References The Game (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Never Been In Love
Written by: Scott Nickoley, Stephen Lang, and Jamie Dunlap
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Some great visuals embedded in corporate cyber-spy silliness, but entertaining anyway
29 July 2005 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

Cypher is an entertaining but irritating film. Nothing in the film is exactly as it appears, and the film reads a lot like a Dean Koontz novel . It's premise is ridiculous, and none of the characters are particularly believable, but you still feel compelled to go on because you sense that something clever is afoot. Indeed, something clever is going on here, but most alert and intelligent viewers will see each plot twist coming, and will feel (at least through most of the film) that they have seen it all before. In my opinion, Cypher is worth watching anyway - if not simply for its occasionally gorgeous photography then for its original and interesting finish.

In fact, nothing about the film itself is really what it appears. It poses as an independent project but obviously sported a sizable budget, and drew the backing of some attention of some big names. It appears to be a sci-fi film, but it's really just a pedestrian spy thriller with a few sci-fi elements tossed in to differentiate it slightly from the dozens of similar films that have been made in this popular genre.

Likable Lucy Liu plays her usual role - an ambiguous heroine who could be a savior or a slayer for Jeremy Northam - a man who has been reprogrammed, brainwashed, and seems on his way to hell with a one way ticket. Northam plays a man without a fixed identity . He is a corporate spy who has been so badly used that he no longer knows who he is and who he is working for. Yet the film only superficially resembles The Bourne Identity. To its credit, Cypher offers some amusing parodies of itself and its ilk very early on. Northam makes the film with an evolving, highly dynamic, and often annoying performance - playing a character who is, in fact, at least three different characters.

Though Cypher is somewhat predictable in terms of action and events, it is never exactly made clear what is motivating everything until the very end. And, in the end, the payoff is worth the sometimes aggravating pace and superficiality of the film.


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