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The Numbers Station (2013)

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A disgraced black ops agent is dispatched to a remote CIA broadcast station to protect a code operator. Soon, they find themselves in a life-or-death struggle to stop a deadly plot before it's too late.


Kasper Barfoed


F. Scott Frazier (screenplay by)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cusack ... Emerson Kent
Malin Akerman ... Katherine
Liam Cunningham ... Grey
Richard Brake ... Max
Bryan Dick ... David
Finbar Lynch ... Michaels
Lucy Griffiths ... Meredith
Joey Ansah ... Derne
Victor Gardener ... Fischer
Joe Montana ... Jeremy Fletcher
Brian Nickels Brian Nickels ... Bouncer (as Brian Sonny Nickels)
Randy Merchant Randy Merchant ... Bouncer
Hannah Murray ... Rachel Davis
Gary Lawrence ... Hospital Orderly
Max Bennett ... Intern at Hospital


When the moral values of a longtime wetwork black ops agent is tested during his last operation, he receives an unfavorable psych evaluation. Now he is given a break and a seemingly uncomplicated assignment of simply protecting the security of a young female code announcer, code resources and remote station they are assigned to. After an ambush and one phone call later, it becomes a complicated fight for their survival. Written by AZSigInt

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Start The Count. See more »


Action | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



UK | Belgium | USA



Release Date:

26 April 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Código de defensa See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


According to an article published in The Telegraph newspaper, of actor Warren Clarke, it reported that "he may have lost money after investing in a 2013 film called The Numbers Station, starring the American actor John Cusack, which received a lukewarm reception." See more »


Normally, when a patient is admitted into a British hospital with a gunshot wound, the police are immediately notified. If the patient is/remains unconscious, they are placed under 24/7 (sometimes armed) guard, until they regain consciousness, and can be interviewed by CID/SB/SI/SO19. It is more than likely that Grey, upon learning the situation, either canceled the police or dismissed then in order to avoid any questioning. In the beginning of the film he alludes to his powers in this respect when he talks about having to deal with the police over the shooting of the girl. See more »


Max: [Meredith holding a gun on him] You're shaking now. You're getting angry. You're letting your emotions get the better of the situation. The adrenalin, it's really kickin' in. What I know? The reason that I'm not shaking is because this is a choice not dictated by emotion. This is logic - pure, simple. My boy over there is rated fourth in the world in the Glock 30. You now what that means? What's it mean...
Derne: It means I could shoot you from Texas.
Max: Now that's of course exaggeration. But the point ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits starts with some numbers spoken and reversed match with the names that are shown. See more »


Referenced in The Making of the Numbers Station (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly good!
13 September 2015 | by NateWatchesCoolMoviesSee all my reviews

I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by The Numbers Station. Going on John Cusack's recent venture into silly, inconsequential direct to video thrillers without depth or heft, I expected a mind numbing cash grab with his moniker shamelessly plastered in pre title billing. I only watched it for a couple of actors I really enjoy, and what I got was thoroughly fun, slow burning spy thriller that took its time, built the characters and focused on mood and story instead of just action filler. During and after the Cold War, Numerous 'Numbers Stations' were planted all over Europe, facilities where operatives would reside, broadcasting codes in the form of random sequences of digits, all over the region to various agents, who would read them, and carry out the orders embedded within. Cusack's plays a disgraced agent who is assigned to accompany a coder (Malin Ackerman) to a remote station, and protect her and the premises. They arrive and are immediately at odds with each other. Ackerman is a rookie spook with idealistic values and a sunshiny demeanour that irks Cusack right off the bat. He has acres of tragedy behind him, curdling his personality into a jaded, hangdog presence, essentially just wearily carrying out the motions with listless resignation. The script wisely gives them time to bicker about their differences, learn a bit about each other and form a shaky bond before the inevitable conflict rears its head, in the form of a rogue special ops unit led by a determined psychopath (Richard Brake). Their aim is to hijack the numbers stations broadcasting capabilities and send out codes of their own containing orders to do God knows what. It's up to Cusack to prevent this, giving him new purpose. The underrated Liam Cunningham briefly shows up as Cusack's morally bankrupt partner who ends up having a crisis of conscience, and portrays it really well as only Cunnningham can do. It's not a movie to rave about, but it's a solid, moody thriller for lovers of the genre, perfect for a lazy rainy night.

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