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Cypher (2012)

Jeremy Northam , Lucy Liu , Vincenzo Natali  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jeremy Northam, Lucy Liu, Kari Matchett
  • Directors: Vincenzo Natali
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007AFC0RY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,781 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

When computer expert Morgan Sullivan (Jeremy Northam) joins a huge multinational company, he assumes a new identity and is sent undercover to investigate corporate espionage. Before long, he finds himself caught up in a vicious cycle of paranoia and mistrust. Then along comes Rita (Lucy Liu), a sexy and smart secret agent who informs Sullivan that he's being brainwashed...and that she is the only one who can help him.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "trust is not an option" June 18, 2005
Stunning, imaginative visuals highlight this sci-fi thriller, an intricate story of multi-layered brainwashing that is actually better on the second and third viewing, because of its maze of plot twists that one can get lost in, and knowing the ending doesn't lessen the impact of the drama.
The brainwashing scenes are brilliant, where a group attends lectures on subjects like "processed cheese" and "shaving cream distribution," and in paranoid moments makes me wonder what might be really happening to our brains while watching the average news/entertainment + advertising fare on our televisions.
These scenes are a little like the 1962 "The Manchurian Candidate," only using futuristic technology.

Jeremy Northam is terrific as "Morgan Sullivan," whose reality gets distorted and personality split into several identities. His confusion and fear are believable, and he handles the few action sequences with aplomb. Lucy Liu is strong and beautiful as the mysterious Rita, whose coded telephone number is Job 13:17, "Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears."
Vincenzo Natali directed this award winning 2002 film with stylish flair, a sleek sophistication, and with excellent pacing and some heart-thumping tension. The cinematography by Derek Rogers is marvelous, with a rather stark look, and the score is atmospheric and lovely, by Michael Andrews.
Intriguing, well acted, and with fascinating imagery, this is more of a mental adventure than the typical "blow 'em up" action film, and deserves being seen more than once for full appreciation.
No graphic violence, no nudity, and only the occasional four-letter word make this film suitable for a large audience.
Total running time is 95 minutes.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish Thriller from the Director of 'Cube' August 21, 2005
Canadian director Vincenzo Natali made a cult film 'Cube' in 1997 -- claustrophobic thriller about six people trapped in cubic rooms. In his new film, Natali made another thriller in the vein of 'The Manchurian Candidate.' The difference from Sinatra's classic film is that 'Cypher' is more atmospheric, complicated, and politic-free. You need a lot of suspention of disbelief, but the film is stylish and uniquely entertaining.

The story begins with a job interview of one Morgan Sullivan (Jeremy Northam) by a high-tech company Digicorp. Morgan, mild-mannered and quite ordinary man, is accepted after many exams which apparently are intended to test not so much his skills as his identity, for the company is afraid of his being a spy sent from its rivals.

Now Morgan starts his new freelance job, given another name "Jack Thursby." As Jack, Morgan is sent on a business trip to the cities, where a conference is held. His assignment is simple -- to tape secretly the presentations there, and transmit the content. His first mission is in shaving cream convention in Buffalo; next, process cheese in Omaha; and then, Boise....

YOU CAN SENSE that something is wrong with the world Morgan/Jack is in. Things are managed too well. Everyhing looks very artificial (see the designs of square buildings or town blocks). And one red-haired woman named 'Rita Foster' (Lucy Liu) always shows up whereever Morgan goes. What is her purpose?

Though the story gets confusing in the second half, 'Cypher' remains intriguing, refusing to give us an easy wayout from the maze until the last moment. Some may think the ending is slightly disappointing, but even they would admit the film's unpredictable storyline. As to the acting, Jeremy Northam and Lucy Liu are both very good.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Sci-Fi and into the land of Hitchcock August 17, 2005
I'm not that great of a sci-fi fan so was a bit wary of Cypher, but it's really quite brilliant. More in the vein of Hitchcock in terms of wondering where reality starts and ends, and with a distinctly convoluted plot, Cypher keeps you engaged & keeps you guessing. Well acted, well written, and with a "Blade Runner" visual style. Don't miss it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it's all in the ending June 17, 2005
There's not a lot that can be said about Cypher without compromising the movie. I saw it on cable. The "info" says Cypher is about a man (Morgan Sullivan) confused about his identity when hired by rival firms to spy on each other. To that I can add that identity and the shifting realities that Sullivan experiences are central to Cypher. When you are unsure who you are, what your name is, who your wife is, where you live and who your friends are there is little left to anchor your sense of reality.

He is pushed and bullied by the industrial rivals but the movie never devolves into a cliched action-fest. The movie centers around his shifting identities and the deadly game of industrial espionage in which he finds himself entangled.

My wife and I enjoyed the movie. Cypher is intelligent and doesn't disappoint in the wrap up. I'm planning on grabbing this on DVD when Amazon gets around to stocking it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film in the vein of Cube and Dark City. July 26, 2005
This is a great film. When I think sci-fi, I usually think of the popular space operas like Star Wars rather than great films like Dark Cty and Cube. Well, I'm happy to say that this film is in good company with those two sci-fi thrillers. Great film that kept me entertained through the end. I was such a fan after seeing this film for the first tiem that I bought the R2 version (I'm American) from rather than waiting for the R1 release. At the very least, give this movie a try. I doubt you will be disappointed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for one viewing.
A great movie is one that I remember each scene--not this one but but Lucy is hot and worth it price.
Published 5 days ago by Raymond I. Spangler
3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise. Slow pacing for a "thriller"
It starts with a fantastic premise-- an everyman gets a job with a company called "Digicorp" to become a corporate spy and while on assignment can reinvent himself into... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Constantine K. Christakos
5.0 out of 5 stars Great mind game movie
Great mind game movie. It will keep you guessing
Published 3 months ago by Scott Conerly
5.0 out of 5 stars It was different, imagitve & I really liked it
This movie is very different from a lot of "non-normal" movies. A lot of movies of non familiar plots just seem to muddle through aimlessly. This movie does not do that. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars SCI-FI SPY AWESOMENESS!!!!!!!
Proof positive that what makes as great movie is the writing. Don't get me wrong, this film looks great, but you can tell it did not have the giant blockbuster budget that some... Read more
Published 7 months ago by METAL-ROB
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good spy movie
The movie move fast, so one needs to pay good attention as the movie unfolds. It's about corporate spying. Read more
Published 8 months ago by DWP
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Done, Bit Confusing, Industrial Espionage Movie
Sort of a minimalist thriller. Camera work on the arty-but good-side. Baffling action, explained, but who can trust the explanations. Read more
Published 16 months ago by drkhimxz
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
I thourghly enjoyed this. I am not usually a fan of this genre. This one keep me interested and I was surprized at the ending.
Published 17 months ago by Roberta
5.0 out of 5 stars Cypher dvd
I found this movie to be a very good story about industrial espionage and very good detective type story with unexpected twists. Read more
Published 18 months ago by G-man
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucy Liu
lucy Liu - what more do you need? Actually this movie has it all, story, character development, and one of hottest females on the planet.
Published 18 months ago by Consumer Advocate
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