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Echelon Conspiracy

42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When Max Peterson (Shane West) receives a series of mysterious cell phone messages that promise him untold wealth, he soon finds himself the victim of a deadly international plot. Chased by a lethal team of government operatives, Max races across the planet in a desperate attempt to unravel a conspiracy that threatens the stability of the entire world. Edward Burns, Ving Rhames and Martin Sheen co-star in this techno-charged edge-of-your-seat action thriller!

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In the taut thriller Cellular, a cell phone saves Kim Basinger's life, but the cell phones in Echelon Conspiracy work more like homing devices for a killer. Security consultant Max Peterson's (ER's Shane West) problems begin when he receives a new one while on assignment in Bangkok. The sender is unknown, but their anonymous text messages prove beneficial to his physical and financial well-being, so Max follows the advice they provide--not a particularly wise move considering that Max's job is to "protect data from hackers" (but there'd be no movie otherwise). When he wins three million euros at an upscale casino in Prague, Max comes to the attention of Reed, the Head of Security (Ed Burns), who reports to business tycoon Mr. Mueller (Jonathan Pryce), and FBI Agent Grant (Ving Rhames), who reports to NSA Director Burke (Martin Sheen). Max also meets the doe-eyed Kamila (Tamara Feldman), who may or may not be part of the conspiracy against him. Together, Reed and Grant try to help Max unmask the player behind a plot to turn the world into a global police state, and speed is of the essence since the previous cell phone recipients have all met their respective makers. Despite the name cast, Greg Marcks's follow-up to 11:14 never hits the same dramatic heights as similarly-themed techno-thrillers like Eagle Eye and the Bourne series, but it's a reasonably diverting entertainment, especially if you like a healthy dose of paranoia mixed in with your gunplay and car chases. --Kathleen C. Fennessy


Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Shane West, Edward Burns, Ving Rhames, Jonathan Pryce, Tamara Feldman
  • Directors: Greg Marcks
  • Writers: Kevin Elders, Michael Nitsberg
  • Producers: Alexander Leyviman, Charles V. Bender, John Corser, Jonathan Tzachor, Navid McIlhargey
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: July 21, 2009
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00274SIUG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,492 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Echelon Conspiracy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By AIROLF VINE VOICE on May 8, 2009
Format: DVD
Very similar to last year's "Eagle Eye," but with Shane West instead of Shia LaBeouf. This movie has a bit more intelligent script, but contains a lot less special effects (although there are several pretty good car chases). The theme of the U.S. government creating a machine for "national security" that then turns against them is nothing new and hardly science fiction these days, but the movies about it seem to be abundant. "Echelon Conspiracy" doesn't strike too far from the herd but it's still quite entertaining.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By THE MOVIE GUY on September 9, 2012
Format: DVD
PLOT SPOILER REVIEW***

The film starts out as an excellent thriller/mystery in spite of the lead being Shane West. Shane stars as Max "glass jaw" Peterson a man who installs programs in computers to prevent hackers. Max gets a strange phone that sends him text messages which saves his life and gives him money. We also know the government is after this device and other people have received such a phone and have died from following its instructions. At this point the film is an excellent thriller/mystery.

There are few suspects and clues in this production and then we find out who's the culprit and the film becomes boring. Max saves the day from a stunt he saw in "War Games" or if you prefer, the Star Trek episode "The Changeling." At this point I groaned. Perhaps if you have never seen either of those two productions, this might seem pretty darn good. As for me, I got bored when I realized you could kill the "bad guy" by tripping over the plug.

Ving Rhames always does a good character job. Outside of that, the film lacked. Might work as a rental. Better than most of the "Red Box" action.

PARENTAL GUIDE: F-bombs, no nudity, brief love scene.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 24, 2011
Format: DVD
"Echelon Conspiracy" is a fairly good thriller. Director Greg Marcks who won an academy award as a student keeps the pace brisk and the mystery unfolding. Of the actors, Tamara Feldman comes across the best IMHO. She plays Kamila. From the first moments where she bumps into Max in a hotel hallway, we know she is not all she appears to be. Feldman, who has done lots of recent TV from "Gossip Girls," "Royal Pains" & "One Tree Hill," gives the character depth. Her reaction frames as she slouches wounded against the bathroom wall are powerful. Shane West, who I have been enjoying on the series "Nikita," plays the lead Max Peterson. He allows the story to be more interesting than his character's reaction to events. The flat performance doesn't give much of a springboard on which the film can rebound. Edward Burns who I actually did see in "27 Dresses" plays John Reed, the casino security and ex-agent. Martin Sheen's Raymond Burke is the bad guy bureaucrat who raves and twitches in Washington DC. Ving Rhames doesn't have as much to do as he did in "Mission Impossible II," but adequately goes through the paces. Jonathan Pryce who has been in numerous "Pirates of the Caribbean" films plays his usual ruthless tycoon. Sergey Gubanov plays the computer whizz Yuri Melanin in what is a great role for the young actor, allowing him to show several different layers. If you like the espionage genre, this is a good flick to kick back and just let it entertain you. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tsuyoshi on March 19, 2010
Format: DVD
In "The Echelon Conspiracy," a technological thriller presented by Dark Castle Entertainment, a computer security expert Max Peterson (Shane West) gets strange text messages in his cell phone. The latest model cell phone is in fact an anonymous gift he receives at a Bangkok hotel, and to his great surprise, the text messages really foretell the future events like stock market prices.

The unknown sender of the messages orders Max to fly to a Prague casino, where he is offered a chance to be rich quickly. Of course, he wouldn't let this opportunity go, but some people are not very happy about that. Max is pursued by the casino's security chief John Reed (Ed Burns) and an FBI agent Dave Grant (Ving Rhames). Apparently, Max realizes, he is not the only one who had received these strange messages, and some of those who had followed the phone's suggestions are already dead.

[MILD SPOILER INCLUDED in this paragraph] I believe the similarity is accidental, but "The Echelon Conspiracy" made me feel like watching "Eagle Eye" again. And perhaps "War Game," too. The difference is that D.J. Caruso, director of the surprise hit starring Shia LaBeouf, knew how to handle the action scenes more competently. There are a car chase and a shoot-out in "Echelon Conspiracy," but the badly edited stunts lack thrills and, with all respect to those who got involved, sometimes even look amateurish.

Maybe director Greg Marcks ("11:14") is not ready for action films of this scale. Acting is not bad, but virtually nothing is done to make their characters interesting, and any attempt for adding much-needed humor is weak at best. Not a terrible film at all, but "The Echelon Conspiracy" needs originality and imagination, as well as a better title.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on November 14, 2009
Format: DVD
Anyone who regularly watches recent films will immediately see "Echelon Conspiracy" as more than a bit similar to the thriller, "Eagle Eye" (which had been released 6 months earlier), as both films involve conspiracies involving the government, with innocents forced to participate in the plot via mysterious messages over cellphones. But if your viewing habits encompass a wider range of films, you will also find "Echelon Conspiracy" owes as much to "Enemy of the State", "Wargames", and a number of other suspense films...and the derivative nature of the plot unfortunately defeats a decent cast, and beautiful location work around the world.

While Shane West, with his blue-collar persona, seems an unlikely casting choice as a brilliant engineer, he hasn't suffered from the over-exposure of Shia LaBeouf, and his performance grows on you, as the film progresses. Edward Burns (as an ex-FBI agent/casino security chief) and Ving Rhames (as his FBI ex-partner), both deserve better roles in better films, but do provide solid support for West (although why the FBI would violate it's mandate, and operate actively in Europe, is one of many plotholes in the script). Sexy Tamara Feldman is the obligatory love interest with a secret agenda, and Jonathan Pryce, in a tiny cameo, has fun as Burns' ruthless boss. Then there is villainous Martin Sheen...well, if this film is any indication, he gave up serious acting when "The West Wing" went off the air!

If you are an armchair traveller, you will enjoy the film; Bangkok is gloriously colorful, Prague, rich in 'Old World' charm, and Moscow figures prominently in a high-voltage night car chase. You may wonder about the mountains in the 'Nebraska' finale, but you do get your money's worth in exotic locales.

Ultimately, "Echelon Conspiracy" isn't terrible, and if you are a casual movie watcher, you may enjoy the film. But if you find yourself experiencing déjà vu, don't worry; you HAVE seen all this before!
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