Robert Redford leads an all-star cast in one of the most satisfying suspense films! Computer expert Martin Bishop (Redford) heads a team of renegade hackers - including a former CIA employee (Sidney Poitier), a gadgets wizard (Dan Aykroyd), a young genius (River Phoenix) and a blind soundman (David Strathairn) - who are routinely hired to test security systems. But Bishop's past comes back to haunt him when government agents blackmail the "sneakers" into carrying out a covert operation: tracking down an elusive black box. Along with his former girlfriend (Mary McDonnell), Bishop's team retrieves the box and makes a stunning discovery - the device can break into any computer system in the world. With factions from all sides willing to kill for the powerful box, Bishop and his team embark on their most dangerous assignment ever in this exhilarating high-tech caper from Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams).
This enjoyable thriller, written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson (the screenwriter of Field of Dreams
), follows a raggedy group of corporate security experts who get in over their heads when they accept an assignment poaching some hot hardware for the National Security Agency. Robert Redford plays the group's guru, an aging techno-anarchist who has been hiding from the feds since the early 1970s; his companionable gang of freaks includes Dan Aykroyd, David Strathairn, Mary McDonnell, the late River Phoenix, and Sidney Poitier, as a veteran CIA operative turned "sneaker." The technological black box that everybody is after, an array of computer chips that can decode any encrypted message, isn't a very plausible invention, but it's a serviceable McGuffin, and the megalomania of the master plotter played by Ben Kingsley has more resonance than most. Modest inferences can be drawn about the very latest high-tech threats to civil liberties. --David Chute