Film Scouts Reviews

"The Spanish Prisoner"

by Robin J. Schwartz

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January 17, 1998

Wanna feel paranoid? Welcome to the world of Joe Ross (Campbell Scott). Joe's a "boy scout", a "gent", one of the good-hearted, talented souls who doesn't quite know how to protect himself. Which is a problem, because Joe has just invented a huge, money-making "process" for his company. And suddenly he suspects he's about to get screwed. Factor in Steve Martin as a wily exec, Rebecca Pidgeon as a lovestruck secretary, and an assorted crew of sordid characters, and watch poor Joe spiral merrily down the drain. Joe is infuriatingly trusting; you can see the reversals a mile away and, as always, Mamet's language is stylized and full of awkward rhythms. But the last, lovely plot twist redeems this flawed thriller and leaves you pondering the wheels within wheels within wheels... Does everybody lie??

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