Jan Thijs
Gillian Flynn
August 06, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Company

Current Status
In Season
112 minutes
Limited Release Date
Neve Campbell, Susie Cusack, William Dick, James Franco, Malcolm McDowell
Robert Altman
Sony Pictures Classics
Barbara Turner
Drama, musical

We gave it a B+

Meaty, gorgeous, and sometimes soapy, TNT’s six-hour miniseries The Company chronicles the Cold War and the CIA’s role in it over four decades. Produced by Ridley and Tony Scott, The Company is a hell of a spy thriller, filled with glowing rooftop chases and shadowy phone calls, moles and mind games, and romance of the Cold War variety — passionate, guilt-laden, and well-dressed. It’s a story told through three Yale friends: One becomes a CIA spy (Chris O’Donnell), one becomes a Company golden boy (Junebug‘s Alessandro Nivola), and the third, a Russian by birth, becomes a spy for his homeland (CSI: Miami‘s Rory Cochrane). Michael Keaton scuttles around as CIA counter-intelligence guru James Jesus Angleton. Muttering intensely to his orchids, Keaton seems determined to win the William Hurt, No Such Thing as a Supporting Role award. He’ll have to duke it out with Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2), who plays a brilliant, alcoholic CIA operative.

Of the three installments, night 2 feels the most labored, with an obligatory pit stop in Cuba. (Filming the Bay of Pigs debacle is a bit like filming the Mona Lisa: It’s so iconic, it barely resonates.) But night 3 makes up for that: It’s filled with tension and decay, as the agents turn on each other to find a mole — and we see the idealistic young men turn into haggard old cynics as the Cold War deflates around them. It’s an unsettling, unpat finish, which is perversely satisfying. B+

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