What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that someone tries to poison the hero in this movie. Company assassins chase and corner the good guys. The calculated corporate killing of an Asian-American is covered up as a hate crime, with racial slurs used. Widely scattered profanity -- one use of "f--k." Much drinking of alcohol. The hero plants a homemade bomb to create a distraction while he investigates. Breaking-and-entering, online and off, by the good guy. The very-young-looking hero and his girlfriend are shown in bed together. Mention of one character having been molested by her stepfather. A young man is brutally beaten to death. Hints of other murders (offscreen).
What's the story?
ANTITRUST begins as computer genius Milo Hoffman (Ryan Phillippe) tries to launch a start-up company that he believes will make vast improvements in digital technology. Enter Gary Winston (Tim Robbins), a diabolical software king (the character seems to be based partly on Bill Gates). When Winston makes Milo an offer he can't refuse, the optimistic-yet-naïve young man moves to Silicon Valley with his girlfriend (Claire Forlani) and begins working at Winston's firm, where he collaborates closely with pretty coworker Lisa (Rachael Leigh Cook). But eventually Winston's monopolistic approach to the computer industry becomes clear, and Milo can no longer deny that he's sold out and that his one-time hero is a greedy, controlling megalomaniac.
Is it any good?
For some reason American filmmakers never tire of depicting businessmen as greedy, conniving, and evil, and that alone makes this movie rather uninspired. While there's some high-minded dialogue in which Milo berates Winston for losing his ethics, Antitrust is basically a teen-oriented cyberthriller with gigabytes of tech-talk and the disquieting notion that you can't trust anyone over thirty. Or over $30,000 a year.
Aside from anti-business business, the film suffers from the fact that typing on a keyboard and Saving Files to Root Directory just aren't very exciting visually. But Milo spends much of his time doing just that, fingers flying and eyes wide in close-up. There's a blaring soundtrack to tip us off when something is scary, and flashbacks of events and dialogue that took place only moments before--as if viewers aren't expected to have the attention spans to remember such things.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the moral choices Milo makes, and the definition of a "transit module."