At the Movies: The Numbers Station

This is a slightly older movie in the John Cusack discography, but still worth a mention. He stars as some sort of disgraced government agent who was taken out of the field after he was unable to take care of a witness (yes, it’s another way of saying he couldn’t kill an innocent girl after she watched him kill her dad).

For his rehab he’s sent over to Europe to watch over a code broadcaster played by Malin Akerman (The Watchmen). It’s a top-secret job that very few can do: she relays coded messages in the form of numbers via a secret broadcast system to field agents who then carry out the assignments under a set time limit.

It all comes undone when they are waiting for another team to get out, and they’re shot at by a hidden sniper. Once inside, they realize the team was attacked by someone trying to broadcast certain messages. The movie balances between Emerson (Cusack) and Katherine (Akerman) trying to find out what happened to the other team, and Emerson struggling with the fact that part of his job is to “take care of” Katherine.

Even though it was short with just below an hour and a half running time, it was still pretty good movie. It was moved pretty quickly, and they did a great job with building up suspense. Parts of me does wish that it was a bit longer to allow for more back story and character development, but there is also an argument that those factors aren’t as important.

There were, however, a few things that could have benefited from a longer movie or even some sort of miniseries. Some background on Emerson’s boss would’ve been nice being as he seemed kind of central to what was going on, and you’re never really told who the guys were that attacked the station and killed the first team.

In the end, however, it’s definitely worth a watch.


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