From the opening pre-credit scene, Antitrust sets out to display a rivalry between "corporate ideology" and "independent thinking" (let's face it... it's Microsoft versus open source). Gary Winston (Tim Robbins), is obviously set up to be the Bill Gates of the story (even though Gates is referred to as "Bill Who?" early in the movie), while Milo Hoffman (Ryan Phillippe) is the hard-working programmer trying his best to advance his career by getting a spot with a world-leading software producer, NURV. In the first three minutes, a Gates/Ballmer-like presentation and congressional hearings are shown. Then, when Milo receives "that call" from Winston, the plot thickens. You don't have to wait... you're not even five minutes into the movie yet.

Milo disappoints his friends by joining Winston's team. Early on, Winston actually seems to want to take his new protege under his wing, but also exploits Milo's inexperience and willingness for his own corporate needs. One of Milo's "open source" friends is murdered, and Milo eventually learns of Winston's unethical and illegal actions. Off Milo goes to investigate his friend's death and how Milo "got into this mess".

Side note: Rachael Leigh Cook = UNF!

Without giving away too many spoilers, Milo digs deeper and learns that he can trust nobody on the NURV team (or his own girlfriend) and has to solve the mystery of his friend's death either on his own or with the help of the very few people he can trust, which of course are his other open source friends. Winston continues to lurk in the background as the "root" of all evil (pun intended) , and how Milo finally exposes him is the entire point of the movie.

Tech points to ponder (from 2001):

* On the white-board during Winston's rally speech, the corporate firewall splits off into two internal interfaces: "translator/adaptor" and "authenticating agent". Interesting design... I think?

* "Teddy always had the most paranoid firewalls to protect his data". That didn't exactly protect Teddy's head from a baseball bat, now did it?

* Perhaps the most ironic of all things in the movie: the company (NURV) itself is almost certainly based on Microsoft, the computers used are all almost certainly Apples/Macs, and all command-line screens are Linux. While the DVD is paused, one line shows:

874 873 0 Date ? 00:22:08 /etc/X11/X :0 -auth / (truncated)
Poor bastard is using a C shell as well. Errrr...

Overall, average acting, average story, average action. Nothing special, but nothing that sends it down to the flaming depths of hell. Worth a rental if you're interested or a $9.99 (US) buy if you're a collector of computer/tech/security movies, and certainly nothing to get excited about.

Lyger's Rating: 2.5

Lyger's Guide:

1 = mafiaboy (raw ass)
2 = Pauly Shore (hey, I liked Encino Man..)
3 = Japanese wrestling (fun to watch for a couple hours)
4 = Mitnick's nipples (whoo-hoo)
5 = OMFG RAWR (you buy it, watch it repeatedly, and sleep with it under your pillow)


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