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Movie Review

Echelon Conspiracy

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense violence and action, some sexuality and brief language.

Reviewed by: Elisa A. Walker

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults, Teens
Action, Suspense, Mystery, Drama
1 hr. 45 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
February 27, 2009 (limited)
DVD: July 21, 2009
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Relevant Issues
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About murder in the Bible


Final judgment



Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.
Featuring: Martin Sheen, Shane West, Edward Burns, Ving Rhames, Yuriy Kutsenko, Sergey Gubanov, Martin Sheen, Steven Elder, Sandra De Sousa, Greg Donaldson, Andrea Enright, Tamara Feldman, Ilan Goodman, Todd Jensen, Danko Jordanov, Jonathan Pryce, Marianne Stanicheva, Mike Straub, Vee Vimolmal, Trevor White
Director: Greg Marcks
Producer: After Dark Films, Mobicom Entertainment, Zinc Entertainment Inc., Charles V. Bender, Stephen Bender, Alexander Leyviman, Navid McIlhargey, Steve Richards, Roee Sharon, Jonathan Tzachor
Distributor: Paramount

“Security comes at a price.”

Max Peterson (Shane West) is an everyday computer engineer who installs password protections on computer systems. After a job one day, he receives a cell phone that receives mysterious text messages that lead him to win great amounts of money and saves his life and even meets a beautiful woman, Kamila (Tamara Feldman)—though he is unaware the danger this device entails.

Max ends up in the middle of a government conspiracy and is chased globally by secret agents who shoot to kill. Not knowing who is after him or for what reason, Max is left to rely on himself and the mysterious phone. The future of the entire world lies on Max’s shoulders and in the end; he is the only one who can save the day.

Morality Issues

“Echelon Conspiracy” starts off very clean, but quickly takes a downward turn. The profanity is pretty heavy with 35 curses: 1 use of “SOB”, 1 use of “b*****d”, 4 uses of “a**”, 9 uses of “H***”, 3 uses of “d***”, 9 uses of “sh**”, 3 uses of “G**d***”, 1 use of “Jesus”, 1 use of “f***”, 1 use of “piss off”, 1 use of “prick”, 1 use of “by the balls” and 2 other misuses of God’s name.

The violence was pretty moderate; it’s your average action-packed thriller. There are several scenes of people shooting at each other, but not a lot of blood is shown. There are two instances of men being held at gunpoint, but nothing happens. A handful of people are shown being killed, but nothing is graphic about it, except one guy is speared through the head with a fire poker and blood can be seen dripping down his face and another guy dies in a car accident and blood can be seen on his face. Two people are shown being hit by moving vehicles, and it’s implied that they get killed, but nothing is shown. There are a couple of instances of fist fights, but no major damage done. One of the characters, Kamila is seen being shot in the arm and blood shows through her shirt, but again nothing too graphic. There are also a couple of cars blown up and a high speed car chase. Altogether, the violence was kept realistic and didn’t go to an extreme.

As far as sexuality goes, the film kept it pretty mild. There is one pool scene, where Max is sitting at a bar, and he is looking around at the women in bikinis, but nothing too revealing, just a normal pool scene with people in swimsuits. There is one bedroom scene between Max and Kamila, they can be seen taking each other’s clothing off, but mostly his bare chest and her bare stomach and legs can be seen. They roll around in the sheets a little and kiss, but then it skips to the morning after. Kamila then gets dressed, her stomach, bare-back, and underwear can be seen as she puts on a shirt and jeans. There are two other instances: Kamila kisses Max on the neck, and they peck at the end of the movie.

There are also a couple of scenes in the movie where people are smoking, drinking and gambling, these however, are not a main part of the movie and are not taken to any extreme.

Spiritual Issues

The biggest problems for this film were its misuse of profanity and sex. The pool scene and the kissing were harmless, but to get in bed with someone that one has just met is simply stupid and irresponsible. In these troublesome times, a person doesn’t know if some stranger they meet has an STD or if that person is safe and isn’t going to murder them later. As a young woman, it bothers me that Hollywood paints sex with strangers as something that is safe and ultimately carefree, they forget to tell us that many young girls and women who partake in this are never seen again, get pregnant or get a horrible disease. It also tells men to be irresponsible as well and to throw chivalry out the door. The Bible clearly states that sex should only happen between a married, heterosexual couple. It also says,

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God… For God has not called us to impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8).

The profanity also goes overboard. 35 uses of profanity is a lot, it just doesn’t seem necessary to cuss that many times. The “Hells” and “damns” are one thing, but to use the Lord’s name without actually pleading to Him is unacceptable; and since when do PG-13 movies need the “F” word in them? It used to be that one only heard that word in an R-rated movie, very unnecessary for this movie.

My Recommendation

“Echelon Conspiracy” started out great, but failed in too many key parts, not just the cursing and sexuality, but also the storyline itself. The acting was good, Martin Sheen and Shane West are great actors, but they didn’t have much to work with. ***WARNING SPOILER*** It is an all too familiar storyline, though interesting, it’s been done far better before. Even the action and mystery are predictable; the suspense is again lost with the old storyline. “Eagle Eye” had the same exact storyline but with a much better cast and better action. Though not as bad as some of the movies out there, “Echelon Conspiracy” doesn’t even have a compelling storyline to be worth the compromise. Let’s face it; the Shane West we knew and loved in “A Walk to Remember” vanished as quickly as he appeared.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—I love it. It’s an indie movie and shooting before EAGLE EYE… But “Eagle Eye” had a lot of money… is a Hollywood movie… and made the release first!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Bia, age 49 (Ireland)
Negative—This is “Eagle Eye” on a smaller budget. Nothing fresh was offered here at all, and the efforts of capable actors to rise above the plot were pretty much in vain. It was too easy to surmise what was going to happen. The sexual components and profanity only emphasized the film’s need to bump up a tired plotline.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—PDWebb, age 50+ (USA)