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Beneath the shiny facade of 'Anonymous,' nothing but emptiness

Beneath the shiny facade of 'Anonymous,' nothing but emptiness
Clifton Collins Jr. plays Zed in "Anonymous." (Skylight Picture Works)

The biggest con that "Anonymous" features isn't any of the identity theft, credit card forgery or upending of the global financial systems its unlikable characters commit; instead, it's the wool pulled over the eyes of an unsuspecting audience. Director Akan Satayev's hacker thriller looks gorgeous, featuring locations around the world shot with crisp cinematography by Pasha Patriki. However, the script from Sanzhar Sultan is poorly structured and silly, revealing the emptiness beneath the shiny facade.

After emigrating from Ukraine to Canada as a child, teenage Alex (Callan McAuliffe) watches his parents struggle to make a living. He compensates by earning money in online schemes and hacking, which he soon brings into the real world. He meets Toronto con man Sye (Daniel Eric Gold) and mysterious beauty Kira (Lorraine Nicholson) as he aims to win the favor of reclusive and renowned hacker Zed (Clifton Collins Jr.), though he also attracts unwanted attention from the FBI.

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"Anonymous" likely intends to be thought-provoking, but it only invited questions about the illogical choices of both the characters and the filmmakers. The only tension present in the thriller is when it will be over.

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"Anonymous"

Rating: R, language throughout including some sexual references, and a bloody image

Running time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Playing: Atlantic Times Square 14, Los Angeles

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