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Edison - Justin Timberlake, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, LL Cool J, David J Burke

Threat advisory: Under evaluation

Movie propaganda

In this city, only the cops are above the law.

How does morality becomes twisted in the collision between civic pride and covert greed? Should the law fully apply to those sweeping society's worst offenders off the street, or do most citizens prefer to turn a blind eye? And when noble goals cede absolute power, can anyone be surprised when it corrupts absolutely?

The growing metropolis of Edison seems to holds promise for all, but even young ambitious journalist Josh Pollack (Justin Timberlake) must begin at the bottom. Though he'd rather launch his career as an investigative reporter at the Times, instead he's reduced to writing police blotter squibs at the Heights Herald, a community rag better known for its coupons. When Pollack perceives police fraud, however, his desire to expose it runs up against his boss, Moses Ashford (Morgan Freeman), a prize-winning photojournalist now content to please local advertisers. Ashford, who once documented the bloodiest mêlées three decades ago in Cambodia, no longer has the stomach for combat, neither can he stand a young reporter's laziness. Ashford fires Pollack, which does little to quell his intent to write the story.

Its subject is Edison's most elite police unit, FRAT (First Response Assault and Tactical), a SWAT brigade on steroids. Its members have every tool imaginable from M-11s and Glock .45s to Kevlar body armor - as well as their own exclusive strip club. Pollack's focus, however, is a brief moment of complicity in the courthouse between an alleged coke dealer and the arresting officer Raphael Deed (James Todd "LL Cool J" Smith), whose attempt to stay on the high road does not sit well with his partner, Sergeant Francis Lazerov (Dylan McDermott). The quintessential rogue cop, Lazerov led the late-night raid that nabbed the dealer, but this was never supposed to be a routine bust. Truth is, FRAT only wanted the cash and the coke. After threats of turning them in to the Feds, one dealer is dead, his fearful lackey in the pen.

Pollack, taking up Ashford's challenge to do the dirty work, visits the frightened inmate to extract the truth, then works hard to corroborate his story in an effort worthy of Sisyphus. Lazerov is steeled as a wolf (indeed, he keeps a wolf's head as a symbol of strength), but Deed seems penetrable, a man struggling with his conscience, as well as his future. FRAT has always been a single-guy's club and Deed ponders proposing to his girlfriend, settling down, perhaps going into his father-in-law's plumbing trade. Afflicted with pneumatic headaches, he has a new one throbbing inside his skull: cover up the incident to protect FRAT and the city of Edison, or expose the unit's lawless excesses and destroy his career and everything else?

FRAT's militarist leader, Captain Bernard Tilman (John Heard), knows what he must do to keep Pollack's story from seeing the light of day, and his perspective is tacitly shared by District Attorney Jack Reigert (Cary Elwes), a smooth-tongued professional with aspirations beyond the confines of Edison. As Pollack persuades Ashford to aid his investigation, especially after a beating by Lazerov that sends the reporter to the hospital and his girlfriend Willow (Piper Perabo) into a coma, the uneasy alliance soon expands to include Levon Wallace (Kevin Spacey), a veteran Special Investigator who understands that clean streets and dirty cops aren't compatible.

As Pollack moves relentlessly toward writing his article, an inside prison job eliminates his only witness and the certainty crystallizes that he will be the next target. The city of Edison, its moniker suggestive of electrical power and the positive force of innovation, now pulsates for the young reporter with the power-hungry desires of those who control the grid, some who will do anything in the name of urban renewal, others merely naked ambition.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Edison image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film crime police drug gun elite unit corruption silence cover-up journalist

Persons of interest

  • Kevin Spacey .... Detective Levon Wallace
  • Morgan Freeman .... Ashford
  • Justin Timberlake .... Joshua Pollack
  • LL Cool J .... Deed
  • Dylan McDermott .... Lazerov
  • John Heard .... Tilman
  • Françoise Yip .... Crowe
  • Andrew Jackson .... Ives
  • Marco Sanchez .... Alex Reyes
  • Darryl Quon .... Wu
  • Timothy Paul Perez .... Butler
  • Cary Elwes .... Reigert
  • Bryan Genesse .... Agent Campbell
  • Jennifer Gibson .... Jennifer
  • Piper Perabo .... Willow
  • Roselyn Sanchez .... Maria
  • Jacqueline Ann Steuart .... Marilyn
  • David J Burke .... Screenwriter
  • David J Burke .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

  • Edison official movie site
  • Edison film production notes
  • Edison QuickTime movie trailers
  • Awards and film festivals:
    • *
  • Studios and distributors:

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report


Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Strong violence)

Surveillance time

92 minutes (1:32 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: Undated 2006

Cinema surveillance images

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