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The Net
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Length:1 Hour 54 Minutes
Cast:Irwin Winkler, Sandra Bullock, Jeremy Northam, Dennis Miller

Sandra Bullock is cast against type as a socially maladroit computer nerd who finds herself the victim of cyber intrigue in The Net, a slick thriller with high-tech trappings. She plays a computer technician who stumbles upon a program giving her access to restricted government files. Upon learning that she has the coveted disk, mysterious miscreants embark on a campaign to ruin her life, manipulating personal records stored in cyberspace and essentially deleting her identity. A handsome British hacker (Jeremy Northam) seems like the one guy who can help her -- but will he? Director Irvin Winkler (At First Sight) makes Bullock a Hitchcockian protagonist: She's an average person accidentally thrust into a dangerous situation and menaced by unknown assailants for reasons she can't initially fathom. Armed only with her wits, she fights back as best she can, displaying iron-willed resolve and resourcefulness. Perhaps a trifle too glamorous for a computer geek, Bullock is nonetheless very convincing in this suspenseful film, the memory of which should provoke shudders every time you log on. Ed Hulse

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