Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn play two young men from wealthy families who sell government secrets to the Russians. Based on the true story of Christopher Boyce (Hutton) and Daulton Lee (Penn), this is sometimes edgy, occasionally humorous, and ultimately heartbreaking. Boyce, whose job it is to guard top-secret government papers, becomes disillusioned with the United States and decides to make a deal with the Soviets. His partner in espionage is propelled by less-ideal reasons for his acts, as Penn plays a grungy drug addict in it for the money. An intelligent script is matched on two counts: by John Schlesinger's tight direction and by provocative performances by both actors.