Just how far should one man go to stay ahead of his competition? Milo Hoffmann (Ryan Phillippe) is a young and gifted computer software designer who with his close friend Teddy is about to launch a high-tech start-up firm based on Milo's inventive ideas in convergence, in which he's helping to create new ways for different forms of digital technology to work in harmony. However, before Milo and Teddy can get their company off the ground, Milo receives a very tempting offer from Gary Winston (Tim Robbins), a trailblazing genius in the digital world who has turned his company N.U.R.V. (which stands for "Never Underestimate Radical Vision") into one of the richest and most powerful computer firms on Earth. While Milo is sympathetic to Teddy's beliefs that computer technology should belong to the people and that open source software is the most promising future lies, Winston has long been Milo's role model in design and research, and Milo feels Winston's offer is too good to pass up. Milo and his girlfriend Alice Poulson (Claire Forlani) move out to Silicon Valley, and at first Milo thrives on the challenges of his new position, and develops a close working relationship with fellow designer Lisa Calighan (Rachael Leigh Cook). But Milo underestimates the ruthlessness of the leading-edge software industry, and he soon learns there's a sinister undercurrent to Winston's drive to stay on top. Antitrust earned rising star Ryan Phillippe his first million-dollar paycheck after well-regarded roles in 54 and Cruel Intentions.
by Mark Deming synopsis