The Report (2019)
May 4, 2020 12:54 PM - Subscribe

The story of staffer Daniel Jones and the Senate Intelligence Committee as they investigate the CIA's use of torture following the September 11 attacks. It covers more than a decade's worth of real-life political intrigue, exploring and compacting Jones's 6,700-page report. It is partly based on the article "Rorschach and Awe" by Katherine Eban which originally appeared in Vanity Fair. Directed by Scott Z. Burns
posted by growabrain (5 comments total)
 
This is a good performance from Adam Driver and I like movies that have the element of "let's investigate this and get this out there!" but is this really good? I like what it's trying to do.

I appreciated that the movie didn't give Dan Jones any kind of interior life -- no girlfriend/wife/etc. scolding him for being at the office so late. But at the same time, we never really got to know him or his motivations.

It's not really a political film, and I think that's both good and bad. I sort of appreciate its inherently neutral stance, but I also wonder what it's actually trying to say.

In my review of it for Letterboxd, I said this:

"Do you like a lot of people looking at computer screens and talking to each other? Do you want to feel some vague sense of justice that maybe someone did the right thing at some point? Do you want to do something for 2 hours and have Amazon Prime?"

Driver is really good in this, though. It's probably one of the best roles I've seen him in (and I find him to be an incredibly interesting actor). Given his background, I am curious what this role meant to him and why he chose it, but I also think that brings a certain depth to it that another actor may not have.
posted by darksong at 6:25 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]


The Report is streaming in the US via Amazon Prime Video.
posted by Etrigan at 6:33 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed this to an extent but there was a dryness/detachment to it that made me feel less emotionally invested in what was happening.

I think about movies like Spotlight and Dark Waters which are ultra procedural but have a bigger statement to make about journalism/"THE TRUTH" and power structures and speaking truth to those power structures, as well as the emotional investment that some of the journalists felt in making sure the truth was heard. Or even movies like Vice, or The Big Short, which may editorialize but at least highlight the absurdity and dark comedy of what's happening?

This just presented the situation as it was which kind of just felt like a movie adaptation of the Wikipedia page. I'd give it a solid B and recommend it to anyone who wants to get a better understanding of the events that took place.
posted by windbox at 11:42 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]


Annette Bening was so good in this.
posted by the webmistress at 7:31 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]


She was! They all were--I thought all the main players were great.

Dan Jones' motivations seemed pretty clear to me actually. Started out a relatively naive grad student who wanted to protect the world (& with Democrat leanings). Gets increasingly jaded and political (although he's supposed to hide it, sometimes doing well other times not so much) as he learns that the work he's doing is triply useless: they knew at the time enhanced interrogation wasn't working; the CIA already interally investigated and came to the same conclusions and just didn't share it with anyone; and that the report itself would never completely surface into public consciousness, provoking public discussion and possible accountability since the CIA won't do that on their own.

The "Obama wants to be post-partisan so we're not going to do anything with this" piece made me ill. Actually the whole thing made my guts churn and probably wasn't the best Now Times viewing. I'm still glad I watched it though.
posted by emkelley at 8:30 AM on May 7 [2 favorites]


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