THE REPORT review by Patrick Hendrickson – Adam Driver headlines a controversial real world tale

THE REPORT review by Patrick Hendrickson – Adam Driver headlines a controversial real world tale

In the film THE REPORT, Adam Driver stars as Daniel Jones, a congressional staffer who is assigned to investigate and create a report on the CIA’s interrogation methods following the attacks of September 11th. Annette Bening portrays Dianne Feinstein whom Daniel serves under.

The project starts off as a relatively regular assignment for Daniel, but soon becomes something of an obsession for him. This in-turn attracts the attention of media figures, other members of Congress, and the CIA itself. A complicated web of political players lend their influence to this report, but none play a more critical role than Feinstein. This leaves some actors feeling wasted, in particular Jon Hamm as Denis McDonough, who only appears in maybe three or four scenes. An additional wasted opportunity would be the lack of focus given to the rest of Jones’ team.

The team consists originally of three staffers from the Republican side of Congress and three staffers from the Democratic side. However, the three Republicans are never even named and get dropped from the picture almost immediately. The two additional Democrats are given a bit more development but they too are mostly underutilized. The only other character give any major focus is Feinstein, Bening doesn’t do a bad job in this role, but it just is not particularly breathtaking.

The production is an engaging one that sheds some light on a rather… controversial moment in American history. There is absolutely an agenda behind this story, and there is no attempt to hide that agenda. Whether or not this agenda matches with the viewer’s own personal bias will obviously have a major effect on whether or not this film is enjoyable to watch.

There is not much of a whodunit to this production, and there are no twists whatsoever. That is not what this film is about, we know exactly what deeds were committed and we know who the people that did them are. This is about breaking open a glass case containing an open secret. This is an effective story that offers an indictment of authority figures which includes the charges both of incompetence and immorality. How accurate these portrayals are is unknowable, but as a self-contained narrative this production accomplishes its goal of telling a fairly fascinating story, which earns THE REPORT a 4/5

THE REPORT opens November 15, 2019

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