Adam Driver, Annette Bening, John Hamm, Cory Stoll
Directed by- Scott Z. Burns
Idealistic Senate staffer Daniel J. Jones, tasked by his boss to lead an investigation into the CIA’s post 9/11 Detention and Interrogation Program, uncovers shocking secrets.
This docudrama documenting the historic investigation of the CIA after 9/11 and the ‘Enhanced Interrogation Techniques’ and the disgusting cover-up and misdirection about the nature of interrogation.
I’m from the generation that don’t vividly remember the terrorist attacks of the World Trade Centre, but I vaguely remember being at home with my Mum after school and her telling me to go upstairs while the news was on. I live in the U.K., but that day is one that devastated the world-over. It changed the course of history and inevitably showed the lengths people will go to to seek justices.
We follow Daniel Jones (portrayed by actor Adam Driver, famous for his character in the marmite of the Star Wars saga) a young senate staffer tasked with the daunting task of going through the Central Intelligence Agency’s records of the Detention and Interrogation Program and the suspicious disappearance of taped intelligence that allegedly aided in the capture of Osama Bin Laden. He is immediately met with resistance and finds more missing files. As he continues his investigation, files he uncovers mysteriously go missing from the data files. But with his forward-thinking, he has all these missing files hidden on paper to aid in the Senate’s ruling of the investigation.
Despite my distaste for politics, this was scripted in an interesting way, adding a sense of urgency to the whole film. I can see that this is quite a disturbing watch and shows the re-enactment of torture tactics, but this very thing is what keeps your attention and provokes emotion from the viewer.
When I saw that Driver was cast as the main role, I wasn’t sure if I’d just see Kylo Ren! But his acting throughout was full of emotion and really felt like he was getting obsessed with uncovering the truths. Annette Bening, cast as Senator Diane Feinstein, was incredible. She portrayed the detachment that is needed from a member of government so well and the horror of what is being revealed to her. I can honestly say that the whole cast did an incredible job, I can’t fault them.
I’m not overly convinced our ‘baddies’, James Mitchell (Douglas Hodge) and Bruce Jessen (T. Ryder Smith) were as callous and disturbing as they are made out to be in the movie. But we will never actually know what these men were like during this timeline. Other than that, I didn’t feel like the dramatic scenes were over-egged or sensationalised.
During the final third of the movie, we really see the inner turmoil that these people endured. The battle between right and wrong, truth and lies, justice and injustice. And if the truth is released, they then have to go through the public’s belief or disbelief of the events that occurred.
All in all, this was an excellent film, was brilliantly cast and was driven to show the horrific truths that happened in detail. This is something that everyone should watch so we can all learn from past mistakes and know to never make them again.