THE REPORT – A Review by Cynthia Flores
When a filmmaker chooses to make a movie where the main subject is about something that is only accomplished through tedious paperwork and perseverance and he still manages to make it a compelling and riveting thriller, then you have something special on the screen. The Report, written and directed by Scott Z Burns, features outstanding performances by a powerful ensemble cast. The film is based on actual events. It tells the story of idealistic staffer Daniel J. Jones (Adam Driver) who is tasked by his boss, Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening), to lead an investigation of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. It was created in the aftermath of 9/11 when calmer heads did not prevail. Jones’s relentless pursuit of the truth leads to explosive findings. His report uncovered the lengths to which the nation’s top intelligence agency went to destroy evidence, subvert the law, and hide a brutal secret from the American public. This is an essential story that has been so captivatingly brought to life on the big screen.
The Report will likely be in the running for several nominations like the best-supporting actress for Annette Bening, who disappears in the role of Senator Feinstein. Or, best writing and direction by Scott Z. Burns. However, awards-wise this is Adam Driver’s year. It’s going to be tough to choose between his standout performance as Daniel in this film and his other lead in the movie A Marriage Story that comes out later this year. It’s hard to think of a long list of actors his age that have the gravitas to pull off a part like Daniel. When speaking of the role, the director is quoted as saying, “This part is like a Frank Serpico or Karen Silkwood and Erin Brockovich. Daniel J. Jones is a tale of someone who discovers an ugly truth in the world and then must decide what to do with it. He’s an unlikely hero burdened with information who is compelled to stand up against the system. These people are frequently buried deep in an existing power structure. But they will not be silenced once the scales have been lifted from their eyes. They are called upon to make extreme personal sacrifices in the name of the greater good.”
I give The Report an A rating. It’s a must-see film this season.
Directed by: Scott Z. Burns
Written by: Scott Z. Burns
Selig Rating A
Running Time: 1hr 59min
Drama / Thriller
Limited Release: November 15th Inwood Theater, The Grand Berry Theater
Starring: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, John Hamm
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.