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The Report (2019)

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In Theaters Friday

November 15
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.

Director:

Scott Z. Burns

Writer:

Scott Z. Burns
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How 'The Report' Tackles Complex Subject Matter

Director Scott Z. Burns, Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, and Daniel Jones discuss how the story of The Report was translated to the screen.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam Driver ... Daniel Jones
Corey Stoll ... Cyrus Clifford
Evander Duck Jr. ... Off Site Security Guard
Jon Hamm ... Denis McDonough
Linda Powell ... Marcy Morris
Annette Bening ... Senator Dianne Feinstein
Sandra Landers Sandra Landers ... Senate Intelligence Committee Clerk
John Rothman ... Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Victor Slezak ... Senator Jay Rockefeller
Guy Boyd ... Senator Saxby Chambliss
Alexander Chaplin ... Sean Murphy
Joanne Tucker ... Gretchen
Maura Tierney ... Bernadette
Michael C. Hall ... Thomas Eastman
Ian Blackman ... Cofer Black
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Storyline

THE REPORT is a thriller based on actual events. Idealistic staffer Daniel J. Jones (Adam Driver) is tasked by his boss Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) to lead an investigation of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program created in the aftermath of 9/11. Jones' relentless pursuit of the truth leads to findings that uncover the lengths to which the nation's top intelligence agency went to destroy evidence, subvert the law, and hide a shocking secret from the American public. THE REPORT is written and directed by Scott Z. Burns, and the film also stars Jon Hamm, Sarah Goldberg, Michael C. Hall, Douglas Hodge, Fajer Kaisi, Ted Levine, Jennifer Morrison, Tim Blake Nelson, Linda Powell, Matthew Rhys, T. Ryder Smith, Corey Stoll, and Maura Tierney.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Truth Matters

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some scenes of inhumane treatment and torture, and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Torture Report See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The full title, including the redacted word on the poster is "The Torture Report" See more »

Connections

References Zero Dark Thirty (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
stomach-churning politics
10 November 2019 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Does the end justify the means? Do two wrongs make a right? These are questions of ethics and morality, and when it comes to the government, they can also be questions of legal and illegal, or even life and death. Scott Z Burns offers up his feature film directorial debut, and he has been best known as a screenwriter for Steven Soderbergh films such as THE LAUNDROMAT, SIDE EFFECTS, and THE INFORMANT! Mr. Burns certainly didn't choose an easy route for his first time in the director chair, as this is a heavy, thought-provoking, stomach-churner.

Adam Driver plays Daniel Jones, a Senate staffer under Senator Dianne Feinstein. She charges him with leading the Senate investigation into the CIA's Enhanced Interrogation Technique (EIT) program after the 9/11 attack. It's easy to see why so many viewed this as a bad gig, but Jones became obsessed with uncovering the truth about what happened, who did what, and who knew what and when they knew it. This government procedural offers us an education on red tape, political boundaries, and the expertise in protecting fiefdoms in D.C. In other words, everything that we fear and despise about our own government officials is on display here.

That said, it is refreshing to see someone so focused on getting to the truth as Jones is/was ... despite the systematic obstacles (destruction of tapes, party divisions). Annette Bening shines as Senator Feinstein and is quite effective in portraying just how difficult it can be for politicians to juggle all sides and pressures when a topic is so "hot". The film covers a period between 2003 and 2012, and most of the run time is spent on Jones' research for the report. The supporting cast is deep and talented, and includes Jon Hamm as Obama Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Michael C Hall, Maura Tierney, Victor Slezak, Tim Blake Nelson, Ben McKenzie, Matthew Rhys, Corey Stoll, and Ted Levine (as CIA Director John Brennan). One of the more interesting aspects of the film involves the contractors behind the EIT program. Basically, they are academics with no real world case studies or experience - just two guys looking to cash in on a lucrative government deal at a time when a country was desperate for answers.

Watching the battle over the final release (or not) of "The Torture Report" (the word torture was redacted here) injects quite a bit of tension, and the inclusion of archival footage from the period is very effective. What's less effective is the overuse of shaky-cam in the first portion of the film, and the score is downright annoying at times as it attempts to ensure we are frustrated with the political wranglings. On the other hand, the dialogue is really crisp and there are some quietly-tense exchanges between folks that are well-written and well-acted. Adam Driver carries the bulk of the film and he is perfectly cast.

The obvious comparisons are to ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN and SPOTLIGHT, though this one never quite reaches that level. Still, it's thought-provoking to watch as Jones considers a New York Times reporter to be the most ethical character he can turn to in his efforts to get the truth out. The film doesn't really choose sides ... everyone who participated in a cover-up or illegal activities takes a shot, as does Kathryn Bigelow's ZERO DARK THIRTY. This was a dark time in U.S. history, and it reminds us how difficult it seems to be to do the right thing while in government. Perhaps that's the biggest takeaway.


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