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Rated 3.06 stars
by 47 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Fascinating Intellectual Thriller
by James Colt Harrison

Director/ writer Scott Z. Burns will make you think in his new Washington/ CIA themed thriller The Report (aka The Torture Report ) starring Annette Bening and Adam Driver. To be perfectly honest, itís Driverís picture throughout as he carries the story around its exciting twists. However, Bening does an outstanding job creating the character of true-life Senator Diane Feinstein of San Francisco mayoral fame. Bening always immerses herself into her characters, which explains why she is considered one of Americaís finest film actresses.

The Report is based on actual events that took place in our nationís capital. The Human Rights First organization awarded this film the 2019 Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment last month in ceremonies held in New York. Itís a prestigious award and certainly well-deserved.

Beningís portrayal of Ms. Feinstein captures the Senatorís balanced approach to the task of getting to the bottom of the case involving alleged brutality by the CIA against captured terrorists. Itís not a showy role by any means, but Bening manages to display strength through a calm approach to the matters before her. The makeup and hair stylists have given Bening the signature brunette bangs style worn by the Senator for seemingly eons and well into her eighties.

Adam Driver plays young staffer Daniel Jones who is given the assignment to look into the allegations of illegal torture conducted by the CIA in the aftermath of 9/11. Heís working under Feinsteinís cool approach to a very serious matter. He eventually spends several years and produces a 6,700 page report that condemns the CIA. Itís a complicated plot line and a bit of a slog to get through, but donít despair. Driverís character delved into the bowels of the millions of documents to find out what the CIA was doing to torture suspected participants in the air crashes that happened in New York on that fateful day in September. What he found was shocking and a wakeup call for all patriots who hold the Constitution dearly and the fair- play that America has always been known for upholding.

The flashbacks to the torture scenes are appalling and stomach-churning. Some viewers have walked out of the theater during those sequences. Be forewarned.

Ultimately, the film becomes a thriller on an intellectual level and no less fascinating because of it. Driver is on the way to being one of our busiest and most versatile actors today. He is proving it with several films of different genre that show off his abilities. Go see the film and enjoy Driver and Beningís performances as well as the eye-opening story that should start you thinking about saving our Democracy.

(Released by Amazon Studios and rated ďRĒ for some scenes of inhumane treatment and torture, and language.)

Opens 15 Nov. 2019

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