The Report

The Report

Scott Z Burns (2018)

119min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Washington DC's corridors of power transfix US film-makers. Since Watergate, the western cliché of the principled sheriff's deputy has been succeeded by the tireless, coffee-slurping journalist - or, in another true-story drama from Scott Z Burns (The Laundromat), Senate researcher Dan Jones (Adam Driver). The idealistic staffer is tasked by Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) with exposing the ineffectiveness of the CIA's "extreme interrogation techniques" - waterboarding, humiliation, ear-bleeding rock music - during America's post-9/11 panic, when George W Bush vouched that torture was not being used. (The interrogation scenes are impressionistically couched but still deeply shocking.) Jones's relentless basement-bound quest drags on into the second Obama administration and runs to 6,000 pages, graphically punctuated by on-screen flashes of key words and redaction blocks. (The film's title card is The Torture Report, with the middle word blacked out.) A fine cast of familiar faces (Matthew Rhys, Corey Stoll, Douglas Hodge) is headed by Jon Hamm (as Chief of Staff Denis McDonough) and Ted Levine (as CIA director John Brennan). But it's Driver's unshowy triumph, his character's doggedness cutting through the verbiage and obstruction. Mesmerising.

Cast & Crew

Daniel Jones Adam Driver
Senator Dianne Feinstein Annette Bening
Denis McDonough Jon Hamm
John Brennan Ted Levine
Thomas Eastman Michael C Hall
Raymond Nathan Tim Blake Nelson
Cyrus Clifford Corey Stoll
Bernadette Maura Tierney
Caroline Krass Jennifer Morrison
James Mitchell Douglas Hodge
New York Times reporter Matthew Rhys
Scrubbed CIA officer Ben McKenzie
Senator Mark Udall Scott Shepherd
Senator Jay Rockefeller Victor Slezak
Director Scott Z Burns
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: CurzonGuidance: Violence, swearingReleased on: 15 Nov 2019