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At its best when it’s a no-nonsense, journalistic portrayal of navigating the infuriating complexities of Capitol Hill. Never really steps beyond the talky foundations of the material, and has a weirdly, blandly preachy ending. But a decent, grounded political drama.
The Report takes a procedural approach to the Senate investigation of the CIA's torture of terrorism suspects, a potentially dry if worthy subject, enlivened by hard-to-watch flashbacks to torture being used, and the protagonist's growing frustration with the Agency and government's brazen undermining of his investigation. At this point, I could watch Adam Driver - apparently the busiest man in movies right now - watch paint dry and probably have. More importantly, I've BEEN him in this movie. University politics are a micro-cosm and the stakes nowhere near as high as Washington's and this particularly issue's global consequences, but the dynamics are often the same, and if you come to care too much, if you have an overdeveloped sense of ethics, you will grow frustrated to the point where you are the least popular person in the room. Been there, had to get out. I found The Report very relatable in that sense, even if it's remorseless in its proceduralism (no private lives and distractions for these people). I feel like this is the counterpoint to Prime's Jack Ryan series, as if the streaming service needed to exact a penance for glorifying the agency that committed these war crimes. While it's at it, it takes a shot at the overrated Zero Dark Thirty and pays ITS penance as well.
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