The Report movie cast: Adam Driver, Annette Bening
The Report movie director: Scott Z Burns
The Report movie rating: 3.5 stars
The Report is one of those rare films that sticks to the point right from the start and does not let go, until the very end. Written and directed by Scott Z Burns, the film is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video after a successful run at Sundance. It has to be said that watching this film felt like a compliment to the audience. It’s rare to see a filmmaker who has faith in his audience to understand the film, and appreciate it. With The Report, Burns isn’t shy of throwing information at you, but he makes sure that you never drown in that sea of details.
The Report stars Adam Driver and Annette Bening in key roles. Driver plays Daniel Jones, the man investigating the practices of the CIA after the 9/11 attacks. The “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by officials were nothing less than torture and the film takes a deep dive into that.
Over the course of the film, we see Jones has been investigating the 6.3 million pages related to the case for over five years. His findings prove that the 9/11 attacks led to the CIA making up new laws that were convenient to them, breaking chain of command and all of this led to the torture of prisoners who were suspected of being terrorists. Two psychologists were hired to interrogate prisoners using brutal techniques, which did not even yield any results. They were unqualified, yet got the power to conduct human experiments and this did not even result in anything that could have been useful for the CIA. Yet, CIA covered its tracks all along.
In a pivotal scene in the movie, a reporter asks Jones, “Why would CIA continue to do something they knew wasn’t working?” And it is in this scene that the movie comes together. The Report spends most of its time in accusing the CIA of unethical practices yet this one scene explains the intentions of everyone involved.
The Report is almost 2-hours long and much like its lead character, it’s dedicated to its cause right from the beginning. We see Jones as the man who is consumed by the inhumanity that the CIA displayed and has taken it upon himself to bring out the truth to the world. For him, it was never a job. It was always personal as we see from the first scene he appears in. Maybe that’s why we never see a shred of Jones’ life outside of work, which, in all honesty, was a refreshing change. If the film doesn’t demand it, it’s not necessary to have a girlfriend for the sake of it.
The Report doesn’t try to sensationalise its real-life inspired plot. It stays true to its reality, which is already quite grim.
As far as the performances are concerned, Adam Driver is captivating. In a scene with his female colleague, Driver displays such skill with dialogue that you instantly imagine him in an Aaron Sorkin script. Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein is dependable.
The Report takes off right from the start and though it might feel a bit dragged in the middle, stay with it. The experience of watching this film is greater than its pay-off.