2019 | Drama | 119 minutes | In English
It’s a true story about Daniel J.Jones, a staff member of the U.S. Select Committee on Intelligence. In 2009, Daniel’s boss, Senator Dianne Feinstein, asked him to head up a Senate investigative committee and produce a report about the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” of prisoners captured after the 9/11 attacks. This was prompted when Senator Feinstein discovered that the CIA destroyed hundreds of hours of tapes and records of these interrogations. In windowless offices and under fluorescent lights, Daniel spent five years on this assignment, combing through 6 1/2 million pages of documents and conducting numerous interviews. Heading the interrogations was Dr. Jim Mitchell, a psychologist with a contracting company and an $80 million budget. He never conducted an interrogation but nevertheless applied ruthless measures and defending torture by saying “the more pain, the more gain.” As Daniel learns more about what happened, he becomes convinced as to how ineffective were these brutal interrogations. None of the prisoners, despite being tortured, revealed anything worthwhile. The Report reveals that although torturing prisoners didn’t work, it gratified something in the psyche of the men in government obsessed with the nation’s security. When Daniel’s 6,500- page report was completed, the CIA and the White House attempted to block and undermine it.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 83%
- Metacritic Score: 66
- Human Rights First: Winner of the 2019 Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment
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THE REPORT is a large-scale saga of corruption, justice, and overwhelming relevance that’s at once gripping and eye-opening, even if you’re the sort of news junkie who thinks you already know the story. THE REPORT is as steeped in information and monkish detail as a deep-dive work of journalism. It lets the facts, and our appreciation of what they mean, tell the story. That’s a tricky thing to bring off, but writer-director Scott Z. Burns, by trusting the audience, has created a darkly authentic political thriller that does exactly what a movie like this should do. It leaves you chastened and inspired.
This second directorial effort from Burns has its own unique sensibility, an austerity and an intelligence that isn’t interested in easy, partisan point scoring or pandering to viewers’ prejudices. It’s not an easy watch but it is in its way a very vital and rewarding one.
Director-writer Burns believes that the granular details of cerebral inquiry into issues of morality are more than enough to hold our rapt attention. He’s right. Guided by the fierce, fully committed performances of Driver and Bening, THE REPORT is a bristling reminder that truth still matters.
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