In UK cinemas November 2019
Director: Scott Z Burns
Cast: Adam Driver, Annette Bening
Country: USA 2019
Running time: 120 mins
In this political drama premiered at Sundance Film Festival, Adam Driver plays whistle-blower Daniel J. Jones who holds the CIA to account over the employment of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on suspected terrorists following 9/11. Working for Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening, always on good form), Daniel Jones becomes increasingly appalled by the psychologists who believe the best way to nail a terrorist is by unfettered torture.
Over several years, secluded in a neon-lit basement, Jones unravels the truth and puts together an extensive report for the Senate Intelligence Committee. Needless to say his endeavours are relentlessly thwarted to the point of risking his sanity and freedom.
It’s astonishing to watch this level of commitment to truth and accountability in anyone and Driver plays Jones with the right dose of obsessive aplomb. He is a dog with a bone and won’t let go.
The Report is shot in polished, neutral tones without too much non-diegetic interference. Except for the final scenes, which are forgivably saccharine when Jones is vindicated, The Report is a straight-forward, fast-paced, political documentary-drama - intelligent, without being overly exerting or didactic. The cast, including Douglas Hodge as the exuberant sadist, Dr James Mitchell, are excellent.
(First Reviewed London Film Festival October 2019)