The Report tells the story about the Senate investigation into the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program after 9/11 and how the resulting report came to light in a smart way that clearly showed the human impact of the policies in question.
Adam Driver, of Star Wars fame, plays Daniel Jones, the Senate staffer tasked with heading up the investigation into the post-9/11 program for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, played by Annette Bening. Jones pores over documents that uncover the brutal techniques used at CIA “black sites” during the six-year-long investigation.
The political thriller definitely calls back to All The President’s Men and, more recently, Spotlight.
However, unlike those movies, The Report maintains a pretty tight focus on the investigation, what it uncovered, and the effort to get the report made public once it was finished and less on the impact of the work on the characters’ personal lives. While it doesn’t examine the impact of the investigation on the characters much, it definitely doesn’t shy away from examining the weighty question of whether or not ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ were effective in providing useful intelligence.
The movie also doesn’t shy away from what ‘enhanced interrogation’ looked like and seeing it in this movie was jarring in a way that’s harder to convey in news stories about it. There’s definitely an undercurrent of righteous indignation throughout the movie.
As someone who loved the show The Newsroom for its smart characters, and tightly-written, smart dialogue, this movie definitely delivered in those regards as well.