Review: The Report

The Torture Report

Daniel Jones (Adam Driver) is tasked by his superior, Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) to lead an investigation of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program created in the aftermath of 9/11. After his horrifying findings, he works to get the report available to the public but faces several obstacles. 

Right off the bat, Amazon did an absolute shit job of marketing this film. It had so much buzz after Sundance and they gave it a limited release before dropping it on Amazon Prime for their subscribers. Yes, Netflix does the same thing, but Netflix also has more than double the subscribers. This should've gotten a bigger theatrical push. 

I feel so strongly about this because The Report is a great film. It has a talented supporting cast lead by Driver and Bening who both give wonderful performances. I watched this the day after I saw Official Secrets, another similar film that also lacked the publicity it deserved. 

This isn't an easy watch. It makes us revisit a lot of the awful torture techniques used by the U.S during the Iraq war. It brought back memories of all the debates I had about this in high school. How my school eventually had to start banning websites from our library that showed those photos. Thankfully it's only the beginning of the film, but it's such an ugly part of history. It's hard to watch people have such a disregard for human life, regardless of the circumstances. The film doesn't sugar coat that, and even though the film is critical of what happened, they also give the "other side" time to explain why everything went down the way it did. 

Another thing I appreciated a lot in this film aside from the acting is the structure. Sure, they drench the flashbacks in a sepia hue, but they're always very clear on the time line. It's helpful for a film that has to jump around.

I hope enough people see this. I re-signed up for Prime temporarily just so I could watch this, Fleabag, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. But I hope Amazon does a better job theatrically next time they get a film like this. Late Night got a wide release. This should have as well. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "I hope you took your strong pills today - Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening)

Comments

  1. I wasn't a huge fan. I kept comparing it to Spotlight and that had a bigger impact on me. But nothing against the movie itself, I just wanted different things from it.

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    Replies
    1. Spotlight was a much better movie but this worked for me to. Driver helped a lot. lol

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  2. I heard good things about this and I'm happy that Adam Driver is having a hot streak right now and continue to do so.

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  3. I could not agree more about how poorly Amazon handled this release. I didn't even know this movie was out yet, and then I was scrolling through Prime and it was just... there. Very odd because I agree that this is a well made film. Not sure why Amazon is treating it like a TV movie though.

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    Replies
    1. I wonder if Adam didn't also have Marriage Story coming out if they would've pushed this harder? It seems like they knew he's probably going to be in the Best Actor race for that instead so they didn't bother.

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  4. I desperately wanted to see this in the cinema. My local is useless for picking up smaller movies but the Showcase is normally brilliant but not even they had it. If it weren't for Adam Driver I'd have never even known it existed!
    So good but so painful to watch, too.

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    Replies
    1. Definitely. I could've done without all of that, but I get why it was there.

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