Review: The Report

Linda Powell and Adam Driver in The Report

I finally got around to watching The Report on Prime Video on the day we all waited for results from the Iowa caucuses, the day of the SOTU address, and the day before the Senate’s final vote on the President’s impeachment trial. It was a good day to watch this film and be reminded that it may take a while, but we usually do the right thing.

Annette Bening in The Report

The Report tells the results of a 6 year long look by a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation under Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) into the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program created in the aftermath of 9/11.

We all finally heard the awful news that the CIA tried so hard to hide. The “enhanced interrogation techniques” it used to get information from supposed terrorists didn’t work. But it wasn’t a quick or easy thing to get that news out.

The special investigation, lead by Daniel Jones (Adam Driver) went through thousands of documents under two Presidents and at least two CIA directors.

There were so many different kinds of mistakes and lies involved in using the torture techniques that the CIA brought out of mothballs after 9/11. They took the word of quack psychologists (who walked away with $80 million) about how to get intelligence from prisoners. They used techniques they knew were against the Geneva Convention. And they tried to hide it all from the public.

Adam Driver in The Report

Daniel Jones was gung ho to get the information out. Tempted as he sometimes was to leak it, he worked hard to get Senator Feinstein what she needed to see it done right. I don’t know if Feinstein staffer Marcy Morris (Linda Powell) was a real person, but it was the one tiny note of levity in this grim movie when she would interpret the Senator’s pronouncements for Jones after the Senator walked out of a meeting.

The film was 2 hours long, but it felt like it lasted the full 6 years needed to finally get the information out. The bad news was unrelenting. The scenes of torture were horrifying.

The cast was outstanding. Among the actors were Jon Hamm, Sarah Goldberg, Michael C. Hall, Douglas Hodge, Fajer Kaisi, Ted Levine, Jennifer Morrison, Tim Blake Nelson, Matthew Rhys, T. Ryder Smith, Corey Stoll, and Maura Tierney.

Take a minute to watch the trailer.

Films like this aren’t fun to watch. But they are important to watch. If you can find an historic day to watch it, even better.

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