The Report Review
by J. Selley
**** 4 Stars
‘Instead of the typical structure of most political thrillers, The Report moves out of the loud and busy mainstream political front and focuses on the offices that make up the backbone of American Government.’
Director: Scott Z. Burns
Starring: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Michael C. Hall, Tim Blake Nelson, Maura Tierney and Jon Hamm
The Report is a political and legal thriller, starring Adam Driver, that takes a relatively mundane and monotonous topic of the 2016 ‘Torture Report’ and manages to create a thriller which takes its audience to a new kind of tension. Instead of the typical structure of most political thrillers, The Report moves out of the loud and busy mainstream political front and focuses on the offices that make up the backbone of American Government. Following the up and coming Senate Staffer Daniel J Jones (portrayed excellently by Adam Driver) through his struggles in publishing the report and the federal stumbling blocks he faces as well as personal breakdown, the film carries the audience through years of political decisions, reflecting how every political movement has a wider effect throughout the country.
However, The Report misses out on a key, striking message in its narrative. The typical ‘villain’ characters of the CIA are portrayed in stark contrast to the ‘hero’ of Jones which seems distant and jarring, as if there is a difference in species between Jones and the CIA. Whereas it may have been far more poignant to create a sense of same-ness with the CIA, that the real horror isn’t in the acts themselves, but rather that the perpetrators are not different from Jones or the audience. Nevertheless, The Report offers a thrilling and meaningful journey through the creation of the Torture Report and the uphill battle towards passing it.
Overall, The Report offers a different view on the office workers and general staff of the United States government, reflecting how corruption spreads easily – which lends itself to be greatly enjoyable.
The Report is currently available on Prime Video and was rated 15 by the BBFC.