The Report

The main villain in The Report is John Brennan – which means outraged viewers won’t get much schadenfreude from this story of a crusading United States Senate investigator exposing the CIA’s use of torture in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The titular report won’t stop Brennan from becoming a media darling after serving as President Obama’s CIA director. (The movie makes that seem like savvy politicking, instead of Brennan being the kind of swamp creature that the Prez needed to back up some totalitarian tendencies.) The film still does a good job of jazzing up various flashbacks to how torture became more popular after 2001. Annette Bening has to put in extra effort to make Dianne Feinstein look lively, although it’s extra amusing to know that the concerned Senator is spending the entire movie being chauffeured by a Chinese spy. Adam Driver goes kind of wasted in the lead role of Daniel J. Jones, though. He has the perfect buttoned-down presence, but it’s obvious the character is being constrained as a plot device. It’s like patiently watching some rock star standing still while waiting for a quiet intro to get all rocking. Brennan, meanwhile, gets to enjoy the spotlight now as a beloved Deep State creep because, as they say, Orange Man bad.