Dan Jones (Adam Driver) wanted to get into the National Security department after the events on 9/11. He was told to get some experience first, so he did just that. Dan is tapped by Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Benning) to lead an investigation into videotapes that were destroyed showing the use of torture on inmates there. After successfully completing that report, he is then tasked with completing a report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.
After more than five years working with his small staff in the basement of a CIA building, Dan is uncovering some dark and disturbing secrets. As one would expect, when investigating potential wrongdoings within the CIA, they are less than cooperative. Dan is not allowed to speak to any CIA agents involved with the program. And all the files he is supposed to receive from the CIA are being “vetted” by an outside group. On top of that, many Senators aren’t supportive of his report.
When details of the report are made public, this sparks a criminal investigation into Dan. Even if he is able to complete the report, there is no guarantee it will be released. Regardless, Dan feels a need to follow through with the report and complete it as accurately as possible.
Based on the true story of the investigation into the CIA’s “Enhanced Interrogation” program, The Report dives into the dark underbelly of the spy agency and the government cover up involved.
While it can be difficult to watch at times, movies like this are important to watch. It puts on display the questionable actions that are undertaken in the name of safety, regardless of the consequences. It also sheds light on the processes not only to hide these activities, but the difficulties in reporting on and exposing things of this nature. Writer/director Scott Burns does an excellent job not only in portraying the story accurately, but also without any specific political slant.
The timeline of the story jumps back and forth between Adam Driver’s character conducting his study into the interrogation and events as they happened. It jostles you around, even during the flashbacks, as it jumps between events. If you aren’t paying attention, it can be tricky to follow.
The Report, and movies similar to it that expose actual events, and do so without skewing the story, are important to see. Sometimes it is the only way we can get any insight into what happens behind closed doors. The 2 hour run time can feel a bit long at points, thanks to the subject matter, it is a well acted and executed film. I recommend seeing it in the theater so you can have the isolation necessary to focus on the jumping timelines without disruptions.