Review: 'The Report' is a bleak view into backroom politics and abuses of power

Adam Driver in The Report (Photo: Amazon Studios)

"The Report"
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Scott Z. Burns
Writer: Scott Z. Burns
Starring: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rated: R for some scenes of inhumane treatment and torture, and language

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SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Synopsis: Daniel J. Jones is asked by Senator Dianne Feinstein to lead an investigation of the CIA’s Interrogation Program created after 9/11.

Review: There’s little in “The Report” that I didn’t already know. Seeing it all in one place over the course of two hours was devastating.

Written and directed by Scott Z. Burns (“Contagion,” “Side Effects,” and the upcoming James Bond film “No Time to Die”), “The Report” is a claustrophobic dive down the rabbit hole of American politics where no one comes out unscathed. The guilty are sheltered by an establishment that prefers to forget, look the other way or simply protect their own. If you want insight to the current political climate and a roadmap to what might will be yet to come, “The Report” is a good place to start.

Regardless of your political leanings, it’s unlikely that you’ll be completely comfortable with the story the film tells.

There’s a rigid and clinical coldness that dominates the look and feel of the film. Adam Driver presents protagonist Daniel J. Jones as a man with tunnel vision. He’s not exactly socially awkward, but his inability to see the world in anything other than black and white inevitably undermines him. Driver is good, but his Oscar nomination will come from elsewhere this year. Annette Bening’s performance as Senator Dianne Feinstein feels effortless as it sees the politician operating in the grey areas where justice is a shifting scale.

“The Report” is a frustrating film where most of the drama takes place off-screen in meetings and conversations that we’ll likely never get glimpse at. It’s a disturbing tarot card that offers a view into the future where history is inevitably going to repeat itself again and again and again.