After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 everyone in America was searching for answers. The CIA was searching for a way to prevent the next attack. They decided that they had to change the way that they extracted information for detainees. They decide to turn to two psychologists, James Mitchell (Douglas Hodge) and Bruce Jessen (T. Ryder Smith), and their enhanced interrogation techniques or EIT. Despite having little to no interrogation knowledge these two men convince the CIA Deputy Director Jose Rodriguez (Carlos Gomez) that they have the “secret sauce” to get vital information about future attacks from detainees in CIA black sites. Years later as information reaches the Senate Intelligence Committee the EIT sound more like torture than interrogation. With sleep deprivation, physical abuse and waterboarding as key tactics used to try and extract information. While the CIA defends the use of the EIT. Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening), head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, tasks her staffer Daniel Jones (Adam Driver) to gather a staff and write a report about these EITs and their effectiveness. But with cooperation from the CIA all they have to go on is the millions of emails, memos and other documents. Jones is determined to find and expose the truth but the bureaucratic hurdles might be too much. Especially with the CIA Director John Brennan (Ted Levine), White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough (Jon Hamm) and most of the Republican Party trying to derail the report’s release.
This film, written and directed by Scott Z. Burns (writer: Contagion, The Bourne Ultimatum), is based on true events. Because of this it includes some real footage from the Senate floor and news casts, which is well times but does sometimes seem out of place. It did make you remember that this was a true story but maybe was overdone a little for me. The films entire cast is great with Driver and Bening are really good in their rolls and a number of good supporting performances, including Hamm, Levine, Michael C Hall, Maura Tierney, Matthew Rhys and more. The writing and dialog is well done. The pace of the movie is great and keeps you interest and engaged throughout. It was not quite on the edge of your seat suspense but really keep you guessing. The look behind the curtain of what goes on in this situation in Washington was presented well.
The film didn’t feel like a two hour long movie to me. Overall a good movie experience. The performances and story really make this an easy film to recommend. Worth the price of a ticket.
4.5 out of 5