Privacy is only an illusion. This movie shows the real life events of the man who helped create and expose the government’s hacking programs. I’m giving Snowden a B+.
Edward Snowden came from a family of military veterans but a degenerative bone disorder lands him in a hospital bed rather than the front lines. With his self-taught skills in computers and coding, he lands a job in the intelligence community, where he is fast tracked through the ranks. He quickly learns that the government is doing more than spying on its enemies.
Oliver Stone directed Snowden. He’s best known for Wall Street and Platoon. His directing style served this movie as it provided a different look at Edward Snowden than was offered up in the media. This movie presents the facts from Edward’s point of view, which opens up talking points about government security and personal privacy.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt portrays Snowden as a man in crisis. The voice he uses can be a little annoying though as it appears he has to carefully think about his dialect while speaking to keep in character. Shailene Woodley plays Edward’s girlfriend, Lindsey, as a long-suffering woman who gave up everything for him. It would have been just as easy to skip her part altogether, except it brings about the few scenes of nudity. Scott Eastwood as Snowden’s boss in Hawaii was underutilized. He’s an actor who should be carrying movies now, not serving as a second banana.
While a compelling movie which has you thinking, Snowden comes off as a one-sided patriotic story about doing what is right, even if it means going against the government. This movie was timed to coincide with the upcoming election and even shows an unflattering snippet of Hillary addressing Snowden facing the music. In addition, Edward’s residency visa is almost up in Russia. He’s going to be forced to leave the place where he’s been safe for the last three years. What will happen to Edward Snowden at that point is up in the air. The government would like him to face charges for espionage, which he is willing to do, if he can get a fair hearing.
Snowden is a movie about personal conflicts and how one man handled them. This movie isn’t a fluff piece but has depth, allowing for philosophical discussions. It’s not for the little ones but might be a good movie to watch and discuss with your teenage children.
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