“Snowden” stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Rhys Ifans, and Nicolas Cage. Released on September 16, 2016, the film chronicles the life of a computer professional, leading up to him leaking classified information from the National Security Agency.
The film is directed by Oliver Stone, who also directed films such as Platoon, Wall Street, Nixon, and Savages. It is based on the books “The Snowden Files” by Luke Harding and “Time of the Octopus” by Anatoly Kucherena. The film was originally scheduled for a December 2015 release, but it was moved to a May 2016 release, and then it was moved once again to September in order to qualify as an awards contender. I don’t remember much about this type of event, but I was heavily intrigued from the moment I saw a trailer for this film. Not only did it have an interesting concept, but it also spawned a remarkable cast that includes Gordon-Levitt, Woodley, and of course, Nicolas Cage. But are these two qualities enough to push this film into awards season? Let’s find out.
Really good performances, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who was astounding as Edward Snowden.
Oliver Stone’s direction was good.
Uneven pacing in the second act.
Some moments could’ve used a bit more depth.
Final thoughts: I wouldn’t consider it to be a memorable or powerful biopic of a former CIA employee/computer professional, but Oliver Stone succeeds in making “Snowden” one of the most interesting and well-acted films of the year. While it does have its pacing problems during the second act, mostly because of its running time, the performances and its screenplay are enough to keep me satisfied. If you like certain films that have an all-star cast or are familiar with the events that are shown in this film, it’s worth checking out.
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