Oliver Stone has on many occasions chosen to chronicle significant figures in American history, usually with a stylistic flair that is either vibrantly cinematic or irresponsibly flippant (depending on your political point of view). It should come as no surprise then to see him chronicle the extraordinary recent history of former CIA employee Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked classified information about the National Security Agency in America,┬ábelieving it to be in the public’s best interest due to the level of illegal surveillance going on.

As has often been the case in the past, Stone takes the one-sided but probably fair view that Snowden is a modern American hero, constructing an impressively clear narrative around the events that led to him eventually being exiled to Russia. The whole thing never quite escapes its docudrama feel (in fact, at times it feels like little more than dramatic reconstructions of the scenes shown in the excellent documentary Citizenfour), but it’s an impressively humanised account of globally seismic events, and a fitting testament to an increasingly important figure.

A very important dramatic depiction of a remarkable sequence of recent events8
The ethical decision to portray Edward Snowden as heroic9
Oliver Stone's more detached and less bombastic stylistic approach7
The overall vibe of a dramatic reconstruction TV drama5
A good excuse to follow this up by watching Citizenfour8
Bechdel Test passes
  • Features more than one named female character
Bechdel test failures
  • None of the named female characters talk to each other
7Overall Score

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