The Report is a new docudrama coming to Prime Video at the end of November that details the investigation into the CIA’s use of torture in interrogations following the 11 September attacks. We follow Senate Intelligence Committee staffer Daniel Jones as he compiles investigates this, and compiles a 6,700 page report, which he and the Senators who launched the investigation must fight to have published.
Written and directed by Scott Z. Burns, The Report attempts to condense the story of the report down into a 2 hour film, which is a huge ask given the need to cover the investigation, the offences committed by the CIA, and the political fight to have the report published. This is a lot to fit into a feature length project, and whilst Burns is mostly successful it does feel as though we jump fairly quickly through a good amount of the narrative. Burns does manage to touch on the important moments in the investigation, whilst also making sure that we, the audience, know the importance of it.
During the investigation portion we get to see some of the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” that were used, and these sequences are incredibly hard to watch, and really do convay how inhumane and immoral the torture was. We are also told how ineffectual the torture was, given that it didn’t actually provide anything actionable, but this is the kind of thing that it is hard to show cinematically, so it is usually just repeated in exposition. The political in fighting in an attempt to prevent the release of the report tends to work far better cinematically, and Burns does a mostly excellent job here.
Adam Driver takes on the role of Dan Jones, and as you would expect from Driver is excellent in carrying a very heavy film. The whole supporting cast behind him is excellent as well, with Annette Benning as Dianne Feinstein being a particular stand out as Dan’s boss fighting for the report’s release. Jon Hamm, Jennifer Morrison, and Tim Blake Nelson are amongst a host of other names who appear in smaller roles throughout The Report, and no one lets the side down.
The Report is a very important piece of cinema about transparency and accountability, and whilst a lot of it doesn’t completely work when forced into a narrative feature, it is well worth your time when it gets released.