Snowden France, Germany, USA 2016 – 134min.
June 2013. Top secret classified information on US surveillance methods are made public by Edward Snowden, a former government employee. Nine years previously, he joined the NSA and the CIA thanks to his IT skills, which enabled him to move up the ladder and discover the hidden side of his country, which uses cyber-surveillance to protect its citizens at any cost.
The story of Edward Snowden was a godsend for Oliver Stone, the committed filmmaker who has revealed the many faces of the US with movies like Platoon, JFK, Nixon, W. and World Trade Center. By making a movie about a very controversial figure who is considered an enemy by some and an exemplary citizen by others, Stone again inspects the flaws and limitations of his country and the world beyond its borders. On the one hand, Snowden is an effective, solid, well-constructed thriller, supported by the excellent Joseph Gordon-Levitt. On the other, it is disappointing that the powerful director of Any Given Sunday and Natural Born Killers handles this fascinating subject with less mastery than he would have when he was at his peak. Apart from some brilliant scenes, Snowden lacks personality, especially due to its textbook structure, which rests on a few simple tricks. The result is a good movie, but not one that measures up to Oliver Stone.