Movies derived from recent events are always intriguing to watch because they tend to reveal background stories we don’t know about real-life figures like Edward Snowden, the man who leaked classified NSA documents that show how America is monitoring us 24/7. Reading about this in the news a few years ago made me curious to know more. So who better than Oliver Stone to bring this story to life? Right? Wrong. Despite a great performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the title role, the movie bites more than it can chew as it tries to focus on Snowden’s motives to expose the NSA while exploring his relationship with his girlfriend, played by Shailene Woodley. And because no one likes to tell a linear story anymore, director Oliver Stone goes back and forth in time so many times in order to connect all the dots. On one hand it’s too much, and at the same time, not enough. I may have learned a thing or two about Edward Snowden, but I still don’t know what really made him tick. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’d rather read up on the subject or check out an in depth documentary about it instead of watching this overlong movie that offered me nothing except more admiration for Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
★★★ Very good