The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
For every spycraft scene, every illustration of the deadly blowback from the leak that Liman dramatizes, the movie has half a dozen scenes of a delicately balanced home life turned on its head by a government bent on destroying one of its critics.
It starts with thriller clichés and ends in sanctimonious preaching, but in between there are a couple of true things: a portrait of a marriage under stress, and a depiction of the arrogance of power that leaves a sharp after-burn.
Things worked out between Joe and Valerie, and for their real-life models, who are now the subjects of a terrifically entertaining movie. But that does not mean that justice was done, or that truth prevailed.
There's a radical lesson in this story about the ways of permanent government and protect-their-own professionals ... But that's one that this film is too polite, safe and self-satisfied to ever bring to the screen -- let alone get in focus.
Most of the scenes depicting the couple's domestic life are borderline-banal, and they miniaturize the political drama that plays out partly in public, partly in the shadows but almost always in a middle distance just beyond emotional reach.
The spectacle is irresistible, as Liman and screenwriters Jez and John-Henry Butterworth unspool a story all about truth versus lies, professionals versus amateurs, villains versus heroes and patriots versus posturing careerists.