The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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It struggles with the balance between fact-based biopic and taut political thriller, but Fair Game brims with righteous anger -- and benefits from superb performances by Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.
All Critics (172)
| Top Critics (40)
| Fresh (135)
| Rotten (37)
| DVD (3)
This isn't a message movie, per se, but a strong point of view comes through regardless: In the battle of principles vs. politics, politics always win.
Although the outline of this story is well known, Fair Game gives it dramatic shape and teases out the moral problems raised.
It is complacent and fatuous in a way that only a preeningly well-intentioned Hollywood drama can be.
An absorbing, unhysterical thriller that largely rejects the clichés of the genre.
In a more urbane mode than we're used to, Penn is his usual intense self but plays second fiddle to the magnetic centrepiece performance by Watts.
The blind-siding of Valerie Plame wasn't fair and wasn't a game, but this cinematic outcome is a touchdown for true patriots.
Fair Game was in no way a terrible movie, but with a scattered storyline and somewhat caricature-like performances by both leads, it failed to connect as it should have.
Fair Game is smart, beautifully-acted, and unapologetic.
It should be gripping stuff, but Liman combines too much information with too much pontificating to create an uneasy blend of slow-paced political thriller and family drama.
Naomi Watt delivers but the script offers a lifeless story and too many one-dimensional characters to name.
If the filmmakers had skimmed off some of the exposition from the first half, and tightened it up in order to get to the main part of the story faster, it would have worked a lot better.
Another of Participant Media's earnest, well-meaning, well-made, but rather dry efforts that definitely do their job in conveying the intended message but not so much as engaging drama.
A compelling and well-written political drama based on an outraging, shocking real story, and the most interesting is to see how the whole situation deeply affects the relationship between the characters, who are played so superbly well by Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.
During the run-up to the Second Iraq War, the Bush Administration released the name of a CIA agent whose husband was critical of Bush's "evidence."
Naomi Watts and Sean Penn deliver very strong performances as Valerie Plame Wilson and Joe Wilson. Watts is believable in her vulnerable scenes, reeling from the Bush Administration's treason, and Penn brings his natural intensity to his portrayal of Joe Wilson. Both in terms of the film and the actual events, I wondered why (or why not) the Wilsons never discussed the article that led to Valerie's betrayal. Regardless of the film's reliance on actual events, the story proceeds predictably, complete with the inspirational visit to Valerie's father who dispenses age-old wisdom. The story of the Iraqi scientists is also incomplete.
Overall, carried by strong leading performances, Fair Game is not as polemic as it could be and follows a rather predictable path.
"Fair Game" is not as engrossing as it should be considering its subject matter and pedigree.
I am NOT a political movie fan. However, this movie was extremely interesting. This would have been a fantastic movie even if it was fiction. But, what made this story frightening is that it was true. I remember the 2003 pre-Iraq invasion media blitz to bolster public support for the war. The real-life characters in this film, heroes, dared to speak the truth about the Iraq situation in an environment of blind frenzy disguised as patriotism. The tragic story of Joe and Valerie Wilson is amazing. The movie does a fantastic job of telling their story, and showing the emotional distress, that this moment of national shame caused the Wilsons. I only wish that I could have rewritten the ending...as that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby were sent to jail for life for treason!
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