Daniel Cruse’s review published on Letterboxd:
An engaging, snappy political thriller anchored by great performances from Adam Driver and Annette Bening. As with most films of this type, it has to rely on overtly expository sequences to key the audience into things that would otherwise leave the story feeling empty, so occasionally you’re thrown a lot of information that is difficult to digest at once but the movie doesn’t dumb anything down and it also doesn’t move too quickly for the audience to keep up. It’s a well put together, very straightforward movie.
Some films really transcend genre conventions and subvert expectations in interesting and incredibly memorable ways, Parasite which I saw yesterday is a great example of that. But The Report needs not to be that kind of film to succeed in what it sets out to do. If you’ve seen the trailer or even just read the logline of the film, you know exactly what to expect cause it delivers what is promised. If these dramatic true story political movies don’t typically check off any boxes for you, you would likely have a hard time enjoying this movie. Recently guys like Adam McKay have gone to great lengths to tell those types of stories with enough style to match the substance, and films like The Big Short and Vice both really stood out to me for the unconventional and ambitious ways he chose to tell those stories but on the other hand, you have a guy like Stephen Soderbergh who recently proved with The Laundromat that sometimes those risks really don’t pan out.
This movie doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it tells a story that needs to be told. I was in high school when all of the fallout of this report would’ve been in the news and it disturbs me that I knew so little about what was going on during those years. I like how the film didn’t really pick sides as far as partisan politics and generally told the story in an unbiased way that depicted corruption in both the democratic and republican parties, as well as good natured people that did the right thing in each party. The events this movie deals with are a stain on contemporary America and I’m glad there were people in DC who fought to confront that and do what they could to learn from those mistakes and uproot the lies.