You might not agree with Stone that the man is a hero, but you probably do want to see the film so you can compute what the whole uproar was about.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
For a film that’s so politically risky — Stone hasn’t named names and pointed fingers (at both sides of the aisle, incidentally) in a mainstream movie like this for years — it’s surprisingly safe aesthetically.
In his dry and uninvolving dramatic take, Stone has made a film aimed at breaking out Snowden’s story to the masses but it’s made with such limpness that a swift read of his Wikipedia page will prove far more exciting.
As a piece of filmed entertainment Snowden is certainly a watchable endeavor, but Stone and screenwriter Kieran Fitzgerald’s script is often an odd mix of hero worship, conspiratorial thriller and cringe worthy dialogue.
What made Snowden so compelling in the excellent 2014 documentary Citizenfour reduces him, in the context of an Oliver Stone thriller, to a blur. Even Hackers was more exciting.
It somehow manages to make a fascinating, utterly contemporary narrative feel like old news.
The film depicts Edward Snowden's ethical dilemmas in a political vacuum that disregards America's increasingly complex security threats.
It’s the most important and galvanizing political drama by an American filmmaker in years.
Stone’s direction is measured, methodical, and totally lacking in the fire and flamboyance that sometimes electrified and sometimes ruined his earlier films. The story moves along without any real sense of urgency or suspense.
Stone’s mixture of paranoid thriller, political commentary and romantic drama keeps Snowden feeling busy without ever being particularly engrossing or enlightening. Frustratingly, Snowden remains a ghost in the machine.