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France, Germany, United States · 2016
Rated R · 2h 14m
Director Oliver Stone
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto
Genre Drama, History, Crime, Thriller

Based on a true story and the books "The Snowden Files," this film follows the titular Edward Snowden, a CIA subcontractor and whistleblower who copied and leaked highly classified information from the NSA beginning in 2013. A gripping story about a man considered a traitor by some and a hero by others.

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


New York Daily News by Allen Salkin

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.


TheWrap by Alonso Duralde

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.


The Guardian by Benjamin Lee

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.


The Playlist by Gregory Ellwood

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.


Time Out by Joshua Rothkopf

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.


Slant Magazine by Oleg Ivanov

The film depicts Edward Snowden's ethical dilemmas in a political vacuum that disregards America's increasingly complex security threats.


The Hollywood Reporter by Stephen Farber

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.


Screen International by Tim Grierson

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.

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