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More Intelligence Needed in “Snowden”

Edward Snowden is director Oliver Stone’s kind of hero: a zealous patriot who becomes disillusioned about his beloved country, publicly criticizes it, is labeled a traitor, and eventually learns a more complex definition of what it means to be patriotic. Stone has been down this road before – with the young Vietnam-era soldiers of Platoon and Born…

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Reel Change in The Atlantic

This morning, The Atlantic published an article I wrote as part of their online content. It is an analysis of the hypocrisies of the new film, Hyde Park on Hudson, in which I examine the ways the film claims to value the privacy of our elected leaders – while simultaneously exploiting that privacy to make…

Savages

“Savages” is Good Fun, But Nothing More

“Savages,” the new candy-coated thriller from once-important director Oliver Stone, comes along at a propitious time. The film is about a bloody feud between a Mexican drug cartel and domestic marijuana growers, but the subject lurking throughout is the War on Drugs, which has been in the news quite a bit lately. First there was…

JFK movie

Movies that Matter: “JFK”

This is the first in a series of posts about “Movies that Matter.” In this space, I will analyze movies that have influenced public policy and discuss the techniques used by the filmmakers to create that impact. First up, Oliver Stone’s “JFK.” In the acclaimed 2005 documentary, “Why We Fight,” the filmmakers open and close…