There’s no question that Oliver Stone’s career as a director has found itself littered with debate thanks to the largely one-sided, politically-laced output seen in such films as 1991’s JFK, 2008’s W., and 1995’s Nixon. While I’m not here to agree or disagree with the viewpoint(s) found throughout much of his filmography, I can say that Snowden fits in nicely with his overall body of work thus far.
The cast is fine, with such names as Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Logan Marshall-Green, Timothy Olyphant, Rhys Ifans and even wacky ol’ Nicolas Cage giving their all to some decent supporting roles. As the title character, Joseph Gordon-Levitt again proves why he’s one of the industry’s paramount talents (even if the baritone timbre he gives his character’s voice sounds somewhat odd), and with Shailene Woodley alongside him as his girlfriend Lindsay, the two inhabit their parts with all the care and ease one would expect from Hollywood’s best. The script, though oftentimes a bit too dogmatic & loaded with State Department jargon, moves along nicely, and Stone’s direction in general flows without much issue, though audience interest does tend to ebb & flow somewhat, especially when the script decides to attempt to sound overly intelligent, which doesn’t always work. However, he does somehow manage to give this controversial film a strangely positive ending, which actually does work.
In summary, a satisfactory film, not without its flaws, one that’s boosted by an acceptable cast. Much like our country’s relationship with the real Edward Snowden, I never need to see it again.