Review: Snowden

Is Snowden the Biopic we need?

PRISM, the NSA, warrantless wiretapping; Snowden presents the backstory of the whistleblower that rocked the political world three years ago. We're all familiar with Edward Snowden, but does the movie make as big of a splash as the real Snowden himself?

Snowden showcases the life of Edward Snowden and the circumstances that lead up to his leaks. The movie is interesting enough but it is not captivating nor groundbreaking. Its star-studded cast is enough to make it watchable and the story is decent.

One of the biggest shortfalls of the movie is its runtime. Snowden runs for over two hours, and there were certainly scenes that could have been cut to shave that down, especially with regards to the romance plotline. Based on the trailers and the story the movie is based on, I also expected the movie to be more of a political thriller, which it wasn't. I felt it wasn't as shocking or compelling as I would have liked, especially taking into the account the number of monologues meant to hammer home the message. Also for a movie about the mass surveillance programs and the leaks that unveiled it, it didn't really spend as much time focusing on those key issues as I would have liked. They spent too much time on filler and not enough on the actual relevant parts of the story. Lastly, although it actually didn't bother me much, I already know Joseph Gordon Levitt's accent is sure to drive many moviegoers insane.

Snowden falls short of other movies in its field such as The Smartest Guy's in the Room or even other biopics such as Iron Lady. The movie is mediocre but the story is interesting enough to give it a pass. I would recommend giving it a watch if it happened to come on TV but I wouldn't go seeking it out.

2.5 out of 5

What would I have changed? (Spoilers)
Click here to read what I would Change

Johnny Johnny (Senior Contributor) was born and raised in San Diego. He's been a fan of films the majority of his life. He enjoys the feeling it invokes and the power it has to take you to another place.
Click Here to check out Johnny's other Articles.


pnut78 said…
Exactly what I wanted to know. Thanks for saving my time! I was hoping it wouldn't be a drama and more straight forward
Konnie Semonski said…
Thanks. I will wait for the TV version.
InfiniteMidnight said…
Planning to see this over the weekend. Trailers do seem to focus too much on the romance & yes, what is up with JGL accent? I saw the documentary on Snowden which I liked quite a bit maybe we'll hit it for matinee and not nighttime price. Thanks for the review.
sandy weinstein said…
i want to see this. i have seen many interviews on tv with Joseph Gordon Levitt. he seems to do a good job in this film.
Scott Boynton said…
I LOVED IT, I'm changing all my passwords today!!
Earlene Drummond said…
I loved this movie! I always knew the government was looking & listening to everything!! I close my MACBook even when it's off!!! Very enlightening!
dawn g said…
I want to see this movie
jbreitsc said…
Great review!
carl said…
the film, although a bit of a hagiography, was better than i expected.
jckozzie said…
JGL played a great Snowden. I agree with the other folks... repeated drama about his love life, that could have been cut down a bit more. The ending seemed generic. It would have been great if they tied it together with the election chaos. I'm curious what his thoughts are on these two wackos.
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