There’s no doubt about it; this is flat out a well-constructed and a riveting procedural drama. I love the fact that it really is ambiguous and doesn’t even try and send any sort of over-the-top political message. It also tackles the subject matter in a serious and proper way. Opening on a black screen and hearing a sample of 9/11 but seeing nothing is exactly the right way to start the film. Closing the way they did by not “spiking the football” or showing any American celebration was also the right move in my opinion. We all know the images from those two events. They are not needed. There’s enough emotion to carry what was depicted as is. Jessica Chastain is amazing as the lead and now I understand her Oscar nomination. It’s well deserved.
The torture issue is clearly depicted for what it is and (as mentioned above) the viewer can make up their own mind about how effective it was and could be in the war on terror. The movie does a fine job of saying how things changed over the years but does so with a boots on the ground approach. Again, great choices and handled so very well. A remarkable movie any way you cut it.