My Review of Three “True Story” Movies That I Don’t Feel Qualified to Review (Richard Jewell, Dark Waters, and The Report)

Richard Jewell, Dark Waters, and The Report are three movies that I liked, but don’t know if I’m allowed to. This is because they are all movies based on real events that I know jack-shit about. So, I’m going to go through them one at a time and say why I liked them, and show why my lack of knowledge might affect that opinion.

Richard Jewell

This was my favorite of the three. I thought it was a heartbreaking and engaging look at the extreme power that the press wields and the innocent people that it can slaughter in the search for the truth. Paul Walter Hauser delivers one of my favorite performances of the year as the titular Richard Jewell. He just seems like the nicest dude, and seeing his unwavering faith in the law slowly dissolve is enthralling and tragic. All of the other performances are great as well, from Kathy Bates as his loving mother, to Sam Rockwell as Richard’s lawyer and friend, to Jon Hamm’s asshole government boy, everyone is great.

But, like I said, my lack of knowledge might have made me more receptive to this flick. Many characters in this movie are vilified real hard, and I don’t know how accurate those portrayals are. Also, I guess there is no evidence that Olivia Wilde’s journalist character went to the bone zone with Jon Hamm’s asshole government boy to get info. So that’s iffy. Also, I’ve never seen a Clint Eastwood motion picture, and I don’t know anything about him, so I don’t know if I’m supposed to hate him or not. People seem to think that this movie is pandering to conservatives, but I’m wicked not a conservative, and I didn’t feel any of that.

Anyways, dope flick! Unless it isn’t.

Dark Waters

This one’s good too. Mark Ruffalo-Buffalo is in it, and he’s pretty good. It didn’t make me lower my sunglasses in slow motion when he walked by like Paul Walter Hauser’s performance did, but he was very good. The movie is consistently interesting and well paced, and I didn’t know how bonkers the story was until it was unfolding before me. It really made me wonder why people aren’t talking about both the events this movie was based on, as well as the movie itself. It’s actually kind of poetic that this movie about how nobody payed attention to a major threat to their health is being ignored by most people.

But again, I don’t know how accurate all of the vilified characters’ asshole-ness was, and I don’t know if they left out important events and character motivations or not.

Overall, pretty powerful flick! Or maybe it’s propaganda. I dunno.

The Report

And last, and maybe least: The Report. This flick about the fight to expose the inhumane use of torture used by the USA during the fight on terrorism after 9/11 is the slowest of the three movies, but it still is an engaging and important movie. It stars the amazing Adam Driver in his second best performance of the year. That’s not to say that it isn’t a great performance, because it’s one of the best performances of the year. It’s just that his performance in Marriage Story is one of the best performances of the decade. John Hamm is a government asshole for the second time this list, and he is still good. Sarah Goldberg is amazing in Barry, (please watch Barry) and she’s pretty great here too.

Everything about this movie is solid, but I found myself getting more bored watching this compared to the other two. One thing about it that I LOVED was the sudden and jarring torture scenes that showed how dehumanizing these interrogation methods really were. These scenes were explicit and disgusting and they brought a real sense of urgency to the main plot. I don’t think the movie would be nearly as effective without these scenes.

But like the other two movies, I don’t know how accurate the portrayals in this movie are, and I don’t know what is and isn’t fiction.