Every once in a while a film comes along that changes the way that you look at your current life, the way you look at politics and makes you question all the information being thrown at you. Director Doug Liman brings us quite possibly the most important film you can see this year, Fair Game starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.

Find out why you can’t miss this film below…


  • Director: Doug Liman
  • Writers: Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth (screenplay), based on the books “The Politics of Truth” by Joseph Wilson and “Fair Game” by Valerie Plame
  • Actors: Naomi Watts (Valerie Plame), Sean Penn (Joseph Wilson), Ty Burrell, Sam Shepard, Bruce McGill, Noah Emmerich
  • Original Music by: John Powell
  • Cinematography by: Doug Liman

The Plot:

CIA Agent Plame did everything she could to support her government, in fact she proved that there was a 97% chance that there would be no WMDs if we went to war. Unfortunately the government was only interested in promoting that 3% and force a country into war. Her status as a CIA agent was revealed by White House officials allegedly to discredit her husband after he wrote a 2003 New York Times op-ed piece. After being torn apart by the media, finally Plame and her husband have a chance to fight back.

The Film Good:

  • The Acting: This goes for everyone in the cast from Watts and Penn to the supporting cast that was on screen for two minutes. Great performances all around.
  • The Iconic Swap: It was interesting to see Watts taking the lead and Penn dropping back to a co-star. In many ways Watts played the role of the iconic male lead; she’s out at all hours, brings home the money and is seemingly unaware of her spouses emotions at times. Penn is the emotive character, the one who supports the lead unconditionally, the one who waits for the other one to make a move, and brings out the heart of the story. Both put in great performances, Watts proves that she is more than capable to lead the way and when you see Penn breakdown and cry you see why he wins all those statues.

The Political Good:

  • Penn: All billing aside, it is quite obvious why Penn took the role, aside from Milk this is quite possibly one of the most important roles he’s ever done. This is a more than just a film but a commentary on our current political situation. Aside from nailing the intricacies of the performance, which bring the whole film alive, this is a film with a purpose. While Watts character is being attacked it’s his response that the “average” person can relate to and it’s his story that makes the film so real.
  • Media Spin: We all know (or should know) that the media spins facts and you can never believe what you’re told on TV, BUT it’s fascinating to watch exactly how and why that’s done. In this film you get to be on the inside of the story and watch reality being twisted all around you. And as an added bonus, they threw in a great scene that shows us why the press should be hit sometimes when they attack those that are in the limelight.
  • Political Success: It’s hard to make a political film that deals with current events that is also interesting, poignant, entertaining and not completely self-indulgent — this film accomplishes all of that. It’s like a successful W. From showing us how the media manipulates stories, to how the government uses people to get what it wants, to investing us in the personal relationship between two characters, to making a stand on what’s right and what’s wrong, and why it’s important to fight — this film has it all wrapped up in one.
  • Speed: When you think back to past political cover-ups or wars, it took people decades to put all the facts together on any one situation. We already have a film with mainstream actors that will be released to mass audiences that documents events taking place in 2001-2002. The world isn’t perfect, but with the speed that people are now able to look at situations and know the truth about them is impressive and this film really sets a new bar for showing the truth as it’s going on and doing it well.

The Bad:

  • Nothing here!


It’s rare that you get a fun film that also makes such an important point — and as quickly as this. Bush has only been out of office for less than two years and already we have a film documenting what went out inside the C.I.A and the Whitehouse post 9/11 and before we went into Iraq. It’s a great film and definitely worth seeing!

Rating: 9.3/10

Fair Game is in limited theaters November 5th!

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