To his critics, Edward Snowden is a traitor.
To his supporters, the data he revealed makes him a patriot.
The movie, "Snowden" suggests answers to questions often asked about its title character: What kind of man is he? Why did he leak so many secrets?
We see him through the eyes of his companion played by Shailene Woodley, and watch as he transforms before our eyes from a brilliant company man at the CIA into an analyst who comes to doubt what he is doing.
He learns the U.S. government is spying on many of its own citizens - and so many more overseas, saying "think of it as a Google search except in searching only what people make public, we're also looking at everything they don't."
His disillusionment happens over time as the words of his mentor start to ring hollow: "Most Americans don't want freedom. They want security."
Yes, this is an Oliver Stone movie - so "Snowden" is gonna be preachy in parts and run a quarter hour too long. But it's time well spent when you consider how little we know about this guy and what a drastic step he took.
Playing a man who is, by nature, so guarded, requires formidable gifts and Joseph Gordon Levitt proves he's more than capable by giving us his finest performance and one that should earn him his first Oscar nomination.
Critics are split on "Snowden" just as opinion is divided on the actions of the real man, but Levitt plays him so well, that when the real Edward Snowden shows up in the film's closing minutes, I thought for a moment I was still watching the actor.
Sandy Kenyon reviews 'Snowden'
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