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Thriller . Drama . Biography

CIA employee Edward Snowden leaks thousands of classified documents to the press.

Actors: Jaymes Butler , Keith Stanfield , Ben Schnetzer , Timothy Olyphant , Logan Marshall-Green , Scott Eastwood , Tom Wilkinson , Zachary Quinto , Melissa Leo , Shailene Woodley , Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Directors: Oliver Stone
Release: 2016-09-15
More Info:
  • Peter Hartlaub

    Moviegoers will love or hate Oliver Stone and his politics until the end of time. With well-made movies such as Snowden, though, his skill as a filmmaker becomes much harder for the detractors to debate.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    It’s the most important and galvanizing political drama by an American filmmaker in years.

    Variety Full Review
  • Allen Salkin

    You might not agree with Stone that the man is a hero, but you probably do want to see the film so you can compute what the whole uproar was about.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Calvin Wilson

    Gordon-Levitt turns in an Oscar-worthy performance as a man who’s all too aware of what he’s letting himself in for. And Woodley skillfully balances a range of emotions as Lindsay.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Drew McWeeny

    Snowden has a secret weapon, and it’s one that I wasn’t expecting: a fully-engaged and on-his-game Oliver Stone.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Regardless of how they feel about the main character, most viewers are likely to leave the theater reminded of Stone’s instinctive brilliance as a filmmaker — his grasp of visual language not just to tell a story but to expose its essential emotional core.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Tirdad Derakhshani

    Chilling - and very chatty. Snowden is a seriously talky film. Yet it never feels tedious, thanks to Stone's tremendous sense of story construction, the film's razor-sharp editing - and Gordon-Levitt's masterful performance.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    As always, it’s a good idea to do your homework before or after seeing an Oliver Stone movie. You may come out convinced of his point of view and still feel hustled by how he got you there.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    Snowden works best when it’s just Edward and the three journalists in that hotel room, sweating it out, or when we see the pattern of events that led him to commit acts that exposed the shocking practices of our own government but also quite possibly created serious security breaches.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Even with its flaws, Snowden is Stone's return to relevance, in subject and execution.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Soren Andersen

    Gordon-Levitt carries the movie, and without flash or overt dramatics, overshadows everyone else in it.

    The Seattle Times Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    Despite my issues with the structure of Snowden, there are numerous accomplished scenes and the film is carried throughout by Gordon-Levitt. Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    Mr. Stone has made an honorable and absorbing contribution to the imaginative record of our confusing times. He tells a story torn from slightly faded headlines, filling in some details you may have forgotten, and discreetly embellishing the record in the service of drama and suspense.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    It’s a gripping movie, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is good as Snowden (his voice alone is terrific), capturing his nerdy intelligence and passion for patriotism.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    Stone seems genuinely interested in the slow and steady process by which Edward Snowden came to distrust the government that he worked for, and the director has made a slow and steady movie to go with it.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    Gordon-Levitt, however, nails the part completely, physically hunching down into himself and getting Snowden’s halting, thoughtful speech patterns just right, while Stone, working with screenwriter Kieran Fitzgerald, creates a whirlwind ride nearly but not quite worthy of The Parallax View-era conspiracy thrillers.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

    Snowden is a film of sincere outrage, even when it strains to articulate that outrage in a less from-the-headlines manner.

    Consequence of Sound Full Review
  • Jared Mobarak

    Stone doesn’t care about Snowden as much as he does the ramifications of what his employers accomplished. He’s focused on the future, fearful the next person over-stepping boundaries is Donald Trump. This doesn’t make the film a resounding success, but it does make it fascinating.

    The Film Stage Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    For a director whose reputation is built on aggressively in-your-face subjects and styles, Snowden stands as a strangely inert outlier, a project that lacks passion although not perspective.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    It's fairly absorbing though, increasingly, a bit of an eye-roller, and it's designed, photographed and edited to make you itchy with paranoia.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Stone is so intent on making Snowden an icon that he scrubs him of his nuances, his individuality.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Alonso Duralde

    For a film that’s so politically risky — Stone hasn’t named names and pointed fingers (at both sides of the aisle, incidentally) in a mainstream movie like this for years — it’s surprisingly safe aesthetically.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Laura Poitras’s Oscar-winning 2014 Snowden documentary “Citizenfour” is, almost inevitably, a stronger experience. That, too, was a species of political thriller but, unlike Stone’s film, it’s actually thrilling.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    A duly serious and ambitious fall movie that, despite the best efforts of its formidable director and cast, can’t remotely match the excitement of real life.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Gregory Ellwood

    As a piece of filmed entertainment Snowden is certainly a watchable endeavor, but Stone and screenwriter Kieran Fitzgerald’s script is often an odd mix of hero worship, conspiratorial thriller and cringe worthy dialogue.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Bryan Bishop

    The issues that Snowden raises are without question some of the biggest issues of our times — but a movie this safe won’t leave anybody thinking about them.

    The Verge Full Review
  • Erin Whitney

    Snowden has some entertaining sequences, many of which explain the whistleblower’s story in an easily digestible narrative that doesn’t insult the audience’s intelligence or think too highly of itself. But the final moments are a mess; Stone isn’t interested in showing us the real version of the man, only his glorified version.

    ScreenCrush Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    What's your take on Edward Snowden: A patriot deserving of a presidential pardon? A traitor deserving of execution, as Trump believes? Something in between? In Snowden the movie, in which a fiercely committed Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the title role, Oliver Stone removes all doubt. He's Saint Edward.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Brian Truitt

    Snowden’s a polarizing whistleblower portrayed as an American hero here but in too pedestrian a fashion for such a hot-button topic, and the movie seems at times as awkward as its brainiac subject.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    The voice of skepticism is sorely missed in Oliver Stone’s credulous bio-pic, Snowden.

    Movie Nation Full Review
  • Oleg Ivanov

    The film depicts Edward Snowden's ethical dilemmas in a political vacuum that disregards America's increasingly complex security threats.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Tim Grierson

    Stone’s mixture of paranoid thriller, political commentary and romantic drama keeps Snowden feeling busy without ever being particularly engrossing or enlightening. Frustratingly, Snowden remains a ghost in the machine.

    Screen International Full Review
  • Stephen Farber

    Stone’s direction is measured, methodical, and totally lacking in the fire and flamboyance that sometimes electrified and sometimes ruined his earlier films. The story moves along without any real sense of urgency or suspense.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Leah Greenblatt

    It somehow manages to make a fascinating, utterly contemporary narrative feel like old news.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Ben Nicholson

    Gordon-Levitt is perfectly fine as Snowden, getting the voice and cadence fairly spot on and he looks almost right. The problem is that he's such an introvert and blank slate - that's pretty good for espionage but not especially compelling for a character arc.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Stone's characteristic on-his-sleeve political views aren't the problem with the often-sleepy Snowden. Rather, it's that his film – the lag-prone script for which the filmmaker co-wrote with Kieran Fitzgerald – really doesn't tell us much that we don't already know. That'll certainly be the case for anyone who saw director Laura Poitras' Oscar-winning 2014 documentary "Citizenfour," a remarkable bit of filmmaking.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    There’s a deeper emptiness at the core of the movie, a failure of nerve and a fundamental incuriosity about what makes the Snowden affair interesting and relevant, then and now.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    What made Snowden so compelling in the excellent 2014 documentary Citizenfour reduces him, in the context of an Oliver Stone thriller, to a blur. Even Hackers was more exciting.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Benjamin Lee

    In his dry and uninvolving dramatic take, Stone has made a film aimed at breaking out Snowden’s story to the masses but it’s made with such limpness that a swift read of his Wikipedia page will prove far more exciting.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Snowden could have been a character portrait, but instead it’s like “The Bourne Identity” minus the chases and fights, which is like a ham and cheese sandwich minus the ham and cheese. As a consequence, I suspect, this film will make no bread.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Snowden is mostly flat, overlong, unfocused and didactic.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
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