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ATSUSHI NISHIJIMA

The Report is short for “The Torture Report,” which is short for “The Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program,” which is short for the 6,700-page account of one of America’s most horrifying and shameful stretches of history. Expertly distilling an infinitely complicated, infinitely disturbing chain of events, writer/director Scott Z. Burns follows the efforts of increasingly troubled Senate staffer Daniel Jones (Adam Driver, excellent as ever), who, under the oversight of Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening), works to discover and document the CIA’s continued use of barbaric and ineffective “enhanced interrogation techniques” on prisoners captured after 9/11. Burns spends just as much time studying the failed, Republican-led efforts to cover up America’s war crimes as he does examining both the ways they were justified (“You have to make this work. It’s only legal if it works,” says one CIA official, played by Maura Tierney) and rewarded, with a coda that not-so-subtly alludes to the fact that Gina Haspel, the current director of the CIA, oversaw a black site in Thailand where some of the atrocities documented in the report were committed.

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The Report opens Fri Nov 15 at various theaters.