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Snowden (2016)

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The NSA's illegal surveillance techniques are leaked to the public by one of the agency's employees, Edward Snowden, in the form of thousands of classified documents distributed to the press.

Director:

Oliver Stone

Writers:

Kieran Fitzgerald (screenplay by), Oliver Stone (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
1,947 ( 86)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Melissa Leo ... Laura Poitras
Zachary Quinto ... Glenn Greenwald
Joseph Gordon-Levitt ... Edward Snowden
Jaymes Butler ... Drill Sergeant
Robert Firth ... Dr. Stillwell
Rachel Handshaw ... CIA Polygraph Adminstrator
Christian Contreras ... CIA Psychologist
Parker Sawyers ... CIA Interviewer
Rhys Ifans ... Corbin O'Brian
Ken Thomas ... Warrenton Gate Guard (as Kenneth Thomas)
Nicolas Cage ... Hank Forrester
Michael Benz ... CIA Student
Shailene Woodley ... Lindsay Mills
Tom Wilkinson ... Ewen MacAskill
Joely Richardson ... Janine Gibson
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Storyline

SNOWDEN stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and is written and directed by Oliver Stone. The script is based on the books The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena. Written by Open Road Films

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You Don't Have to Pick a Side. But You Will. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Germany | USA | UK

Release Date:

16 September 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Snowden Files See more »

Filming Locations:

Munich, Bavaria, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,000,058, 16 September 2016, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$21,587,519

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$37,357,216
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scheduled for release September 16, 2016 the day after Oliver Stone's 70th birthday. See more »

Goofs

While on their first date, Lindsay accuses Snowden of lying about working with the Department of State due to his IP address being from Virginia. The Department of State has field offices all over the world, including Virginia. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Glenn Greenwald: [sitting under a big green balloon alligator] So?
Laura Poitras: This is the only alligator.
Glenn Greenwald: Four minutes past. We walk in one minute. He was clear on that.
Laura Poitras: He's coming.
Glenn Greenwald: No, he is too young to have that kind of access.
Glenn Greenwald: [to Snowden as he walks up] Uh, what time does the restaurant open?
Edward Snowden: Noon. But the food is a bit too spicy. This way...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in WatchMojo: Top 10 Great Movies You Missed This Fall (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet No. 19 in C, K. 465, Dissonance III. Allegretto
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Emerson String Quartet
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Classic, clean-cut film about a fascinating subject
5 November 2016 | by rubenmSee all my reviews

Edward Snowden is one of the most fascinating Americans alive, so it's no wonder his life has been made into a movie. After the documentary Citizenfour, it's already the second film featuring the famous whistle-blower. Citizenfour focused on the days Snowden spent in a hotel room in Hong Kong, where he invited two journalists who published the news about the massive surveillance of millions of people. Oliver Stone's new film takes a different approach and shows us Snowden's back story. His life is shown in flash backs from the hotel room scenes. What made him decide to basically give up his comfortable life and spend the rest of his days in exile? Stone shows how Snowden slowly changed from a patriotic army soldier into a concerned citizen. When he and his girlfriend Lindsay discuss the war in Iraq, shortly after they have met, they disagree. He defends the war, and ridicules Lindsay's liberal views and her participation in anti-war protests. She tells him: 'America is founded on the right to question our government'. Years later, he uses those exact words to explain and defend his whistle-blowing.

The relationship between Snowden and his girlfriend gets relatively much attention in the film. On the one hand because a love interest is always nice for a Hollywood film, but on the other hand also because it is important for the development of Snowden's mindset. His work for the NSA influences their relationship, not only because they have to live abroad, but also because it seems even Lindsay's e-mail and online conversations are being tracked and placed under surveillance. Is this the final straw that makes him decide to take bold actions?

What bothered me about the film is that it is a bit too clean-cut. The intelligence agencies are full of giant screens and slick technology, there are some romantic scenes, and the film looks overall very smooth. It's a rather classic biopic, without much cinematographic added value. For a subject as controversial as the NSA-leaks, and a for a film maker with a reputation such as Stone, that's a little bit disappointing.


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