Fair Game

Fair Game

Fair Game stars Academy Award® nominee Naomi Watts as Valerie Plame, a real-life undercover CIA officer whose career was destroyed and her marriage with Joseph Wilson, played by Academy Award® winner Sean Penn, strained to its limits when her covert status was exposed by a White House press leak. 2.9 out of 5 based on 16 reviews
Fair Game

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Thriller, Drama
Director Doug Liman
Cast Sean Penn, Satya Bhabha, Bruce McGill Naomi Watts
Studio E1 Entertainment
Release Date March 2011
Running Time 104 mins
 

Fair Game stars Academy Award® nominee Naomi Watts as Valerie Plame, a real-life undercover CIA officer whose career was destroyed and her marriage with Joseph Wilson, played by Academy Award® winner Sean Penn, strained to its limits when her covert status was exposed by a White House press leak.

Reviews

The Times

Kate Muir

The dialogue is smart in the political scenes, and has a resigned, ironic, natural tone at home, thanks to a script from the British writers John-Henry and Jez Butterworth (of Jerusalem), and information from Plame and Wilson’s own books. What could have been dry material is kept alive by the film’s intense focus on the couple’s relationship and their opposing character traits.

11/03/2011

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Total Film

Matt Mueller

Liman juggles political intrigue with low-key domestic drama to polished, largely riveting effect. Great star turns, too.

02/03/2011

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The Observer

Philip French

Directed by Doug Liman, the movie-maker responsible for the first film in the Bourne trilogy, Fair Game is adroitly adapted by British playwright Jez Butterworth and his younger brother, John-Henry, from memoirs written by the Johnsons, and it is a riveting conspiracy thriller in the class of All the President's Men, which in many ways it resembles.

13/03/2011

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The New Yorker

David Denby

This is a movie about a political retaliation that nearly destroys a family. Some might dismiss the film as too obvious a clash of good and evil, were it not for the quality of the actors playing the Wilsons.

08/11/2010

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The New York Times

A. O. Scott

What makes the film work — in addition to the energy and agility of the performances and Mr. Liman’s fast and fluid style — is the precise counterpoint of public and domestic dramas. Mr. Penn and Ms. Watts are a convincingly imperfect couple.

09/12/2010

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

With a bit more shaping, all the ingredients are here for a cracking thriller about the woman who knew too much, something like The Parallax View for the post-9/11 age. Instead, it’s sober, talky, and rather muted.

10/03/2011

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Time Out

David Jenkins

The film is split into two chapters: the first has the feel of a more urgent political thriller, as the pair undertake their respective fact-finding missions, while the second is more a bleary-eyed melodrama charting family breakdown as their findings are manipulated by the White House. The unshowy script by sibling writers Jez and John-Henry Butterworth proposes that there is no such thing as fact, only context, an idea that would’ve been more penetrating were it shorn of the liberal hectoring that colours much of the dialogue.

10/03/2011

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Empire Magazine

Kim Newman

In the filmography of liberal-skewing, Bush-era true stories, this is a measured, persuasive item. It's questionable whether there's an appetite for hanging out more of the last decade's dirty laundry to dry in the multiplexes or 'For Your Consideration' awards bids, though.

11/03/2011

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Does the film make us quail in a grown-up way at evil and perfidy? Not really. It more resembles Espionage with Dick and Jane. We wait for the next chase, next suspense sequence, next gaudy zinger from a truth-based VIP.

09/03/2011

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

The script, based on memoirs of their experience by Wilson and Plame, has two stories to tell – the run-up to Iraq, and the portrait of a marriage under fire – and combines them very adroitly. Watts, as the self-possessed Plame, is the best reason to see the film...

11/03/2011

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The Los Angeles Times

Kenneth Turan

Though the differing ways Plame and Wilson responded to the White House attack and how those differences impacted their marriage is true, it just isn't compelling. This despite excellent work by "Bourne Identity" director Liman (who did his own cinematography) in his best "All the President's Men" mode and one of the finest performances of Watts' career.

05/11/2010

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The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

Fair Game works best as a political thriller, a chilling portrait of the Bush/Cheney administration and the dirty tricks and deceptions it carried out. Newsreels of the president’s so-called factual case for war leave you feeling duped. It’s the private drama of what happens when Plame is exposed that comes across as thin.

13/03/2011

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Variety

Justin Chang

Another slightly dated attack on the Bush administration's mishandling of Iraq, "Fair Game" serves up impeccable politics with a bit too much righteous outrage and not quite enough solid drama.

20/05/2010

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

Fair Game is never quite as thrilling as it should be, though, mainly because the treatment of the WMD issue is so simplistic, however heartily you might agree with it.

13/03/2011

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

There are so many distortions within the movie, but space does not allow me to recount them here. Suffice to say, whenever the Hollywood Left tries to sell you a conspiracy theory, it is a good idea to check the facts out yourself.

11/03/2011

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

It is a movie with right on its side, and never was that right proclaimed more shrilly or more smugly, or with a more obtuse insistence on privileging soft-focus personal drama over political relevance. It is complacent and fatuous in a way that only a preeningly well-intentioned Hollywood drama can be.

10/03/2011

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