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Fair Game (2010)

Naomi Watts , Sean Penn , Doug Liman  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Sonya Davison
  • Directors: Doug Liman
  • Writers: Jez Butterworth
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Summit Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,408 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fair Game" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the director of The Bourne Identity comes this riveting thriller inspired by the experiences of real-life CIA officer Valerie Plame (Academy Award® nominee Naomi Watts). When Plame's retired ambassador husband Joe Wilson (played by Academy Award® winner Sean Penn) writes a newspaper article challenging the basis for the U.S. war on Iraq, the White House leaks Plame s undercover status leaving her international contacts vulnerable, her career in shambles and her life in danger. Crackling with sharp dialogue, gripping intrigue and heart-pounding suspense, Fair Game is the adventure that s so unbelievable, it can only be real

The skullduggery surrounding the Valerie Plame affair is already the stuff of an espionage thriller, even if at the time of the making of Fair Game many details of the incident remained murky. Naomi Watts plays Plame, a longtime CIA agent whose classified status was exposed to the world by columnist Robert Novak in 2003. The move was widely seen as retaliation for the fact that Plame's husband, diplomat Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn), had just written an op-ed piece contradicting an assertion in President Bush's State of the Union address--an assertion that was part of the Bush administration's drum-beating enthusiasm for the Iraq War. The movie can't answer all the questions about who wanted Plame exposed, but at the least it could create a convincing piece of Beltway intrigue. Instead, Fair Game steers in the direction of domestic melodrama, as the marriage between Plame and Wilson is severely tested by the unwanted notoriety. It's not that the actors are unable to bring this situation to life; Penn is forceful (and he cleverly suggests the vanity of a longtime cocktail-party maven), while Watts, though quite capable, is somewhat frozen by her character's mixed, ambivalent reactions. The main problem is simply that these relationship scenes tip the balance, as though the Plame-Wilson marriage carried greater weight than allegations of weapons of mass destruction and the ramp-up to the Iraq War. Meanwhile, director Doug Liman tries to whip up some spy-movie "energy" with lots of noise and cutting, all of which feels increasingly hollow as the movie goes along. A calmer, cleaner documentary on the same subject might do a superior job someday. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling spy thriller and domestic drama November 22, 2010
Remember Joe Wilson, the man who called a US President a liar?

No, I don't mean the Congressman from South Carolina who shouted out a spontaneous "You Lie!" at President Barack Obama during the State of the Union address. I'm referring to Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson who wrote a New York Times editorial entitled "What I Didn't Find In Africa" contradicting President George W. Bush regarding the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

"Fair Game" relates to the latter Joe Wilson (played by Sean Penn), who served as a diplomat in Africa during the 1990's and was asked to visit Niger prior to the Iraqi war to determine if there was yellowcake uranium there. Ambassador Wilson did not find the uranium on his visit and when the President referred to the uranium being there, he wrote a contradiction.

As a result of that contradiction, Wilson's wife CIA agent Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) was determined to be 'fair game' by the Bush Administration. Her cover was blown and the operations she engaged in were all scrapped, including getting Iraqi nuclear scientists who had been involved in Iraq's nuclear program before it was destroyed during a previous US invasion and their families free from their war-torn country.

The film's a tightly paced combination spy thriller and domestic drama. On one hand, you see the front page news of "Plamegate". Valerie's discredited and her career is dismantled. She goes from being a well-traveled agent with highly critical projects to 'a secretary' or a 'low level flunky' depending on what you read.

On the other, you see the Wilson homelife unraveling. The idealistic Joe is counterpointed strongly by his realistic wife as the country turns against them both.
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88 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fair Game Review February 22, 2011

STARRING: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Ty Burrell, Brooke Smith, Thomas McCarthy, Jessica Hecht, Noah Emmerich, Bruce McGill and Sam Shepard

WRITTEN BY: Jez Butterworth and John Henry Butterworth; based on the books, The Politics of Truth, by Joseph Wilson, and Fair Game by Valerie Plame


Rated: PG - 13
Genre: Drama
Release Date: 05 November 2010
Review Date: 09 November 2010

A very rewarding and not highly practiced treat in cinema, is sitting down in your seat at a theater and having no idea what kind of movie you're about to watch; not the premise, not the rating, not the genre.

I've been fortunate to do this a few times and it can be awesome. If you're wondering how you can do this, well - every once in a while for whatever reason, a studio will release a film with A-list talent but only put it in a selected handful of theaters across the country. As such was the case for me when I drove 15 miles to see Fair Game at my city's `artsy' theater, knowing only that it was the new Sean Penn.

I was also surprised to learn at the film's close, that it was based very largely on a true story. Fair Game shows a couple who was sabotaged by the media when they exposed that the government had blatantly lied about where Iraq may or may not have gotten their supposed nuclear warheads, way back at the brink of the Iraq war.

Now before you get all fussy due to the touchy political subject matter, RELAX. I'm a proud American and served in the Military and I didn't find the film offensive.
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84 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Political Film Triumph February 9, 2011
Fair Game is one of the best politically themed films in quite some time - an equally riveting and well told story of the Bush administration's leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity to the general public. I highly recommend this movie no matter what side of the political spectrum you are on - if for nothing more than two see the two Oscar-worthy performances of Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. The movie is great, and the final sequence of the film is one of the year's best.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD OLD FASHIONED D.C. COVER-UP May 28, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I watched the Valerie Plame hearing on TV when it was shown. What got us in the Iraq war amoung other things was what had been done to the Wilsons when Joe Wilson wrote his op-ed about Niger not selling anything to Saddam Huessen. This goes into more of their behind the scenes life & how Joe Wilson fought what the G.W. Bush admin was putting out especially V.P. Cheney. But even though Cheney was behind it all & "Scooter" Libby took the fall for him & when Scooter was sentenced, Bush IMMEDIATELY pardoned him before he even spent a day in prison (he did pay a $250.000.00 fine & lost his Lawyers license) but they in my estimation WERE THE WINNERS. Joe Wilson & Valerie Plame came out clean but the administration was raked over the coals. At the end of the movie it shows Valerie Plame walking into the Capital to testify---that was her. IF YOU WANT TO LEARN HOW OUR GOVERNMENT CAN TURN LIES INTO THE TRUTH----YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS MOVIE. BUSH HAD SAID ON TV WHEN THEY "OUTED" HER THAT IF ANYONE IN HIS ADMINISTRATION HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT HE WOULD FIRE THEM. YOU GUESSED IT------NO ONE WAS FIRED---ANOTHER LIE STRAIGHT FROM THE PRESIDENT IN REAL TIME. So enjoy the movie---it's good.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Story of Treachery from the Top
Excellent movie-well made and well acted. A documentary of the the lies that led the Western world to invade Iraq.
Published 6 days ago by Tim Burton
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A good watch
Published 1 month ago by Walter C. Walker
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat entertaining.
Was a little disappointed in the characters. Will need to read the book to see how true to the story it is.
Published 1 month ago by ZONA GRAY-BLAIR
4.0 out of 5 stars Be afraid America.
This film gives a pretty good indication of how the politicians in government service manipulate other government agencies for their agendas.
Be afraid America. Read more
Published 1 month ago by DEFINATIVE PRODUCT SEARCHER
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst of the worst Hollywood left wing propaganda
The worst of the worst Hollywood left wing propaganda. Totally told by a one sided view point. Even had Plame at the beginning pretending her and her husband are American heroes. Read more
Published 1 month ago by pd
5.0 out of 5 stars Well made and acted.
I thought this might turn into a "Bush bash" but they managed to avoid going there. We really enjoyed the movie and plan to watch it again.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Peoples
5.0 out of 5 stars ok
its a good movie i liked you see this movie and later see green zone with matt damon and you understand the begining of iraq WAR!!!
Published 2 months ago by angel m reyes ayala
5.0 out of 5 stars powerful movie and an eye opener. I'm sure we ...
powerful movie and an eye opener. I'm sure we don't know half what's going on in our own government. What people won't do for money and POWER.
Published 2 months ago by Nina L W
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, and honest
A troubling and accurate portrayal of events surrounding a presidency that many of us would like to think was better than it really was. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Waterman Digital Media
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