The Pentagon Papers
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Very little of the movie happens in the Watergate time-frame from which we know Ellberg's name. Most instead covers the ten years (roughly 1963-1973) during which he reached the point of thinking the most patriotic act he could take was to release top-secret Department of Defense material about the Vietnam war. It's an engrossing exploration of the great questions: what is duty? to whom do we owe loyalty?
Nothing explodes, except during a few striking, necessary scenes in Vietnam. Thanks be for intelligent film-making.
If you are a fan of James Spader, this film is a must...as he is at his best here. For anyone interested in a good story, based on true events, this movie is worth a look!
For those of us who watched with jaws dropped as Congress voted nearly unanimously to support the war, the movie brings back in vivid detail the times from the late 60's. I appreciate that it brought out the personal inner turmoil of a man who was initially a "hawk" (because he felt that Communism must be stopped), but who became convinced that the Viet Nam War was wrong and that he needed to do something to stop it, even at the risk of being tried for treason.
Having lived in Washington throughout the entire Watergate affair, leaving a week or two after Nixon, I really appreciate the delicious irony of the fact that Nixon was so anxious to discredit Ellsburg that he had his "Watergate Burglers" break into Ellsburg's psychiatrist office and steal his file. It was this contamination of due process that resulted in Ellsburg's trial being thrown out of court.
This movie is a must-see for any student of democracy, and any American who is under 45....
It is a clear and even moving account of Daniel Ellsberg, and his transformation from a gung-ho military analyst to the foremost opponent of the Vietnam War.
It does a great job in making his evolution believable.
The acting is good. James Spader is robotic, but that's appropriate to Ellsberg himself. Paul Giamatti is great as his also-evolving colleague. Claire Forlani begins better than she ends; toward the end of the movie she seems to be simply going through the motions--her performance lacks fire and sincerity. The woman who plays Ellsberg's first wife, however, is sensational.
Several nice touches:
The quick cuts between historical footage and what is happening in the film are seamless and powerful.
The scenes in Vietnam are a revelation.
The take on Nixon's thugs (Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell) is astonishing.
An informative, powerful film.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good movie. I didn't know about this story. As usual, James Spader rocked!Published 1 month ago by Sherry C. Cotten
Another must-see miracle re-enactment. Really does not pull any punches. Spader is a genius actor.Published 1 month ago by AlchemystAZ
James Spade who is an excellent actor made The Pentagon Papers a great movie.Published 4 months ago by Carole Broskoskie
I love James Spader and like everything he does, this movie is great! It's based on a true story and he does a great job in this dramatic role.Published 10 months ago by Jennifer DeBord
It was interesting to be reminded of what went on during the Watergate period. I'm still not convinced that it wasn't a little slanted, however.Published 12 months ago by Bunnylulu
I was pleased at how honest the key charcters were in sticking to the powerful truth of the story. We would all do well to watch this and remember the blatant arogance of those... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Bradley G. Mastin