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"Fair Game" combines strong performances and compelling drama with a very personal look into the abuse of power in government
aschein8112 November 2010
One of the major events that President George W. Bush will undoubtedly be remembered for in history will be his decision to declare war on Iraq in 2003. If we recall back to early 2003 when the administration was laying out its reasons for invading Iraq, the one most marketed to the American public was the idea that Saddam Hussein was in the process of creating chemical or nuclear weapons, which he would then give to terrorists who could then use them to attack American cities. Of course, soon after the war began it was discovered that these weapons either never existed or no longer existed, and to this day no one in the CIA or federal government has been able to explain how the intelligence community could have gotten it so wrong.

"Fair Game" places itself right in the middle of these controversial events between 2002 and 2004, and is told through the eyes of CIA Agent Valerie Plame (played very convincingly by Naomi Watts) and her husband, United Nations Ambassador Joe Wilson (played fiercely by the always great Sean Penn). The film's story follows how Plame goes from patriotic CIA agent diligently doing her job overseas to suddenly having her identity made public after her husband uncovered false information about a nuclear development sale between Iraq and Niger. This false information about a uranium sale between these two countries is important because it was implied as factual when Bush was listing information about Iraq during his State of The Union Speech in early 2003.

As the film starts, Plame and Wilson appear to be a very loving couple with a very strong marriage - they even have 2 small children who live with them in the D.C. area. Plame is busy traveling covertly to countries in The Middle East to shake her fist at people whom might have ties to terrorists, while Wilson is back at home, often finding himself in heated arguments with friends at the dinner table whom hold a different opinions from his own. Both Plame and Wilson appear to be relatively non-political civilians working peacefully and dutifully for the federal government - until the Bush administration decides that the country should invade Iraq. After Wilson criticizes the administration's faulty information publicly, Plame is then fired from her job, and much of the rest of the film focuses on how the couple's marriage is stressed because of what is transpiring all over the media. People harass them often when they go out, as Wilson makes rounds on the media circuit to try to restore his name. The film has a little bit of a soap-operish feel to it during the 2nd half in that it is mostly focused on the couple's relationship, but the acting performances by Watts and Penn are just so sharp that they make up for some of the film's small flaws when it comes to storytelling. There is also a small subplot involving a family in Iraq connected with Plame's counter-proliferation efforts that should have been either developed more or left out entirely, as that is the weakest part of the film - but fortunately those scenes are relatively few in the entire film.

Aside from the acting, another of the film's strengths is how it never gets too preachy towards the Bush administration, but rather focuses on the facts of what unfairly happened to Plame and Wilson from their own points of view. In fact, no actor plays Bush or Cheney in the film - we only see a few clips of the real Bush and Cheneys giving speeches on TV screens for a matter of seconds. Scooter Libby (portrayed a bit villainously by David Andrews) is seen in a few short scenes as a swindler who tries to convince CIA employees into manipulating the intelligence the way he sees it, but his characterization is very subtle, rather than as an in your face bad guy. Doug Liman's direction is also fairly fast-paced to make sure the film never gets too bogged down in pointless scenes. Even though it is very talky and dialogue-driven, the narrative keeps moving forward at a crisp pace - at least if audience members are adults without ADD (and I think it's pretty fair to say that this movie isn't marketed for the Transformers or Twilight crowd...) The film generally works very well both as an entertaining drama, spy thriller, and an educational lesson. Moreover, it's an intelligent reminder to the public of how people in positions in power in government will often stop at nothing to achieve their desired goals, even if that means illegally abusing their power through misinformation, manipulation, and character assassination. As citizens we should constantly be questioning our leaders and their motives, as well as keeping them honest and holding them accountable whenever they they violate our trust.

On a final note, I have to say that I find it very refreshing to see a film like this that has a woman in a very intelligent leading role, rather than how Hollywood films usually stereotype females in formulaic romantic comedies. It seems like women in major roles usually have their sappy characters obsessing about trying to find a man and buying shoes, with some slapstick and comedy at the dinner table with their parents thrown in as well (a.k.a. chick flicks). It's either that or the female characters get almost zero screen time, where they are relegated to simply being the cute girlfriend sidekick. It's nice to see movies like this allow womens' dramatic acting talents to shine and allow us to see them as complex, real characters.
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You're a good agent. But it's over.
supah7910 March 2011
Those were the words of Valerie Plame's superior right before he fired her. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do. If you cross paths with the most powerful people in the world: you get broken in half. It's that simple. Fair Game is my kind of movie: real characters, real people, real events. This movie confirms everything I already knew or suspected, but this is powerful stuff. If you ever felt overwhelmed or helpless: try these guy's shoes for a week in that awful period between 2003 and 2005.

Hollywood is getting out of it's shell after the 2000-2008 period in which the Hawk's reintroduced a period of McCarthyism. Hollywood became a propaganda machine for Bush: 'Support the troops, don't you love America?' I still see the images of the speech at the Oscars Michael Moore gave: "Shame on you Mr. President". The room booed and cheered at the same time, but the front row with every A-list actor you can think of, sat quiet and didn't move. They said nothing. Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame did not stay quiet. It's hard to comprehend that these events didn't happen 50 years ago. They happened less than 10 years ago. The White House created a smokescreen that very few people could see through. Those who did were outnumbered and slaughtered. Thank God for the educational purposes of cinema.

The Green Zone, Body of Lies and such are movies which tried to point out the errors in foreign policies, but Fair Game says it out loud: they wanted a war and the would stop at nothing to get it. Destroy anything or anyone who gets in the way. Most members of that White House got a slap on the wrist and are now giving $100.000 lectures.

Doug Liman has made his best movie yet. He has now made my list of accomplished directors. It's topnotch on a technical level and at a dramatic level. Liman leaves out any information the viewer knows or should be able to piece together for themselves. The script got me from start to finish. So did the actors.

No, there not much wrong with this movie. That's why it pains me that it bombed at the box-office. These kinda movies should be celebrated for their courage. But no, movies like Inception get all the attention. And nobody cares over hundreds of thousands civilians died because of the Iraq-war.
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Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it...
dennispublic30 January 2011
First of all: I'm not an American, so I have no interest in any of the left wing vs right wing political immaturity that goes on there. And since I'm being honest: if this film was a work of fiction - it wouldn't have been that great, maybe a 6/10 IMDb rating.

What makes this film absolutely mind blowing is that this stuff actually happened. Wow! You can argue the little details if you wish, but the bulk of this is public record and you're not kidding anyone. This gets an 8/10 on IMDb from me because it's non-fiction and it's a very very important story.

The war in Iraq was a crime and the guilty should be required to watch this movie, a few times. How many thousands of lives could have been saved? Feel shame and learn from your mistakes. Get mad! Don't ever be fooled like this again!!!

Frankly this movie should be shown in schools for the next 100 years - it should be considered required viewing in History classes. I think it's important that this little piece of the past is not swept under the rug anytime soon. I praise the makers of this film, I praise Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame.

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it - so cherish this 108 minute reminder of America's greatest mistake.
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Riveting from start to finish - a must see
phd_travel25 January 2011
This is an amazingly well put together movie. The screenplay is totally understandable. One of the best films about the process of going in to the Iraq War and the use of information at the time. I was superficially familiar with Plame's story but did not realize how vital her and her husband's work was in relation to the Iraq war.

Naomi Watts does a very good job. She doesn't overact but you can see her vulnerability and passion. She blends into the role so well that unlike Nicole Kidman you don't think of a movie star acting but you focus on the story. Virginia Madsen looks more like Valerie Plame but unfortunately is now too old. Sean Penn is a bit too unattractive for the role but his acting ability makes up for it.

The production is top notch with an authentic on location feel to it.

Valerie Plame's story has to be told in this movie form so everyone can learn about what happened to her. It is a great story about the life of a CIA operative and it's toll on family life. It also is a great story about how the most patriotic acts can be so difficult to carry out in the face of unjust opposition.

The movie really deserves some big award nominations.
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Redressing a small but nasty piece of political bastardry
Philby-39 January 2011
In retrospect, the George "Dubyah" Bush administration seems to have been more incompetent than evil, but this movie holds the Bushies to account for what was a completely malicious and unjustified act, the outing of the covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, which put numerous undercover operations and informants at risk, solely because her husband former Ambassador Joe Wilson IV had the temerity to dissent publicly from the White House line that the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had tried to buy uranium from Niger for bomb-making purposes. It is also evident that the CIA's soundly based advice that Saddam's bomb-making activities had ceased after the first Gulf War in 1991 was studiously ignored by the White House in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The actual leaker, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage got away scot-free, a crucial matter not discussed in the film , but "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Chaney's chief of staff carried the can and nearly spent 30 months inside for lying to investigators before being pardoned by the President. The film focuses on Libby and implies he was the leaker, acting with the knowledge of Karl Rove, the man who described Valerie Plame as "fair game", and Vice President Cheney.

Director Doug Liman is best known as a producer of thrillers ("Bourne Ultimation" etc) but here he and the Butterworths (Jez and John Henry) as scriptwriters have focused not only on the political intrigue but also the effect the Bushies' bastardry had on Joe and Valerie's personal lives. This gives some great acting possibilities to Sean Penn as Joe and our very own Naomi Watts as Valerie, and they both rise to the occasion, although Sean Penn might be a little self-righteous for some tastes. The personal impact aside, what the leakers did was a good deal worse than anything Julian Assange has done, and it is ironic that some of the conservative commentators who tried to discredit Joe and Valerie are now in the front line of those attacking the Wikileaks founder.

Regardless of the politics, this movie is entertaining enough to pass the watch test despite some dodgy hand-held photography. Near the end Valerie has a meeting with a very senior CIA officer glimpsed earlier, on a park bench in front of the White House. This man, played by Bruce McGill, bears a remarkable physical resemblance to the then director of the CIA, George Tenet. He warns her that she and Joe are up against the most powerful men in the world and asks her to stay silent for the sake of the agency. Valerie points out the agency won't even give her family any protection against death threats, to which Tenet, if that's who it's meant to be, merely shrugs his shoulders. What are the film makers trying to say here - that the agency doesn't look after its own?

Both Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame were patriots and, I believe, from Republican backgrounds. This did not bother the leakers who clearly couldn't care less who they hurt in the propaganda battle over the Iraqi invasion they were determined to launch. This film is based on two books by Joe and Valerie so I suppose it is a somewhat partisan account. Nevertheless it is hard to imagine a film treatment justifying what was done to them. George Bush in his memoirs mentions the Libby pardon issue but is otherwise silent on who did what. Never mind, his place in history as one of the lesser presidents is assured.
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War and Spin ... then the result?
Nemesis4211 April 2011
War. Media. Spin. Economics.

We must be reminded that the media is a scathing dog, a venomous snarler that can be fighting for you or against you. The witnesses to this battle of info-rage get brainwashed, we get brainwashed, and become the court of public opinion.

While the movie does not address the reasons the war was started, it brilliantly displays how official bullshit can be thrown over us like a comforting shroud, and that shroud can stimulate our anger as well as justify our anger.

Brilliantly performed by Sean Penn and the beautiful Naomi Watts. I am humbled by their talent and dedication. I am humored by the desperate IMDb rants of those whom still think the war was a 'good' thing - I say to you ranters, wake up for your own good :)

Governments lie, don't forget it.
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Great Game
corrosion-222 October 2010
Fair Game follows in the tradition of All The President's Men as presenting a probing look into an important political issue in the form of a crackling thriller. Director Doug Liman uses his Bourne Identity/Mr & Mrs Smith skills to move the true story of exposure of Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts), the wife of US senator Joe Wilson (Sean Penn), as a CIA undercover agent by the Bush Administration at breakneck speed. Plame's research based on her contacts in Iraq had put serious doubts on the existence of WMD in Iraq, which was not in line with White House's view point. They thus considered her "fair game" for discrediting and public exposure. Fair Game is fascinating for all those interested in the mechanism of power and use/abuse of it; and is also a riveting piece of film making. In my view it's Liman's best film to date.
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Political Identity
jonnyhavey9 December 2010
"Fair Game" is a film directed by Doug Liman ("The Bourne Identity," "Mr. and Mrs. Smith") based on the memoir "Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House" by Valerie Plame. Sean Penn is back after taking a two-year acting break since his second Best Acting Oscar for "Milk" in 2008. He plays the character of Politician Joe Wilson alongside Naomi Watts' portrayal of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Together these two tell the true story behind the weapons of mass destruction scare in 2002 and 2003 in Iraq that ultimately lead the United States to war. Valerie Plame is in the middle of the investigation of WMDs in Iraq. In order to learn more about the possible WMDs the government has Valerie's husband Joe travel as an ambassador to Niger in order to get information about the sale of uranium from Niger to Iraq. Joe learns that there is not going to be a sale but the government twists the story. After viewing the State of the Union Address Joe Wilson decides to write an article in the New York Times stating the truth behind what he found in Niger challenging the White House directly. In response, the government declassifies Valerie's status as a CIA agent making her "Fair Game" and putting her directly in the public eye in order to bring shame to her husband and her family. This sparks a fire within Joe to fight the White House, but also begins to tear him and his wife apart.

"Fair Game" allows Naomi Watts and Sean Penn to let loose and take over the screen with their acting talents. Watts doe a very good job with her role portrayal of hard shelled Valerie Plame. She is able to create the stubborn exterior of Plame while showing her emotional side deep within. Congratulations is in order for her being able to stand out while on screen with Hollywood superstar and Academy favorite Sean Penn. All of the talk about the film has been directed towards Watts as Oscar season approaches, but it would be no surprise if Penn receives an Oscar birth as well. He is phenomenal in the film creating a very unique character breaking through the clichés that could have been. Both of these actors are able to give the film heart and show the strength that the couple had in order to fight the corrupt government sector leading to the fall of Scooter Libby.

The film is slow to start as the back story is built however, while the characters of Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson are developed completely all of the other characters seem to be left behind. They come off as just walking through the motions making it very hard to connect and differentiate between them. This can be attributed to one of two things. Either the acting is less than adequate, or there are so many characters that Watts interacts with at the CIA it are hard to put a name with any of the faces.

"Fair Game" is a political thriller that needed to be made. However, it is your job as the audience to reach out and see it because of its limited film release. Go see it now in order to learn about the story and note that a Best Picture Oscar nomination may be waiting for this dark horse of this year's award season.
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Fact and fiction balanced with terrific performances
dvc515921 December 2010
From the opening scene in Malaysia to the mines of Niger and then to the streets of Baghdad, "Fair Game" begins as an espionage thriller, a "Bourne" film without the obligatory car chases, shootouts and fights, but rather, with a woman who uses her brains and intellect.

Once the film shifts its focus back in the United States of America, the film takes a slight turn to the dramatic route and thus may seem melodramatic with this married people's lives being tinkered with and with no one but each other to help them. Having said that, "Fair Game" (no, not that dreadful Cindy Crawford/William Baldwin cheeseball) is a remarkably well-crafted political thriller that is driven home with outstanding, terrific performances by both Naomi Watts and especially Sean Penn.

Whether you believe the many questions posed in the film are truth or merely lies (whether the agency really did take that drastic measure to cover up what the government did not want to hear to prevent the war... or is this all propaganda from the start?), I really can't say, because this happened in another country far away from my home, so I have no right to say whose side I'm on.

Watts plays CIA agent Valerie Plame whose cover gets blown and who gets blamed for the leak of wrong information to the White House, who uses said information to invade Iraq. Is this all true? Suppose it is, given that the news footage of both at-the-time President Bush and Vice President Cheney look strikingly foreshadowing when compared to the events in the movie - this is meant to provoke outrage at the government's so-called "ignorance and stupidity" so they say, so what? I'm not saying anything to make myself sound like I'm on the wrong line, nor am I saying anything to disprove the film's "facts" either. I'm just stating that this is a great drama, no matter what you believe.

See, the thing with drama is that fact can and will be fictionalized so that it may be accepted easily by the ever-interested audience. "Fair Game" may be slow-paced and devoid of action sequences ala Doug Liman's previous blockbuster efforts, but here not a moment lost my interest, even the dramatic ones between Watts and Penn, as they ignite the screen with fiery performances, as this political scandal isn't only affecting their jobs and their reputations, it's also affecting their love life. And it's crumbling as things go from bad to worse in this film.

Watts is superb in this film. In the beginning she acts very convincingly as a strong, determined, iron-willed woman, mother, and wife who is very confident about herself and not willing to push into any demand that comes at her way. Later after the scandal is spread she slowly but surely devolves into a woman that is filling with desperation and fear, until she nearly loses control of her downward spiral. Ditto with Sean Penn here. He is absolutely mesmerizing, as always, as Plame's husband Ambassador Joe Wilson. Soft spoken and charming when he needs to, but when he's angry he makes everyone feel the rage without becoming too overdone. Wilson as portrayed by Penn is a character who's not about to let this scandal get in the way of his family, so he decides to clear his and his wife's name by using the media and criticizing the government. Of course, his wife isn't happy about this and it causes more tension between them. Penn and Watts show terrific chemistry together that hasn't been lost since "21 Grams" and both of them vividly portray not politicians trying to get the truth, but rather more of a family trying to pull themselves together. So it's not entirely an espionage thriller like this film was sadly marketed as. The supporting actors are also great in their own right.

This film does pose a lot of questions that make one think during the movie about the purpose and cause of the Iraq war, the invasion and more importantly, the power and impact the US government has on their own people and the various ways they can abuse it on them to get whatever they want. And this is proved with the decaying lives of Plame and Wilson from American citizens to branded traitors. You can't imagine how they really felt, but Penn and Watts come really, REALLY close to it.

The film has it's flaws, though. The pacing could be a little bit tighter and the dialog in Iraq doesn't sound genuinely Iraqi. However, Doug Liman's direction is enough to keep the tension gripping and the film focused on the characters and not just glimpses of the war and scandal themselves. John Powell's music score is refreshingly low-key and it suits the dramatic mood of the film even better. Liman's cinematography (pulling a double duty here) is nicely framed without excessive style to it, making it simple, easy to watch, and gripping. Editing is fluid and the screenplay is written very well with equal amounts of intelligence and emotions.

In short, this is a superbly fine drama of the lives of the people in the limelight of this political scandal, with terrific performances and strong direction worthy of a theater ticket. Go see this movie and savor the performances and the question of the US government on its own people.

I find it strangely coincidental that the filmmakers from the "Jason Bourne" series both released movies this year that criticize the Bush administration. Doug Liman made this film, while Paul Greengrass made the slightly superior "Green Zone" and even managed to bring star Matt Damon with him. Composer John Powell scored both films. You can think of this movie as a companion piece to "Green Zone", hell, you can imagine the events in both movies happening at the same time. Now THAT would be a wicked idea.

Overall rating: 80/100
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Lives Destroyed by the Farce about the MDW in Iraq
claudio_carvalho7 August 2011
Valerie Plame Wilson (Naomi Watts) is a woman with double life: she is the wife of the former Ambassador Joe Wilson (Sean Penn) and mother of two children. But she is also and efficient CIA Operations Officer working in the Nonproliferation Center and in charge of several operations.

In 2003, when Bush administration manipulates the information relative to massive destruction weapons to justify the invasion of Iraq, Joe Wilson writes an article in the New York Times criticizing the government and telling that the intelligence research had been manipulated. In reprisal, the government leaks Valerie's identity to discredit Joe, affecting their professional and private lives and almost destroying their marriage.

"Fair Game" is a bold film about the life of Valerie Plame Wilson, who has had her life destroyed by Bush administration in part of the farce about the existence of massive destruction weapons in Iraq to justify the invasion of that nation. But it seems that later the Wilson family wrote two books and won lawsuits against members of the government and they might have resolved their lives at least financially speaking.

The film glances also at the lives of Iraqi scientists that trusted on Valerie and were murdered by the Iraqi secret service, but does not show the fate of the civilian population that had their country bombed and invaded due to a farce. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Jogos de Poder" ("Power Game")
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A powerful film that forces us to relive the outrage
howard.schumann14 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
One of the key ingredients in President George W. Bush's campaign to convince the American people of the necessity of invading Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein from power was the sixteen lines in his January 28, 2003 State of the Union address in which he claimed that "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," presumably to build a nuclear bomb. Though the CIA and the State Department told the White House that this was not good intelligence, by repeating this false statement, Bush was able to push through a vote in Congress to authorize the war in Iraq, warning of "mushroom clouds" over American cities.

Directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) and based on books written by covert CIA operative Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) and her husband, former diplomat Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn), Fair Game is a hard hitting political thriller about events leading up to the Iraq War of 2003 that dramatizes the Bush Administration's eagerness to convince Americans that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that were a threat to our national security. Though partly fictionalized, the film points to many real events and uses the actual names of the participants involved with the exception of the invented exiled Iraqi doctor (Liraz Charhi) Valerie recruits and her brother (Khaled Nabawy), a scientist living in Baghdad.

Fair Game survives a confusing opening hour that shows events around the globe from Kuaka Lumpur, to Amman, Jordan, to Cairo, Egypt and Cleveland, Ohio in its effort to establish that Plame, a hardened CIA spy for 18 years, worked in secret on a mission to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Though Plame did work in that capacity, depiction of events that take place abroad in the film's first hour are imagined since Plame's real work in the CIA is classified, though Liman claims that credible scenarios were pieced together from interviews with other sources.

Plame hides her secret life by telling friends that she is working as a venture capitalist, and even her husband knows little of her whereabouts and what exactly she is working on. Liman describes the Wilson's home life including their relationship with their two small children and reminds us how difficult it was for both spouses. According to the script by Jez Butterworth and his brother John-Henry, Plame is soon asked to lead a special Task Force to ascertain the legitimacy of reports that Niger has sold 50 tons of "yellowcake" uranium ore to Saddam Hussein. Consequently, her husband, Joe Wilson, a former US diplomat in both Niger and Iraq and knowledgeable about Niger, was dispatched with Valerie's approval to Africa to investigate.

Wilson, in reporting back to the CIA on his mission, established to his and the agency's satisfaction that not only were these reports false, but it would have been impossible for Niger to make such a uranium sale. The White House was informed by the CIA of this fact in March 2002, 10 months before the president's speech. In a July 6 opinion piece for the New York Times, Wilson wrote: "Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." He added that, given the administration's rejection of his and the CIA's analysis "because it did not fit certain preconceptions about Iraq, then a legitimate argument can be made that we went to war under false pretenses." Shortly thereafter, Wilson's wife Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA spy was exposed in a column written by Richard Novak, a reporter friendly to the White House. Though the reason behind the exposure is not known with certainty, Wilson claimed that Karl Rove told reporters that outing Plame in the newspaper was "fair game", and the former diplomat calls his wife's exposure an act of political reprisal for the piece critical of the White House. Whatever the motive, it was a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and led to the appointment of a special prosecutor and the indictment and sentencing of Cheney's Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, a sentence commuted by President Bush.

With Valerie's cover blown, she is dismissed by the C.I.A. called a traitor by sycophants in the media, threatened with death by phone calls to her Washington, D.C. home, and rejected by her friends who ask her if she carries a gun and has she ever killed anyone? Plame is reluctant to go public but her husband willingly talks on TV shows to clear their names and bring to light the administration's chicanery. This public display, however, threatens the stability of their marriage as Wilson attempts to convince his wife to speak out but is met with strong resistance.

The turning point, according to the film, is Valerie's visit to her parents, especially when her father (Sam Shepard), a retired Air Force officer, convinces her that loyalty to one's country can work both ways. Labeled as "inspired by real events" and told from the viewpoint of Plame and Wilson with events in the White House taken from actual court transcripts, Fair Game is a timely reminder of the abuse of governmental power and the lives of innocent people that are caught in the crosswinds. Though the film's second half feels strangely rushed and incomplete, Fair Game is a powerful film that forces us to relive the outrage of those days when government deception was an everyday occurrence.
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Fact, fiction and vice versa
roastmary-14 December 2010
An outrageous act that the perpetrators managed to get away with it, in fact this particular perpetrators got away with more than anyone in recent history. Scooter Libby, guilty as hell himself became the protective shield of the Vice President. We all know that, so how is it possible that nothing has been done about it? Joe Wilson and Valerie Plane are the attractive protagonists of this thriller that looks and feels like a work of fiction. They are played by the wonderful Sean Penn and Naomi Watts, although the hand held camera and the digital thing worked against them, She looks as if suffering from some kind of skin ailment. David Andrews is great as Scooter Libby. Horrid. The director, however, should have been the Costa Gavras of "Z" or "State Of Siege" Fair Game doesn't go deep enough. If you don't know about it, you'll be very confused and won't be as outraged as one should be. I followed the outraged as it played on the Cable News networks, in the papers and on line, that's why I wanted more from the film but I'm glad it was made and I hope it tickles the curiosity of the naturally indifferent to awaken a truly patriotic sense of disgust.
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A good adaptation of the Valerie Plame scandal.
lewiskendell6 April 2011
"When did the question move from 'Why are we going to war?' to 'Who is this man's wife?'"

Fair Game takes the huge media storm of a few years ago surrounding the leaked identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, and focuses on the strain placed on her and her family by the intentional exposure of her identity by government officials in retaliation for her husband's infamous New York Times op-ed piece. 

Movies based on actual, heavily politically-charged events usually aren't my thing, but Naomi Watts as Valerie and Sean Penn as her husband really do an excellent job of conveying this serious, and at times troubling, story. Watts portrays Plame as an intelligent and capable woman who is easy to sympathize with. As she's effectively blocked out from her job at the CIA and her personal life begins to swiftly unravel, she keeps a steely resolve that's wholly believable. And while Sean Penn doesn't have to stretch far for his character, he also makes him feel like a genuine person. Great acting from them both to compliment the solid script. 

Anyone even casually interested in the Valerie Plame scandal should check this out, as it's a pretty darn good (and thought-provoking) adaptation of a dark time in our country's recent history. 
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Fair Game deserves a fair shot (there are spoilers, few should be spoiled)
alerter4 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Fair Game may not do well in the US, despite being Doug Liman's best directorial effort to date. If that's the case (I hope not), it'll be the fault of American audiences' inability to deal with the condensed truth of Jez Butterworth's screenplay, derived from the individual memoirs of Valerie Plame and her husband Joseph Wilson. I almost didn't see FG myself.

Those who somehow knew next to nothing about the larger, global context of what came to be known as the Plame Affair/Plamegate, were dumbstruck.

Even though I knew the facts and long ago decided that something seriously wrong had happened, at the conclusion of FG, applause was the furthest thing from my mind.

FG left me feeling freshly mugged -- mentally, emotionally and Constitutionally.

Headline factoids are drilled down to a personal level, without jettisoning the larger context.

Valerie Plame is a veteran CIA NOC operative, tasked with global nuclear counter-proliferation. The details of Plame's gritty human intelligence work fuels the thriller side of the story, debunking spy mythology. She's recruiting/turning assets and running ops with life-and-death stakes. None of these details as depicted are facts, because Plame hasn't revealed specifics about her classified CIA work. Liman claims that credible scenarios were pieced together from interviews with other sources, who spoke hypothetically. It's riveting stuff.

VP Cheney tasks the CIA with a "DFU" mission to investigate reports that Saddam's Iraq has purchased 500 tons of yellowcake uranium from Niger. Someone must be sent into Niger, who knows how that government and its uranium mining industry work, to see if there is credible evidence that this transaction took place.

-REDACTED- in DCI suggests that Plame's husband, former US Ambassador to Niger, Joe Wilson, is an ideal candidate for the job. Plame is asked to write up Wilson's qualifications. The decision to send Wilson is made by people several pay grades higher.

Wilson agrees to conduct a fact-finding mission about the yellowcake. This isn't clandestine; it's diplomatic. He goes to Niger as an unpaid patriot, works contacts, in and out of official service, and beats feet looking for any signs, whether mining paperwork or convoy tread tracks, that 500 tons of yellowcake went anywhere. The film never reveals that Wilson's was the second, US diplomatic debunking of these allegations.

There's also highly speculative minority dissent among CIA analysts about the significance of aluminum tubing shipped to Iraq from China. Are they centrifuge-grade for weaponizing yellowcake into fissile uranium? Or are they more likely parts for strictly conventional missiles? A second invasion of Iraq hangs in the balance.

When Wilson's report comes back, stating emphatically that no yellowcake ever left Niger for Iraq, Cheney's Chief of Staff, "Scooter" Libby (David Andrews), engages in a concerted campaign to pressure dissenting CIA analysts and, ultimately, to cherry pick findings in support of claims of an active Iraqi nuke program that's on the verge. The White House neutralizes Wilson's report with British intelligence that directly contradicts Wilson's findings. (A painfully funny and literally profane joke was made about strategic US use of select Middle East "British intelligence" in the 2008 film In the Loop.)

Naomi Watts' Plame more than holds her own with, and against, Sean Penn's Wilson. While license is taken depicting Plame's work within the CIA, Watt's portrayal makes it clear that Plame was more than a time-card-punching civil servant. Plame's stoic public silence as her career with the CIA comes to an end is conveyed with measures of professional duty and inward sacrifice. As she's hung out to dry by officialdom and a right-wing intelligentsia, she's solidly there for her kids. The whole of that really sold a pivotal scene between Plame and her father, Lt Col Sam Plame (Sam Shepard), for me. Watts portrays an humanly unbreakable Valerie Plame.

Some reviewers have criticized Penn's acting for feeling "preachy." This is likely directed at a question Wilson poses to a lecture hall of college students, where he asks, how did this become a matter of my wife's cover as a CIA operative being blown and when did it stop being a question of the President lying to the American people about WMDs? That's a rough paraphrase, but that's also the crux of the whole film. There are two wrongs to contend with, but why must one overshadow/distract from the other? Both are grievous. If one needs to be addressed, so must the other. If you disagree with that, then Penn must be preaching. I'm not in that camp, just as I don't shoot messengers, whether I like the message or not.

Penn delivers a suffer-no-fools rapier intelligence, edged with humanity, along with expected moral outrage and a fighter's tenacity in fleshing out Wilson.

We'll never know if any hum-int assets who were associated with Plame, over the 18-years prior to Plamegate, were imprisoned, tortured and/or executed/assassinated as a result of her NOC status being blown. All of them were made "fair game," too. That gets buried in memoirs and official papers that remain classified for 80+ years. (I've been to archives where such materials remain untouchable under seal.)

We know that there were never any WMDs found in Gulf War II. They were obliterated in Gulf War I.

FG delivers tough punches. First, the cover of a loyal and capable CIA operative is blown, not by antagonistic foreign intelligence services, but by people at the highest levels of the US government -- sacrificial lamb (and presidentially pardoned) Libby, (unindicted and non-prosecuted) admitted leaker Richard Armitage and ultimate suspect Cheney. Second, manipulated NIEs are used to falsely/improperly represent WMDs as a major reason for starting Gulf War II.

But the biggest punches of all: Why don't more of us know this story, and what are We the People doing about the messy aftermath?

The oft repeated mantra of, "truth, justice and The American Way," is down for the count.
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Revealing Controversies all over again!!!!
hotimpression731 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
In recent years when media / internet has taken better control all over the world we have started seeing bolder movies on politics and on CIA/FBI related investigations and undercover operations.

Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) is a undercover CIA agent who is determine to save certain Scientist in Iraq when her husband Joe Wilson (Sean Penn) submits his report that Saddam has not procure yellow cake from Africa to enrich Uranium!. The CIA refuse to accept that since they had seen progressive atomic facilities in Iraq during desert storm! However the second half of the movie revolves around Joe Wilson fighting against white house over the identity leak for Valerie Plame.

A very serious Biography which make you think so many things!! worth Watching!!
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First Oscar-worthy film so far in 2010
ligonlaw20 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Excellent acting by Sean Penn, as Ambassador Joe Wilson, and Naomi Watts, as Valerie Plame, the CIA agent who ran secret operations in the Middle East to locate Weapons of Mass Destruction. Directed by Doug Limon of the Bourne trilogy, this film is a spy thriller which is based on the unprecedented case of Ms. Plame whose identity was revealed to the world by the White House.

When her identity was disclosed in right wing news columns, a dozen clandestine operations were jeopardized, and a number of assets, including Iraqi weapons scientists, were killed. This story is unique, because no White House in the history of the United States has divulged the identity of our spies for any purpose.

The villain at the center of the scandal is Karl Rove, who Joe Wilson wanted "frogged marched down Pennsylvania Avenue," for committing treason and putting our field agents and their assets in jeopardy.

The score of this film is excellent and should garner an Oscar nomination. The acting may also be at the winner's circle, and the picture itself will probably nominated as one of 2010's best.

If the story were not true, it would probably sound too far-fetched. Criminal conduct by White House officials is not unprecedented. Watergate, Iran-Contra, and the Clinton impeachment are some recent examples of high drama in the Oval Office. Fair Game is unique in that the crimes against the nation were an exercise of pure power against the truth - to cover the trail of lies which led the United States into a long expensive war for reasons which were never disclosed publicly.

The State of the Union address which took the nation to war was a lie. The burden of the American and Iraqi dead rest upon these lies. The United States and Iraq are bleeding our young and our treasuries nearly ten years after the lies got us there.

The movie is a great story, well-told, and, hopefully, a civics lesson for those who are capable of learning from the past
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Getting The Truth Out...At A Great Personal Cost
virek21322 April 2011
Much of the rationale given by the Bush Administration for America going to war against Iraq and Saddam Hussein at the end of the winter of 2003 centered around claims made by British intelligence officials that Hussein's regime sought out mass quantities of yellow cake uranium from the country of Niger in western Africa. Those claims had been put into the State of the Union speech that Bush had given in January of that year. As it turned out, though, those claims, when thoroughly investigated, turned out to be untrue. Subsequently, a high-level couple, ambassador Joe Wilson and his wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame, were outed by cronies inside the Bush White House and placed in the middle of a firestorm in which anyone attempting to discredit the Bush Administration in any small way was censured in the press. It is their fight that was depicted in the 2010 film FAIR GAME.

Watts and Penn portray the real-life couple at the center of this firestorm. Penn, as ambassador Wilson, investigates the claims about yellow cake uranium and aluminum tubing supposedly being used to make nuclear weapons being exported between Niger and Iraq back in the late 1990s, as it appears that America is on the brink of ousting Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Meanwhile, Watts, as Valerie Plame, makes it her business to get reliable sources of Iraq's intelligence out of there to give the CIA the proper information. Penn asserts that such a trade of uranium not only could not have occurred, but that the aluminum tubing in question is not of the kind that would be suitable for doing what the Bush Administration says Hussein intends it for—to create a nuclear bomb. Thus, the rationale for going to war in Iraq has just been rendered fraudulent, but a little too late for those Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers caught in the middle. Even so, however, Watts' name and status are both exposed in the media from within the bowels of the administration, rendering her damaged goods, and infuriating Penn.

The other significant thing the whole imbroglio causes is a huge schism between the couple, since Watts is initially unwilling to fight back while Penn makes the rounds on the networks to tell the truth of the matter. The allegations against both of them mount in the press, which keeps hounding them for their alleged lack of patriotism; and finally, both of them come out of the shadows to tell their side of the story.

Incisively directed by Liman, who was responsible for the 2002 Robert Ludlum adaptation THE BOURNE IDENTITY, FAIR GAME is a powerful expose of the Iraq war as seen through the eyes and experiences of its most noted diplomatic figures, every bit as powerful a political film as any, documentary or otherwise, made since 9/11, and, indeed, every bit as thorough as films like ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN and THIRTEEN DAYS. While there are political considerations to be considered in this film, especially give that Penn was one of the most ferocious and outspoken critics anywhere of the Bush Administration from the beginning, this is equally a hard-hitting character study as well; and Penn and Watts do an excellent job of portraying the beleaguered Wilsons, while a whole host of good character actors are superb in their roles of the dark underlings that work for Team Bush. Liman, who also does the cinematography, shoots FAIR GAME in a very documentary-like style, and in the same bleached-color visuals that were a trademark of Spielberg's SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, MINORITY REPORT, and MUNICH.

Both Valerie Plane and Joe Wilson risked everything they had to get the truth out there about the Bush Administration's dissembling with regards to a non-existent connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11; and FAIR GAME is an excellent film depicting that struggle, clearly one of the best films of 2010.
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Pulsating Drama, Appropriate Time
gradyharp1 April 2011
FAIR GAME serves several purposes; it is a thriller of a suspense movie that entertains, it addresses one of the most controversial aspects of American military action in years, and it dares to open the secret doors of the Bush Administration. Based on the book 'The Politics of Truth' by Joseph Wilson the film has been summarized as follows: 'Joseph Charles Wilson IV (born November 6, 1949) is a former United States diplomat best known for his 2002 trip to Niger to investigate allegations that Saddam Hussein was attempting to purchase yellowcake uranium; his New York Times op ed piece, "What I Didn't Find in Niger"; and the subsequent "outing" of his wife Valerie Plame as a CIA agent.' and the book "Fair Game' by Valerie Plame. The books have been transformed into a bitingly vital screenplay by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth and the film is searingly directed by Doug Lyman.

Why the film didn't enjoy a better success in the theaters is likely due to the still festering difference of opinion as to the pre-emptive war on Iraq, a war declared because of the 'evidence' that Iraq had Weapons of Mass destruction that is now approaching 10 years in activity despite the embarrassingly early declaration by that the war had been 'won' soon after declaration. What FAIR GAME offers is Wilson's defense of his wife Valerie Plame's role in the CIA and how the government dealt with the cover-up and smoke screen and other shenanigans by Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and other White House officials who revealed Plame's status as a CIA agent and were allegedly out to discredit her husband after he wrote a 2003 New York Times op-ed piece saying that the Bush administration had manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq.

The actors are consistently superb throughout the large cast - Naomi Watts as Valerie Plame, Sean Penn as Joe Wilson, Bruce McGill as Jim Pavitt, Adam LeFevre as Karl Rove, David Andrews as Scooter Libby - and the many film clips of President Bush's televised speeches and statements from VP Dick Cheney et al add credence to the atmosphere. It is a film about the value of truth and as such it makes us all think more carefully about our current further involvement in the many battles currently being fought in the countries of the Middle East. There is a speech Joe Wilson gives to his class at the end of the film that challenges his students to always defend democracy - the legacy of our Founding Fathers - and it is this speech that is the most compelling writing in the film. A fine cast delivers a compelling film and it is a film all Americans should see.

Grady Harp
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Recent history
jotix1003 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Valerie Plame, the woman at the center of the story, was a CIA agent who wielded a lot of power during her time working for the agency. As the film begins, we watch her showing some muscle in the way she moves to get information from a man that had no idea who he was dealing with. During her free time, she was a happily married suburban wife. Valerie was the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson, a man who had good political connections.

Before the United States entered the Iraq war, Mr. Wilson was dispatched to Niger, where supposedly a large amount of uranium had been sold to Sadam Hussein for the purpose of making weapons of mass destruction. He went on his mission, but he could not find the information to be true. His report went ignored because the powers that be had already targeted that Middle East country for an imminent attack, based on the phony evidence the people interested in making a statement after the attacks of September 11, 2001, wanted to make a case for the war to happen.

When Joseph Wilson's essay was published by the New York Times, it was a good time to get back at him by leaking his wife's name as being a CIA agent. Valerie Plame, whose career had been amazing, suddenly became the scapegoat of a well designed plan to get her out of the way. The order to reveal her name came directly from an assistant of the Vice-President Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, a star within the privileged circle where he had free rein to do whatever he deemed was appropriate to deal with a contradiction that ruined this woman's life, as well as her family's.

Doug Liman, directed with sure hand. The screenplay was written by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth and based on the books written by Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame. The story plays as though it was really happening. After all, these people do exist; the was a real incident that happened in the not too distant past where it played for the cameras of all the news programs while it was going on. The film speaks volumes of the arrogance which some government officials deal with the people that do not play their game.

Naomi Watts shows an uncanny resemblance with the real Valerie Plame. Ms. Watts gives a fairly accurate impression of the woman that was at the center of the political front line during the investigation that ensued. Sean Penn is seen as Joseph Wilson. His character is not as important because it is his wife who is the key figure in the drama. David Andrews is Scooter Libby. The large supporting cast is too big to mention, but they do a wonderful job as the people in the news that played a part of this recent page on American history.
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A Gripping Spy Movie That Needs To Be Told
Desertman8426 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Fair Game is a biographical drama directed that features Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.It is based on Valerie Plame's memoir, Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House and Joseph C. Wilson's memoir "The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir".The Bourne Identity director Doug Liman teams with screenwriters Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth to streamline Joseph Wilson's and Valerie Plame's books detailing the explosive outing of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame into a tense film.

At the time her cover was blown by the George W. Bush administration, Valerie Plame was combing Iraq for evidence of weapons of mass destruction as part of the CIA's Counter-Proliferation Division. Her husband, American diplomat Joe Wilson was attempting to verify a claim that the Iraqis had recently purchased enriched uranium from Niger when the White House began calling for war against Iraq before any solid evidence had been gathered. When Joe penned an editorial in The New York Times decrying the hasty call to war, a prolific Washington, D.C. journalist took the opportunity to reveal her identity as a CIA operative, an act that not only put her career in jeopardy, but also left her various contacts overseas in a precarious position. Years later, she was jobless and publicly disgraced as she wages a vicious fight to clear her name, set the record straight, and keep her family from falling apart.

Crackling with sharp dialogue, gripping intrigue and heart-pounding suspense, Fair Game is the adventure that's so unbelievable, it can only be real.Despite the fact that it It struggles with the balance between fact-based biopic and taut political thriller, it brims with righteous anger due to the brutal and personal testimony to the consequences of dirty politics that it often feels too ugly to be true.Also,it benefits from superb performances by its lead stars - Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. Overall,it is a gripping spy movie wherein the account of the double- dealing of the Bush White House in the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq feels necessary.
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Overcome the first hour, and you've got a solid film.
Marter230 December 2010
There are two parts in Fair Game, one of which lasts far longer than the other. This part is how the film opens, and despite being humorous and light in tone, it isn't anywhere near as entertaining as I was hoping the film would be. After surviving the first part of the film, I got to the second, and was thrilled to finally get some excitement from the film.

That isn't to say the first half is bad, it just wasn't anything like I was expecting. Marketed, (although barely marketed at all), as a political thriller, the majority of the film isn't that at all. I'll admit that setting up the scenario and characters is nice, but doing it in a somewhat confusing and overlong way hurt the finished product.

The first part of the film does a decent enough job at setting up the story. We meet our two leads, our antagonist(s), but we don't get much in terms of thrills. We find out that Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) is a CIA agent, and that she is far more ruthless than she first appears. She knows how to get the information that she wants, and she utilizes this technique whenever it is required.

We also meet her husband, Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn), who is, or was, an ambassador from the United States. He is sent to Niger, (not to be confused with Nigeria, as the film tells us), to find out if it was possible that Iraq was buying things that would make them able to build a nuclear weapon. He discovers that it wasn't, and returns home with his report. Valerie is doing her own research regarding this, and talks with many different people in Iraq, promising them safety in return for information.

What I just explained takes well over an hour for the film to show, and that's a shame, because it does feel like it drags on for too long. The second part involves deceit on the part of the government, and Joseph's attempts to clear his family's name. The government decides to completely disregard Joseph's report, and declare that Valerie is in the CIA--something that is apparently not good when said agent is undercover.

It is in the second half, with Joseph fighting for his family's freedom, the tension created from a lying government and the emotional changes in the characters we have gotten to know, when the film starts kicking into high gear. Prior to this point, there is some amusement in the light- hearted nature of the film. There are jokes, (particularly humorous was one regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs), but there isn't much actually going on.

Once the second half begins, things really start to spiral out of control for Valerie and Joseph. Their marriage starts coming apart, they are receiving death threats daily; the entire country seems to have turned against them. Things are going wrong, and since there was such a large build-up to this point of the film, we care about what is happening to our characters. When things start heading south, we are saddened by it.

This is also helped out by great performances by Watts and Penn, who are appearing together in their third film. (The previous films being 21 Grams and The Assassination of Richard Nixon). Watts plays her character incredibly seriously, and it works shockingly well. She means business, and it is apparent right away. Penn is more relaxed, despite having the weight of the world on his shoulders for some of the film.

The story is actually based on real events, detailed in Valerie Plame's memoir, Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House. How true the movie stays to what actually happens, I'm not so sure. It would likely be best to not assume that the film is entirely truthful, as with most films, liberties have to be taken to make the film compelling for the audience. It would be ignorant to believe that the film is entirely truthful, so if you decide to watch Fair Game, keep that in mind.

Not being entirely familiar with politics, American politics in particular, I'm not sure as to how much it defaces one side or the other, but there is certainly some badmouthing going on. I would almost think that having a film based almost entirely on American politics would make the film less interesting for those not knowledgeable about the subject, but thankfully, this doesn't happen. The film is still overall fairly enjoyable, even if politics aren't your forte.

Had it not been for a slow and somewhat confusing opening hour, Fair Game would have been an excellent film. The beginning is its only real problem, with everything else being top-notch. The acting performances are great, the story is interesting once it gets going, and you do begin to care about the characters. The set-up does its job, establishing the characters and setting, but it isn't engaging enough to keep the audience's attention. Push past it though, and you'll get a great final act, with tension, suspense and, most importantly, entertainment.
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A Fantastic Political Thriller
torchwood949-166-55240413 December 2011
Aiming at one demographic and not considering that some audiences aren't familiar with the affairs can bring down sometimes bring down political thrillers. In 2008 Ron Howard brought us Frost/Nixon, which dealt with the interviews between former President Nixon and television host David Frost. It was a subject I knew very little about but the film managed to address that and still make it entertaining and interesting while actually involving the audience in it's subject matter. Fair Game does the same.

Taking place in the build up to the Iraq war Naomi Watts plays a CIA agent juggling her dangerous job with her home life. Her husband (Played by Sean Penn) publishes a paper scrutinizing the Bush administration of their involvement with Iraq and as a consequence his wife's name is leaked to the public. Despite knowing very little of the events leading up to the war in Iraq the film did a good job of familiarizing the audience with the motives behind doing so. Based on real events the film uses everyone's real name within each event that occurs and is not scared to show what it believes in and is trying to represent. Alongside this however we also have the conflict played between Watts and Penn as their beliefs of the American government differ. This story however isn't as strong as the message the film is showing of how governments can make mistakes and be corrupt so plays backbone to what could have made some interesting chemistry.

That being said the film is a strong piece and stands up for what it believes in, not shying away from any of the details. The fact that this all happened is astonishing and even people who know very little about the Iraq war will still gain and be entertained by the themes of corruption and family.
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Democracy is not a free ride, man. I'm here to tell you
lastliberal-853-2537081 November 2011
One of the most interesting, and funny, aspects of this film was watching Valerie (Naomi Watts) and Joe (Sean Penn) sit at their dinner table or in a restaurant with their friends as they spouted the carefully scripted emanations from the White House designed to deceive the American public. Joe and Valerie knew the truth, but could not say a word. Joe would just call them out, but could not explain. It was hilarious.

The rest of the film is not so hilarious, as we watch Bush and his regime cherry pick data and deliberately falsify information in their lust for war. The administration knew there were no WMD, but they went ahead anyway.

Then, when they got caught in their lies, they set out to destroy a family, and cause the deaths of Iraqi scientists in the process.

There is nothing new her to anyone that doesn't get their information from Fox. It is a story that has been told over and over in different forms, and the end is always the same. They wanted to go to war, and damn anyone who got in their way.

Penn and Watts were incredible.
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Each person in the US should watch this
steelpen50022 October 2011
Every American should watch "Fair Game" It is incredible what happened when our own CIA Valerie Plame decided to be honest during the Bush administration. The fact that Cheney and Bush acted as two regular thugs and got away with it is a lesson to be learned. The acting is superb and the movie itself is a thriller. The fact that this happened just a few years ago is surreal. But there it is.This is our country. Lets wake up. I almost wish that Sean Penn was not in it. Not because he is not great and believable but some idiots will complain about the movie because of his views. Now I see what Occupy Wall street is needed. We are always talking about corruption of other countries. How can these two criminals be in the street and face parents of young adults killed in Iraq?
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Review That Makes My Skin Crawl...'political lies and half truths'.
lindsncal20 July 2018
Chronologically, at the begging and end of this thread, you'll see the same 1 star post in 2010 and 2018 ...bashing Sean Penn and calling this movie 'political lies and half truths'...and actually blaming Clinton, using what he doesn't realize are lies, to do it. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's stuff like that, that gave us our problems today and why movies like this should be seen by everybody. I know a review that talks about another review is not what this is supposed to be about, but anything like that post which is full of the exact things he complains about, and may keep someone from watching an excellent movie that shows is just how corrupt an administration can be and the damage and deaths it causes, is a big deal to me. The movie shows exactly why this country lost the respect of the entire developed world because of our invasion of Iraq. Millions of people, our allies, protested it in the streets all over the world.

If you followed this story closely at the time like I did, you'd know that this movie is exactly the truth .. and Penn, considered one of best actors today, couldn't have been better in it.

If this was all lies, why did Scooter Libby go to prison, indicted on five felony counts for perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice?

Even more ridiculous, the commentor says this is just propaganda to make Bush look like a war monger.....ignoring everything that came out later and all the proof that came out that showed us that the entire Iraq war was based on lies...from the Bush administration and the real fake news was on the you know what news station.
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