Pretty much everyone has heard of Edward Snowden, but Oliver Stone wants to take us behind the headlines to look at the man himself and what he was exposing when he leaked top secret information about what spying agencies were up to. The movie opens at the end, with Snowden in a Hong Kong hotel room, preparing to go on record with what he knows and the information he’s releasing. Most of the rest of the film is told in flashback, when a young Ed is forced out of the military and gets a job at the CIA in the days after 9/11. Along with his new career, he starts a relationship with the lefty, arty Lindsay (Shailene Woodley).
Initially pleased to be helping the US prevent another major terrorist attack, but after working for the CIA and then as an NSA contractor, Snowden becomes increasingly uncomfortable with the massive surveillance network the government has built. Secret projects and operations allow the spying agencies to go far beyond just finding the bad guys, and give them the ability to hide illegal activities and mistakes, and to track pretty much anyone and everything they choose, whether they’ve done anything wrong or not. [Read more…]