Movie Review-Snowden

The first thing you see on the screen in the movie Snowden is a disclaimer that says, "this movie is a dramatization based on actual events". Add to that fact that the movie is directed and co-written by conspiracy theorist Oliver Stone (JFK), you have to wonder which parts are fact and which are dramatizations. However, whatever the percentages of fact versus fiction, Snowden sure gives you a lot to think about.

Edward Snowden was a NSA and CIA operative who worked on surveillance systems that were supposed to spy on potential terrorists but, with the full knowledge of the internet providers in the USA, he ended up creating a humongous search engine that could also spy on any American citizen who sent out any kind of email, private or otherwise.

Snowden became public enemy #1 when he fled the country and provided information to a group of respected journalist about the illegal and covert surveillance that was being conducted by US intelligence agencies. The US government called him a traitor and a spy and he was universally condemned by both sides of the aisle in congress and the senate. At the same time officials from the NSA and CIA told bold face lies at senate hearings about the possibility of US citizens being spied on.

The movie lays out some scenarios of possible ways we are being spied upon by the government that will have you quaking in your boots. Again, how much is fact and how much is fiction remains to be seen, but the possibility of remote access to our personal computers by the government doesn't seem that far fetched (and that includes access to webcams). There are some serious accusations about how "Big Brother" is watching us and it scared the hell out of me.

In real life Edward Snowden continues to live outside of the US. He faces arrest if he ever steps foot back on American soil. As an aside, there is a 2014 Oscar winning documentary on Snowden called Citizen Four. You could watch that film to gain a little more knowledge about this amazing, true story. Snowden is rated R for strong language and some sexual situations. It's also a bit long and drawn out with a run time of two hours and fourteen minutes. On my "Hollywood Popcorn Scale" Snowden rates a JUMBO. Hollywood Hernandez

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