Snowden is a bit of a curve ball. The beginning is just a bit better than awful, but the end is just a bit worse than amazing.
The film details the past 10 years in the life of CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). It frequently cuts back to the Hong Kong hotel room where Snowden gives interviews to Laura Poitras (Melissa Leo), Glenn Greenwald (Zachary Quinto) and Ewen MacAskill (Tom Wilkinson). The scene is re-created from Poitras’ Academy-Award winning documentary Citizenfour, which stayed with Snowden, Greenwald and MacAskill in real-time as they published a Pulitzer-Prize winning series of stories detailing the National Security Agency’s mass domestic surveillance policies.
As Snowden tells the story, the movie shows his public service career with the CIA, but focuses mostly on his relationship with longtime girlfriend Lindsay Mills (Shailene Woodley). Snowden remains in exile in Moscow and the debate about the information he leaked still rages.