First Hit: Although I really liked the point of the film and agree with the politics of it, it felt as though it left the film genre and became a political message commercial.
Three stories going on at the same time all taking place within an hour’s time span.
The interview of Senator Jasper Irving (Tom Cruise) by the reporter Janine Roth (Meryl Streep) was very engaging and was, for me, the best part of the film.
Cruise plays an excellent Senator ready to move up to the presidency with the quick smile and with the kind of BS that reflects our current government. Streep, is a reporter that is tired but realizes, once again, that she has become part of the problem by “reporting” what the government say is the truth.
While this hour long interview is going on there is another conversation going on at a university. Redford directing himself as Professor Malley is attempting to convince a bright student that if this kid doesn’t start paying attention to the decisions he is making now, he will end up being part of the apathetic problem that has gotten this country into the mess it is currently in.
Lastly, and the most touching part of the film is the story of two young men who were once students of Professor Malley who chose to go into the Army to use the money they will receive when they get out to make a difference in the world.
During the same hour as the interviews these two young men are put in harms way in Afghanistan. The audience is treated to flashbacks of their friendship and their relationship to Professor Malley. Some of the very best scenes in this film are when these two are on camera together (in class, having dinner with the Professor and on the ground in Afghanistan).
I also liked the scene in which Streep leaves her office, deciding to change how she report the news and drives through Washington looking at scenes including the White House and a cemetery where many soldiers are buried.
Overall: The film was good and its biggest drawback was the overt feeling I was being preached a political message versus being shown the message through the film.