The Source for Youth Ministry

Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Snowden (12/27/2016)

Rated R for language and some sexuality/nudity.

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood and Timothy Olyphant

Directed by Oliver Stone (JFK, The Doors, Wall Street and Platoon)

Todd's Rating: Only if Free

Dynamic ImageAnother political drama from Oliver Stone.

Snowden reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world. He is considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others.

I’m not the biggest fan of political movies, mostly because I have a hard time separating the movie and the politics. At its core, Snowden is a story about one man's conscience. The film opens with Edward Snowden wanting to make a after the events of September 11th. He joins the Army Special Forces, but his career is cut short when he breaks his legs. Snowden begins to use his computer skills working for the CIA and NSA. He is idealistic, patriotic and noble. But he faces a moral crossroads when he watches a coworker hack a woman's laptop and watches her begin to undress. The ease of the hack and his increasing disillusionment lead him down a dangerous path.

Snowden is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and he masterfully delivers a performance about a man who wrestles with the important question of what is right and what is wrong. He causes the audience to ask “what would I do?” throughout the film.

Zachary Quinto and Tom Wilkinson provide some intense drama as reporters working hard to break the story. And Nicolas Cage gives a fun cameo.

Snowden was not my favorite movie of the year and I doubt I will watch it again, but it is worth watching “only if it is free.”

The film is rated R, so I would say no. There is a sex scene and an image of a topless woman shown on a laptop.

There are several scenes of violence and about 12-15 uses of the F-word.

  1. What decision is the first moral decision Snowden faced in the film?

  2. How often are you faced with “what is right and what is wrong” decisions?

  3. Read James 4:17

      Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

  4. What do you think that verse means?

  5. How can you “do the right thing” when faced with a difficult decision?

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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