Given the current state of our nation, there is much existing good will behind this film about Valerie Plame, a subject that the majority have at least heard about in our recent history. Unfortunately, this movie will most likely ride that short wave and nothing else.
Naomi Watts does a noble effort in portraying Plame, but still isn’t completely believable as a strong woman who has two master’s degrees and is fluent in four languages. Perhaps it’s not her fault, since we never know these facts from watching the film. Sean Penn is still enrolled in his school of over-acting and may very well become a successor to Al Pacino’s throne in this respect. Nor does Liman do Penn or Watts any favors since he did his own cinematography.
All in all, the film is more movie-of-the-week than political thriller, so expect more talking heads than anything else. There are too many events that remain nebulous to feel satisfied about it, as so many things cannot be verified and Liman failed to take the case-building Oliver Stone approach to the subject matter.