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Zachary Quinto

Failures of intelligence bring down Oliver Stone's 'Snowden'

Failures of intelligence bring down Oliver Stone's 'Snowden'

There’s a moment in Oliver Stone’s new biographical drama when a little-known twentysomething tech whiz named Edward Snowden suddenly finds himself trapped in a room with a giant, angry head. Blown up to massive proportions and projected on the wall of a top-secret inner chamber of the U.S. government, the head looms ominously over Snowden’s own, scolding him, interrogating him and scrutinizing him for even the slightest hint of impending betrayal.

I can’t remember everything the head says, but that’s secondary to the magnificent literal-mindedness of the image, which seeks to capture the omniscient threat of the American surveillance state in...

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