Feb 1, 2013

"While I found the depiction of torture to be upsetting–it seemed to me that Bigelow and Mark Boal presented it in a way that leaves it up to the viewer to decide whether or not it was worthwhile or reprehensible..." — Mike Fleming, Deadline Hollywood
Notice the baseline assumption behind Flemings comment: the torture worked. Whether it was worthwhile or reprehensible is for us to decide. This is why Boal has done such damage. Because millions now believe that torture produces good information. The baselines of public debate have, for many people, been permanently altered. 


  1. Tom, respectfully, do you like this movie or don't you? I see it still hanging on to #4 on your Top 10 list at the same time you pop in with ominous pronouncements about Boal & Bigelow's damage to the American psyche or Sean Hannity giving the movie a thumbs-up. Playing both sides against the middle may be an amusing parlor game, but it all rings rather hollow.

  2. ^ No, it doesn't. One can enjoy, say, "Seven" without approving of what Brad Putt does at its end, or cheer on Indiana Jones without declaring it perfectly fine to shoot whatever guy twirls a sword in your particular direction.

    Mr. Shone is saying that he liked the movie, but that lots of people will get factually wrong beliefs from it. One can recognize that Arthur Lee Allen probably wasn't the actual killer and still love "Zodiac".