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Movies in a Minute: ‘Snowden’

I went in to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s new film, “Snowden,” with high hopes and left feeling like the filmmakers could have done a better job.

Of course, the film focuses on famed former NSA employee Edward Snowden. He leaked more than 1.5 million classified documents to journalists that revealed massive domestic surveillance programs begun in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The programs collected the telephone metadata records of millions of Americans and examined emails from overseas.

The problem with “Snowden” is that it basically tells the telling of a documentary, “Citizenfour.” And the documentary does a better job of telling the story.

The acting in “Snowden” is fine. There’s a lot of big names — Gordon-Levitt, Zachary Quinto, Shailene Woodley — who can hold their own on the big screen.

I just couldn’t get over the fact that the documentary did a better job of laying out the entire story, so my rating of “Snowden” had to drop. It was a little frustrating.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bruce St. James & Pamela Hughes