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Fair Game (12A)

The critical consensus

In the filmography of liberal-skewing, Bush-era true stories, this is a measured, persuasive item. It's questionable whether there's an appetite for hanging out more of the last decade's dirty laundry to dry in the multiplexes or 'For Your Consideration' awards bids, though.

***(*)(*)Kim Newman, Empire Online, 28/02/2011

Liman juggles political intrigue with low-key domestic drama to polished, largely riveting effect. Great star turns, too.

****(*)Matt Mueller, Total Film, 02/03/2011

Fair Game is slightly derailed by Jez and John Butterworth’s tonally schizophrenic screenplay, which lurches from slick secret service speak to big emotive speeches that underline just how far Penn’s Wilson will go for the woman and children he loves.

***(*)(*)Paul Dale, The List, 02/03/2011

Fair Game claims to be based on a true story but it is merely a one-dimensional facsimile.

***(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 08/03/2011

Reality disguised as improbable thriller fiction.

***(*)(*)Nigel Andrews, Financial Times, 09/03/2011

Though the points are made early on, the scenes go on and on. Someone was clearly getting a big kick out of things, but after a certain point it definitely wasn’t me.

***(*)(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 10/03/2011

It has to be the most ridiculous movie of the year.

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 10/03/2011

Fair Game is consistently engaging and interesting, there’s no escaping the feeling that it’s just a bit safe.

Paul Greenwood, Evening Times, 10/03/2011

With a bit more shaping, all the ingredients are here for a cracking thriller about the woman who knew too much, something like The Parallax View for the post-9/11 age. Instead, it’s sober, talky, and rather muted.

***(*)(*)Tim Robey, The Telegraph, 10/03/2011

Watts, as the self-possessed Plame, is the best reason to see the film.

***(*)(*)Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 11/03/2011

We know the case for war was a sham yet by the time Joe invokes Benjamin Franklin in a Big Speech at the end your senses have been battered into indifference.

***(*)(*)Daily Record, 11/03/2011

In the end, it's an espionage thriller minus heroes who can hit the bad guys where it hurts - not so much The Bourne Identity as The Bourne Futility.

***(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 12/03/2011

Fair Game may not be a home run but it’s very satisfying, grown-up entertainment.

****(*)Henry Fitzherbert, Daily Express, 11/03/2011

It's a David and Goliath tale in which Goliath is never seen.

Nicholas Barber, The Independent on Sunday, 13/03/2011

Although the outline of this story is well known, Fair Game gives it dramatic shape and teases out the moral problems raised...a riveting thriller.

Philip French, The Observer, 13/03/2011

Features about Fair Game (12A)

Fair Game revisits the George W Bush years but is it too soon?

John Patterson, The Guardian, 26/02/2011

No fair play for writers of Fair Game film about CIA officer Valerie Plame

Dalya Alberge, The Guardian, 10/03/2011

Interview: Valerie Plame, former CIA agent

Claire Black, The Scotsman, 14/03/2011

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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