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Fair Game Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Dirty tricks are alive and well in D.C. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

Be outraged. Be very outraged. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Most of the scenes depicting the couple's domestic life are borderline-banal, and they miniaturize the political drama that plays out partly in public, partly in the shadows but almost always in a middle distance just beyond emotional reach.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    More admirable than riveting, Fair Game works best as a portrait of power games at the highest levels.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Liman outfits the film with spy-thriller packaging worthy of his "The Bourne Identity," so the film probably will attract above-average coin and possibly awards attention.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Fair Game gets you riled up all over again at a deeply unpatriotic abuse of power.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Tense Valerie Plame story mixes drama, politics.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this engaging, suspenseful political drama -- which is based on the true story of former covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, whose identity was compromised in the press, and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson -- portrays the U.S. government as a formidable villain that tries to suppress the truth. Expect some strong language (including "f--k" and "s--t"), lots of yelling and verbal fighting, and some war footage. Characters also drink and smoke cigars. It likely won't appeal to most kids, but politically-aware teens may appreciate the movie's eye-opening look at recent U.S. history.

  • Families can talk about the movie's tension and moments of violence. How did it affect you? How did the movie accomplish this?
  • How does this real-life story work as a movie? Do you think filmmakers changed any facts to make the movie? Why might they choose to do that?
  • Did Wilson do the right thing by writing the article and attempting to tell the truth? What would have happened if he had done nothing?
  • Would you say that Wilson and Plame are heroes or traitors? Or something in-between? Why?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Although the movie makes it clear that Joseph Wilson is trying to do the right thing by telling the truth about the war in Iraq, instead of accomplishing something positive, he and his family lose their peace of mind and their well being. The United States government (circa 2002-2003) is portrayed as a formidable villain, and the characters are tempted to give up, but they keep fighting. Their victory is small compared to the price they've paid, but they at least meet the challenge.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Both Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame could be considered positive role models in their own ways. Wilson is shocked to hear that the government has lied to the American people and tries to help spread the truth, even at the cost of his wife's job and their family's well being. Plame is personally involved with one of her projects, trying to save the lives of a family in Iraq before the war starts. She's tempted to give up the fight, and her marriage suffers great tension, but both she and Wilson persevere against all odds.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Several tense arguments and shouting matches, and characters receive death threats. The entire story takes place on the verge of war, which adds an underlying tension to the film. Subsequently, viewers see a few attacks and explosions in the Middle East involving secondary characters.

  • sex false1

    Sex: A married couple kisses, and it's implied that they have sex.

  • language false3

    Language: Language is fairly infrequent overall; "f--k" is used a couple of times, and "s--t" is heard a few times. Other words include "a--hole," "p---y," "a--hole," "damn," "hell," "oh my God," "crap," and "goddamn."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink a bit too much (mostly beer and wine) at dinner parties. One character smokes cigars.