Box art for Fair Game

Fair Game

drama, thrillers


From the director of The Bourne Identity comes this riveting thriller inspired by the experiences of real-life CIA officer Valerie Plame (Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts).

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    79%
  • Audience Score
    65%

common sense

ON for kids age 14
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
Sex
1 out of 5
Violence
2 out of 5

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.

what families can talk about

  • 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?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    79%
    reviews counted: 23
    see all Fair Game reviews
  • Audience

    65%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Things worked out between Joe and Valerie, and for their real-life models, who are now the subjects of a terrifically entertaining movie. But that does not mean that justice was done, or that truth prevailed.

- A.O. Scott, New York Times, Friday, November 5, 2010

Fresh: A crackling political thriller that deftly navigates the knife edge between all-too-familiar recent history and more universal personal drama.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, November 5, 2010

Fresh: What the filmmakers do capture brilliantly is the human cost of espionage and political gamesmanship.

- Christopher Kelly, Dallas Morning News, Thursday, November 4, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

"Fair Game" is not as engrossing as it should be considering its subject matter and pedigree.

- guaybanex, Sunday, December 23, 2012

3 stars

During the run-up to the Second Iraq War, the Bush Administration released the name of a CIA agent whose husband was critical of Bush's "evidence." Naomi Watts and Sean Penn deliver very strong performances as Valerie Plame Wilson and Joe Wilson. Watts is believable in her vulnerable scenes, reeling from the Bush Administration's treason, and Penn brings his natural intensity to his portrayal of Joe Wilson. Both in terms of the film and the actual events, I wondered why (or why not) the Wilsons never discussed the article that led to Valerie's betrayal. Regardless of the film's reliance on actual events, the story proceeds predictably, complete with the inspirational visit to Valerie's father who dispenses age-old wisdom. The story of the Iraqi scientists is also incomplete. Overall, carried by strong leading performances, Fair Game is not as polemic as it could be and follows a rather predictable path.

- hunterjt13, Monday, September 16, 2013

3 stars

I loaned this to my Dad and he refused to watch it once he read what it was about and that it starred Sean Penn. Now, I'm not a bleeding heart liberal(no matter what my friend Billy says), but I definitely sway more liberal than conservative. This moving leans way more left than right, but the story is geared that way. Whether or not it's all accurate to what really happened is up for debate, but the movie is engaging enough to make you not care. Penn and Watts give great performances in a film that could have been very boring, and parts of it are, but they keep you interested to the end. As far as political thrillers go, this is top notch. Not for everyone, but watch it with an open mind and you will probably get caught up in the acting. No matter your political affiliation, you will probably be entertained if you want an intelligent thriller that asks tough questions that don't always present easy answers.

- fb100000145236770, Sunday, April 24, 2011