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Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House


Stars: Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Marton Csokas, Tony Goldwyn, Josh Lucas, Maika Monroe, Michael C Hall, Tom Sizemore, Bruce Greenwood, Noah Wyle, Eddie Marsan, Kate Walsh, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ike Barinholz, Brian D'Arcy James, Julian Morris, Robert Walden

Director: Peter Landesman

This story of Watergate whistleblower Mark Felt (Neeson), who became known as Deep Throat, may not be a bad movie, but it certainly is quite a dull one.

Grey hair lends the star, more often seen in fast-moving action films, an air of authority as the deputy director of the FBI, who leads the way in shredding secrets when his boss, the infamous J Edgar Hoover, dies.

But he's overlooked for the top job, with the man brought in, Gray (Csokas), soon colluding with the White House cover-up over the break-in at the Watergate HQ of the rival Democrats.

'I want the FBI left alone to do its job,' Felt rages, an attitude that eventually leads him to despairingly contact the Washington Post to set matters to rights.

The film's story is perhaps too familiar, but this treatment in any case lacks dynamism, despite Neeson's authoritative and sensitive performance.

The interludes at home with his wife (Lane, much of whose role apparently ended up on the cutting-room floor), as they search for their missing daughter (Monroe), dilute what impetus the film has, largely leaving a parade of meetings in officers and in cars. The cast is good, but few of the characters here spring to life - even if the film does just about enough to hold our attention throughout.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Vertigo. Colour (unspecified).
102 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 18 Mar 2018