The acting is superb, and DeNiro’s direction is spot on, but don’t go see this movie if you are in need of a nap. Drink some caffiene and be prepared to pay attention. I think I was just lucky, and noticed the right details, otherwise the whole thing might seem like a parade of random scenes. Despite the convoluted plot, there is a worthwhile message in this film. Although the message I took may not be the one intended, it is this: the excesses of our government allow agencies like the CIA to be even more dangerous than they would be otherwise.
I wonder if tourism will increase at the Skull and Bones Society‘s Deer Island after being glamorized in this movie? I have nothing against secret societies, indeed, they are often necessary to keep a runaway government in check. But when the members of these societies are also the same people wielding power within the government, the dangers are simply multiplied.
Some say the intent of this movie is to draw parallels between the Mafia and the CIA, but this is not a novel concept for those of us who long ago stopped viewing our government as a collection of benevolent heroes. Only the most naive among us will find this revelation at all shocking.