This is one of those films in which, after its over, you realize that's it's full of plot holes and improbabilities. But it doesn't matter. Clint Eastwood is so good, both as a director and an actor, that you're just lapping up every scene.
The sub-story about Eastwood and his daughter is really done well. Great performances by Laura Linney, Ed Harris, Gene Hackman, Judy Davis, and an aging E.G. Marshall in his last film.
As a director, Eastwood knows that character development is the basis of a good movie, no matter how implausible the plot. It's so important, and it really keeps us interested. He enlisted the great screenwriter William Goldman to adapt this from the David Baldacci novel, and Goldman knocked it out of the ballpark.
Character development is what's missing from so many of today's superficial movies. Is it just me, or were movies better 22 years ago?!