This film is based on the story of Richard Jewell, a security guard at the Centennial Olympic Park who during a concert discovered a suspicious bag with a bomb, which resulted in an evacuation. Though it wasn't completed before the bomb blew, the evacuation at least lessened the number of casualties. Unfortunately for Jewell, he fit the criminal profile. The FBI initially tried to trick him when being interviewed and their suspicions were leaked to the press, which caused him to be blamed by the media though there were no charges. The film follows Jewell's sad tale and how he and his lawyer fought it. This was a really well made film.
This is a gripping, well-written tale. This is largely a film about dealing with the law and media, which has a lot of scenes of just talking, plus it runs at two hours and eleven minutes. Yet, the movie never feels slow. The setup to the finding of the bomb is just excellently paced and leaves you hooked. The dialogue is really good; for a movie about a serious subject it lightens the film with a little bit of dry humor.
Casting is really good in this. The main triumvirate of Paul Walter Hauser as Jewell, Kathy Bates as his mother, and Sam Rockwell as his lawyer all work so well together.
Now, I know a lot of critics have already mentioned this, but it's difficult not to address. The reporter Kathy Scruggs (Olivia Wilde), who first reported on Jewell is portrayed as super insensitive and obsessed with success over anything and everything else. From what I've read, the late Scruggs' colleagues disagree with her portrayal. It's a little uncomfortable that a film about the dangers of the media being used to vilify someone, is itself doing the same thing. (To her credit, Wilde does a good job selling the role she is given.)
The Scruggs thing aside, I highly recommend this. It's especially impressive considering that director Clint Eastwood is 89. The movie hasn't been doing great in the box office right now and that is a shame.