Taken together, "Flags" and "Letters" represent a genuinely imposing achievement, one that looks at war unflinchingly -- that does not deny its necessity but above all laments the human loss it entails.
The mesmerizing performance of Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the celebrated writer dominates every scene, while director Bennett Miller and screenwriter Dan Futterman's penetrating study enthralls in every aspect.
A brave, challenging picture that makes the viewer complicit in the action, it is also perhaps the first film since the declaration of the Islamic Republic to confront so directly the brutality of the feared security apparatus.
It stands as a unique film-within-a-film, of significance for the historical value of the raw images, the memories they spur and internal evidence of how the Nazis staged scenes long assumed to be real.
Charles Ferguson's sophomore film Inside Job is the definitive screen investigation of the global economic crisis, providing hard evidence of flagrant amorality -- and of a new nonfiction master at work.