Blu-ray Review: Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House

STUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Peter Landesman | CAST: Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Marton Csokas, Tony Goldwyn, Ike Barinholtz, Josh Lucas, Brian D’Arcy James, Maika Monroe, Michael C. Hall, Bruce Greenwood
RELEASE DATE: Jan. 9, 2018 | PRICE: DVD $14.96, Blu-ray $19.96
BONUSES: director’s commentary, featurette, deleted and extended scenes
SPECS: PG-13 | 102 min. | Drama thriller | 2.00:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 | English and French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio | Video  | Overall

Along with Steven Spielberg’s The Post, this year’s Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, a story from the 1970’s, feels very timely as independent organizations experience overreach from the current the executive branch.  But unlike The Post, Mark Felt squanders the built-in drama of its story with an uneven script and languid pacing.

Written and directed by respected journalist-turned-filmmaker Peter Landesman (Concussion), Mark Felt examines the true story of the late F.B.I. Special Agent and Bureau Associate Director who risked his career in the name of justice. Known for years by the alias “Deep Throat,” dedicated company man Felt leaked confidential information to Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein back in the early 1970s, which led to them uncovering the Watergate scandal and bringing down the Nixon White House.

Liam Neeson is Mark Felt

The idea of exploring the other side of All the Presidents Men is extremely intriguing, especially with the casting of Academy Award winner Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List) as Felt. Neeson portrays Felt with an intelligent, uncompromising steely resolve that unfortunately keeps the audience from truly knowing and feeling for its hero. The film hardly explores Felt’s relationship with Woodward and Bernstein and barely scratches the surface of any conflict he feels as continues to leak information.

Though Landesman attempts to build tension by filming in dark muted tones, with numerous scenes of suited men talking in hushed airs in shadowy corners, the high stakes in play are never fully realized. And then there’s a subplot involving Felt’s hippie-dippy missing daughter, which could have been scrubbed entirely. Perhaps meant to portray Felt’s more personal side, it does little in providing more insight into his personality and serves as a distraction from the main story.

Mark Felt does feature a strong and effective ensemble cast including Diane Lane (Trumbo) as Felt’s troubled wife, along with Marton Csokas (The Debt), Tony Goldwyn (Divergent), Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad), Josh Lucas (J. Edgar), Michael C. Hall (TV’s Dexter), Bruce Greenwood (Truth) and Tom Sizemore (Heat). All wear their suits well and look appropriately serious.

The Blu-ray and DVD discs includes deleted scenes, commentary and a behind-the-scenes featurette “The Secrets of Making Mark Felt” showcasing interviews with cast and crew.

Buy or Rent Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down The White House

About Kitty Foyle

Kitty Foyle takes her name from the Ginger Rogers film, the one which won her an Oscar, and that was all it took to make her a movie lover. Ms. Foyle is excited to add her insights to the great team at DishDisc.com.