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Movie Review: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

by Dan Gunderson

Once a week, I review a movie that I had previously not viewed. It could be a new one or an old one. It does not matter. What does matter is that you read and enjoy this simple blog post from a movie geek.

My weekend became very long Sunday night when it was 11 p.m. and I realized I had yet to watch a movie over the weekend. There was a heated debate between myself and I on whether or not I should stay up and watch Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

In the end I won and stayed up to watch George Clooney’s directorial debut movie. The movie is about game show creator Chuck Barris and his supposed secret life as a CIA Agent. Barris is played by Sam Rockwell with notable actresses Drew Barymore and Julia Roberts playing prominent roles.

Full disclosure here: I had already seen this movie. I was cleaning my apartment and I wanted something on in the background that I could tune into periodically. In doing this, I became completely lost as the movie moved forward. I hated the movie initially. Thought it was too confusing to get into.

My heart wouldn’t allow me to just disregard the movie, however, and I forced myself to sit though the nearly two hour movie. In the end, I am glad I did. Rockwell, who I believe should land bigger roles, was amazing in his portrayal of Barris.

The other thing that surprised me was the directing job of Clooney. This movie is listed as a comedy on IMDB. To me, it was more crime drama with splashes of comedy thrown in throughout the movie. Very Cohen Brothers like in the making of the film.

Clooney has never been one of my favorite actors but he has directed some very strong films. I would put this one up there with Good Night and Good Luck  and The Ides of March. He kept a storyline moving and very intriguing throughout.

The biggest question you have at the end of the film is whether or not you believe this whole thing actually happened to Barris or if he is crazy. The real Chuck Barris is still alive and when the book came out in the 1980’s, it was vehemently denied by the CIA that Barris was ever part of their operation.

Obviously, the CIA is not going to admit classified information every happened. And Clooney doesn’t go about trying to prove Barris is telling the truth or lying. He is just there to direct the story and let you decide. You end up in the end wanting it to be true because Rockwell makes you such a fan of Barris.

I doubt it is all true judging on how many things Barris was probably doing (drugs/booze) in his heyday on television but who cares. In the end, it makes for a great story and entertaining movie. Highly recommend you dig this one out from the archives and watch it.