Is the Snowden Movie Based On A True Story?

Is the Snowden Movie Based On A True Story?

We take a look at the true story behind the new Oliver Stone film, Snowden.

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The film Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone, is based on the true story of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The film chronicles Snowden’s life leading up to the 2013 revelation that he leaked classified information about the NSA’s surveillance programs to the press.

While the film is mostly accurate, there are some fictionalized elements. For example, the character of Lindsay Mills (played by Shailene Woodley) is a composite of several different people in Snowden’s life. However, the overall story remains true to Snowden’s real-life story.

The True Story

It is impossible to know for certain whether or not the movie is entirely accurate, we can be reasonably sure that it is based on a true story. After all, the film is inspired by events that actually happened and it features a number of people who were involved in those events.

The Movie

The Snowden movie is based on the true story of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who leaked classified information about the US government’s surveillance program to the press. The movie follows Snowden’s story from his days as a CIA operative to his decision to become a whistleblower. The movie has been praised for its accurate portrayal of Snowden’s story, and it has been nominated for several awards, including Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

The Characters

The Snowden movie is a dramatization of the events leading up to and including Edward Snowden’s leak of classified information from the National Security Agency. The film follows his journey from being an idealistic young man who believes in the mission of the NSA to becoming a whistleblower who is willing to risk everything to expose what he sees as illegal government surveillance.

The movie features an all-star cast, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden, Shailene Woodley as Snowden’s girlfriend Lindsay Mills, and Melissa Leo as NSA Deputy Director Katherine Hawkins. The film was directed by Oliver Stone and written by Stone and Kieran Fitzgerald.

The Plot

The plot of the movie is, for the most part, accurate to the real-life events. However, there are some notable differences between reality and fiction. For example, in the film, Snowden is shown working for the CIA before being recruited by NSA. In reality, he was a contractor for the NSA before going to work for the CIA.

The film also depicts Snowden as living in Hawaii with his girlfriend at the time of the leaks. In reality, he was living in Japan with his then-girlfriend Lindsay Mills.

Finally, the film culminates with Snowden escaping to Russia with help from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In reality, Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Moscow by himself and then applied for asylum. He has been living in Russia ever since.

The Reception

Critics were largely receptive of the film, with its director, Oliver Stone, getting particular praise. Many agreed that it faithfully told the story of Edward Snowden and captured the complex issues surrounding surveillance and privacy. But some felt that the film didn’t present a balanced view of Snowden and his actions.

The Criticism

The Snowden movie was released in 2016 and was directed by Oliver Stone. The leading role in the movie is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and it is based on the biography of Edward Snowden written by Luke Harding. The movie chronicles the life of Snowden from 2004 to 2013, covering his time in the army, his work for the CIA, and finally his leak of classified NSA documents to journalists.

The movie was met with criticism from some who felt it was too sympathetic to Snowden and downplayed his betrayal of his country. Critics also took issue with the portrayal of certain events, arguing that they were inaccurate or misleading.

The Aftermath

The Snowden movie is based on the true story of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The film chronicles his decision to leak classified information about the NSA’s mass surveillance program to the press.

The aftermath of Snowden’s decision to leak classified information was far-reaching. He was charged with espionage by the US government and has been living in exile in Russia since 2013. The revelations from the leaked documents sparked a global debate about government surveillance and privacy rights.

The Legacy

It has been nearly six years since Edward Snowden shocked the world by leaking classified information about the NSA’s mass surveillance program. The story was adapted into a movie called Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. But is the movie based on a true story?

The answer is complicated. While the movie is fiction, it is based on real events and draws heavily from Snowden’s own account of what happened. Stone also had access to classified documents that helped him create a more accurate picture of the NSA’s surveillance program.

However, there are several key elements of the movie that are not accurate. For example, the character of Lindsay Mills (played by Shailene Woodley) is mostly fictionalized. Mills was Snowden’s girlfriend at the time of the leaks, but she was not involved in his work or aware of what he was doing.

The movie also dramatizes some of the events surrounding the leaks, such as Snowden’s escape from Hong Kong and his meeting with journalists Laura Poitras (Melissa Leo) and Glenn Greenwald (Zachary Quinto).

Overall, the movie aims to be true to the spirit of what happened, even if it takes some liberties with the details.


After watching the movie and doing some research, it is safe to say that the Snowden movie is not entirely accurate. However, it does give a good overview of the events that took place and the controversy surrounding them.

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