Active Measures (PG-13)
Active Measures is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the mind. By coming on so strong, so fevered, Bryan achieves the dubious feat of making his host of documented facts, reasonable inferences and alarming subjects for further research all seem less persuasive than if they had been presented more soberly. Yes, Trump is likely, in some way, in thrall to or under the thumb of Putin, but Bryan's case is less journalistic than propagandistic, just a series of dark assertions made and moved on from. With such conspiracies afoot, who has time to nail a fact down? What's especially frustrating is that Bryan has put together a team of experts who could walk us through specifics, building a powerful case. Thirty seconds in, Clinton herself gamely summarizes events of Putin's childhood, and soon we're hearing from John McCain, John Podesta, former U.S. ambassador Michael McFaul, former CIA head James Woolsey, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and more, all of whom rarely get a half sentence out before Bryan cuts away.