You’d have to go back to All the President’s Men (1976) for a better example of fresh American political scandal being turned into slam-bang, star-powered drama. Sean Penn plays Joseph Wilson, the U.S. diplomat who publicly disputed the Bush administration’s evidence for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and Naomi Watts is his wife, Valerie Plame, who was outed as a CIA agent in retaliation. The screenplay is adapted from Plame’s and Wilson’s respective memoirs, and their relationship in the movie—like the one between Woodward and Bernstein in the earlier one—is so compelling that it generates an emotional force quite apart from the political skulduggery. Scrupulous with the facts on weapons of mass destruction, the movie arrives at the same impasse that the media and justice system did when vice presidential aide Scooter Libby was thrown to the wolves. But it does a real service in showing how important Plame was to the agency’s counterproliferation efforts in Iraq and how screwed her foreign sources were when the story broke. Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) directed; with Sam Shepard and Noah Emmerich.