A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Comey Rule is a political drama series aimed at an adult audience. Based on the scandals and investigations of the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath, its subject matter is mature and complex. Character exchanges are often peppered with foul language, including "f--k" and "s--t", "d--k," "p----y," "a--hole," "balls," "bitch," and "piss." Characters are physically intimate, showing some bare skin, but don't display nudity. Donald Trump's alleged involvement with prostitutes and his "golden shower" fetish is discussed on multiple occasions. Violence is limited to a recounted story about a child who had a gun pointed at his head, and a brief scene depicting the graphic, bloody aftermath of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlanda in 2016. Characters are seen drinking socially.
What's the story?
Based on the book A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by former FBI Director James Comey, THE COMEY RULE is a two-part political drama that focuses on the 2016 presidential election and the first months of Donald Trump's presidency. The election's various, high-profile scandals -- including the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server and Russia's attempts to sway the election's outcome -- are covered in great detail in the series' first episode. The second part focuses more on the increasingly volatile relationship between the newly elected Trump and Director Comey. In addition to retelling the real-life story with an all-star cast, including Jeff Daniels and Brendan Gleeson playing Comey and Trump, respectively, the series relies heavily on archival television news footage.
Is it any good?
This series might be light on "behind-the-curtain" moments, but that's not to say it isn't entertaining.I f you're tuning into The Comey Rule for answers, insights, or revelations regarding the 2016 election's various scandals or the titular character's fall from grace at the hands of Donald Trump, you'll likely feel duped once you reach the end of its nearly four-hour runtime. It covers a lot of ground, offering a surprisingly digestible take on everything from Hillary's emails and Putin's election interference to FBI Director Comey's stubborn moral code and President Trump's troubled first days in office. But if you followed any of the nonstop news cycle when these events actually unfolded, you're unlikely to learn anything new, let alone surprising, from this dramatization.
While all of the scandalous election's greatest hits -- from Michael Flynn's lying to Anthony Weiner's sexting -- play a bit like yesterday's news, the series does provide a fresh peek into Comey's personal life. We primarily see the FBI boss at the bureau, leading his agents like a Boy Scout in a navy blue suit, but the character's at his most compelling when he's at home. Watching him navigate the minefield of sticking to his moral code while also making his wife and four Hillary-supporting daughter's proud provides some of series' most absorbing scenes.
Thanks to its polished production values and award-worthy performances, it remains engaging even when wading into the most well-trodden territory. Daniels and Gleeson are both excellent, with the latter pulling off the seemingly impossible task of not playing Trump like a caricature or variety show impersonation. And while these conflicting characters steal the show, the drama benefits equally from a strong, supporting cast that includes Holly Hunter, Jonathan Banks, and a veritable who's who of faces you'll recognize from other series. Watch The Comey Rule like a popcorn retelling of current events, and you're in for a fun romp. Approach it searching for the answers you didn't get in 2016, however, and you'll wind up more frustrated than an unfairly dismissed government official.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the real-life subjects depicted in The Comey Rule. Does the show accurately cover the events of the 2016 election? In what ways does the dramatization differ from what actually happened? Does the series make you feel differently or change your opinion about any of the topics it covers?
What are the various roles of the different FBI agents on Comey's team? What responsibilities come with those roles? How do the agents' unique skills contribute to the common goal?
Does Director Comey possess both positive and negative traits? Do you recognize any specific positive or negative traits in him? Do you see a change in these traits from the start of the series to its conclusion?
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