I’ve seen but haven’t yet reviewed (and am not about to review here and now) Daniel Noah‘s Max Rose (Paladin, 9.2), the Jerry Lewis drama about aging, legacy and unfinished marital business, and Oliver Stone‘s Snowden (Open Road, 9.16). But I caught them both within the last two days (8.25 and 8.26) and they’re both surprisingly good, which I wasn’t certain would be the case.

The Snowden embargo lift isn’t for a while yet, but I can at least say that in my view it’s Oliver’s best film since Any Given Sunday — a return to form. It’s lean, sober, intelligent and well controlled. Yes, we all know the Snowden saga due to Laura Poitras‘s Oscar-winning Citizen Four, but this is a bracing, well-acted, highly engaging companion piece. I especially loved a brilliantly designed digital sequence that shows how NSA surveillance works on a personal, always expanding, ultimately global basis.

I’ll tap out something about Max Rose tomorrow morning.

I also spoke this morning to a person who caught Clint Eastwood‘s Sully, which will premiere at next weekend’s Telluride Film Festival, and he, a tough, no-nonsense critic, says it’s quite good. Efficiently edited (only 96 minutes) by Blu Murray, and a nicely structured saga about the battle between the value of air industry technology vs. seasoned piloting by crusty, gray-haired pros.

Then I heard from another guy (another no-bullshit type) who’s seen Warren Beatty‘s Rules Don’t Apply, and he says it’s also quite good. He actually used a flattering adjective popularized by Billy Crystal in the mid ’80s along with a term that means the opposite of poor.