“Miss Sloane” (Europacorp)

Jessica Chastain stars in a scene from the movie "Miss Sloane." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/EuropaCorp)

By Catholic News Service

A striking performance from Jessica Chastain as the ruthless Washington lobbyist of the title propels director John Madden’s forceful study of political corruption.

The win-at-all-costs wheeler-dealer shocks her colleagues when, driven by personal conviction, she abruptly changes sides in the fight over a pending gun control bill, abandoning her cushy position with a topflight firm (led by Sam Waterston) and signing on with a fledgling outfit (headed by Mark Strong) for what she realizes will be an uphill battle against the National Rifle Association and its allies. Potential casualties in the high-stakes conflict include one of the staff members (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who switched companies with her, and who harbors a long-hidden secret.

Despite its obvious — and, for Hollywood, predictable — partisan bias, and its preference for dramatic effect over ethical seriousness, as penned by Jonathan Perera, the film is fundamentally moral. Yet its exploration of the protagonist’s unhealthy personal life, in which she uses a male prostitute (Jake Lacy) as a partner for emotionally empty, commitment-free sex, will be off-putting even for some mature viewers.

Semi-graphic nonmarital sexual activity, a prostitution theme, several uses of profanity, a tasteless religious joke, frequent rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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