This is a small film and ultimately a depressing story that of a loser left without hope and nothing left to lose. A man who finally snaps and launches a futile gesture of defiance against the world which ends in the only possible way - with his death and the legacy of a posthumous feature on a news broadcast. It's also "inspired by" a true story.
Many would argue that there is no reason at all to see this film (particularly those who prefer the usual Hollywood obsession with happy endings), were it not for the riveting Sean Penn. As a portrait of a man breaking up, piece by piece, you will not see a more finely nuanced anywhere - an acutely detailed, minutely observed portrayal of human resistance being eroded as the patently absurd aspirations that a man clings to are exposed: a dream of business success, that his wife would return to their wreckage of a marriage, and ultimately that he could hijack a plane and crash it into the White House. Penn is also well supported by an ensemble cast that includes Naomi Watts, Don Cheadle and Jack Thompson, and given good support by scriptwriter/director Niels Muller.
Not a great movie, but certainly powerful and moving, and a record that Sean Penn is worthy of greater note than just a footnote that he was once married to Madonna.