Currently Hollywood’s go-to girl for steely fembot careerist roles, Jessica Chastain does her luridly lipsticked best with the character of Washington lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane. It’s a towering, armour-plated performance. The only chink of weakness we glimpse is the twitch of her left eye when control temporarily slips out of her manicured grasp. But a great lobbyist, as Elizabeth breaks the fourth wall to tell us, is always one step ahead. And the slippery screenplay contrives to keep it that way, tying itself in knots as it goes. Director John Madden shoots this murky political thriller through layers of glass and reflective surfaces – the set is markedly more transparent than the smoke-and-mirrors plotting. Amid all the machinations and dubious morals, Gugu Mbatha-Raw provides a much-needed anchor to the closest thing that passes for decency on Capitol Hill.
Miss Sloane review – Jessica Chastain chews up DC
The actor shines as a tough Washington lobbyist in this murky political thriller
Wendy Ide is the Observer's deputy film critic