Headlined by shining performances from Tika Sumpter and Ben Tavassoli, An Acceptable Loss is full of political thrills in the Chicago-set thriller.
A brief prologue introduces us to former US security advisor, Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Lamm (Tika Sumpter), and her boss, then-Vice President Rachel Burke (Jamie Lee Curtis). While watching the film, we learn that Lamm authored the controversial and “commission-proof” Burke Doctrine. It’s because of this that Lamm decides to step away from her position. Cut to four years later and she takes a job at Grant University in the Chicago area.
It’s while she’s teaching at Grant where a graduate student, Martin (Tavassoli), becomes super-interested in her. It’s to the point in which we think he may be a stalker. Whatever happened four years ago has emotionally affected Martin. While all this is going on, Burke’s chief of staff, Adrian (Jeff Hephner), comes back into Libby’s life. Adrian has questions but with Libby going completely off the grid, he requires an answer in person. Is she or isn’t she on Burke’s team? If not, will she stay silent?
As we’re drawn into this world, we get bits and pieces of the backstory. Why is it that Lamm is a controversial hire for Grant? We quickly learn that this is because of things that came out due to an attack in response to Los Angeles. We never exactly learn what happened in LA other than who organized it.
There’s some light moments of laughter in an otherwise thrilling film. As far as the political themes, we never know what political party that Rachel Burke or her predecessor (Rex Linn) belong too. This is an especially safe call for writer-director Joe Chappelle because it shows any politician could make a bad decision.
An Acceptable Loss is a non-partisan political thriller.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Joe Chappelle
CAST: Tika Sumpter, Ben Tavassoli, Deanna Dunagan, Jeff Hephner, with Clarke Peters and Jamie Lee Curtis