We live in a world in which conspiracy theories abound, so it comes as no surprise that many thrillers incorporate governmental backstabbing, double-dealing, and cover-ups into the fabric of their story. In a time when paranoia and distrust of the government have become second nature, a movie like Shooter strikes a responsive chord. The film takes the cynic's view of the U.S. political power structure and paints an identifiable portrait. The message is twofold: never trust anyone in power and paranoia is good because they are out to get you. It also helps that director Antoine Fuqua is able to sustain tension and keep us guessing through the course of this better-than-average thriller.