Director:  Bill Condon
Writer: Josh Singer
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Bruhl, David Thewlis, Anthony Mackie and Laura Linney
Studio: DreamWorks

“The Fifth Estate” was a hard film for me to watch. While I agree with what Julian Assange has done and I wish more people joined his cause; the guy isn’t always the easiest person to like. This film was adapted from a book crafted by Assange’s co-hort. Naturally, he portrays himself as the sympathetic Daniel Bruhl. I just don’t know if I can feel bad for a guy becoming a turncoat when the mission got too rough for him.

Too much time was spent trying to make Julian Assange look like a weirdo messiah. I can’t tell if the film wants to be a reluctant biopic or if it would just be happy to continue aping “The Social Network”. The end result is a jumbled mess that riffs on Pakula while putting pablum on the screen. I wish I could speak greater about this film, but we deserve more. When we have Senators and Representatives wanting to be the man to death or imprisoned for life, doesn’t he deserve a fair shot? When are we going to get our Snowden and Manning movies?

Still, what I take away from the film is that it’s hard to make a fictional mirror of the news before the case is closed. When you race to say something relevant, you often trip over the balance between the real and the sensational. It’s a stumbling block that I’ve seen come up in “Rush” and “Captain Phillips”. So, what did we do? Do we favor the truth and ignore the movie? Do we favor the movie and ignore what can easily be found online? That’s up to you and your desire to actually learn more about the world around you.

RELEASE DATE: 10/18/2013


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