Saturday, October 19, 2013

Movie Review: The Fifth Estate

Dreamworks and Disney get the Fall Award Movie Season off to a flying start with the release of The Fifth Estate.

This movie follows the rise and fall of WikiLeaks, a website created by Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his associate Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Bruhl). Assange wants to create a place online for whistleblowers to remain anonymous while exposing government and corporate secrets. While not your typical thriller filled with car chases and explosions, this is a throwback thriller that unfolds quietly as a political drama.

WikiLeaks exposes corruption with a leading bank and they put themselves on the map. Soon, they are releasing more hard hitting news than any of the world's news organizations. Then they come across a massive amount of secret documents about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The film does a great job of walking the fine line of showing the two sides of Assange. We see not only the man that he says he is but also as the complex, troubled man that is very arrogant, filled with paranoia and suffering from deep family issues.
We see how Assange gets Berg to join him in his cause. Over time we see that Assange is gaining more and more control over Berg's life. The relationship between these two men is the driving force of this film. The road from admiration to pure hostility is fantastic. Two solid acting performances from from of my favorite current actors.

In the end it is up to you to decide if Assange is a hero or a traitor. Amazing performances and editing add more interest to what is a war of wills and words into something truly cinematic!

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