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Nothing But the Truth (2008)

Kate Beckinsale , Vera Farmiga  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kate Beckinsale, Vera Farmiga
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001PR0Y8K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,233 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nothing But the Truth" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A U.S. President itching to start a war... A confidential report telling the Administration the opposite of what it wants to hear... A Beltway wife outed to the press as a CIA operative... And another woman, a hotshot reporter, threatened with jail because she won't reveal her source... Yes, it does sound like the Bush-era case of Valerie Plame and New York Times journalist Judith Miller--and by the time you make it to the end of writer-director Rod Lurie's latest inside-Washington shadowplay, you may wish he'd served up that real-life story instead of half-baked fiction. Kate Beckinsale plays the reporter, a rising star with a ponytail and a Pulitzer-worthy scoop, "Watergate and Iran-Contra combined." The film's best scenes have her tussling with the Plame figure (the formidable Vera Farmiga). Lurie makes them soccer moms whose kids play together--a proto-feminist gesture befitting the creator of The Contender (the movie with Joan Allen as a Vice Presidential nominee battling a sex scandal) and Commander-in-Chief (the short-lived TV series featuring Geena Davis as America's first woman President). Nothing but the Truth trumpets its this-wouldn't-happen-to-a-man outrage but resorts to woman's-picture subplots involving weak, unreliable spouses--then compounds the lapse by leaving the male roles underdeveloped. Lurie seems to be working his way down a checklist of themes (sexism, the need to protect the freedom of the press, the way lives get left behind by the 48-hour news cycle) and possible impacts a person in Beckinsale's position might experience. Finally, his film is a make-your-own-movie kit leaving the viewer free to focus on favorite ingredients. Apart from Beckinsale and Farmiga, the name cast (Angela Bassett, Noah Wyle, et al.) is mostly reduced to revving their engines, though Matt Dillon scores as a special prosecutor mixing folksiness and cold calculation, while Alan Alda gets to showboat as a legendary defense attorney. The widescreen setups abound in irritating mannerisms and pointless foreground clutter, but since cameraman Alik Sakharov did clean work throughout the epic run of HBO's The Sopranos, the blame must lie with the director. And that's the truth. --Richard T. Jameson

Product Description

Inspired by true events. Kate Beckinsale and Academy Award® nominee Matt Dillon (Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Crash, 2004) lead an all-star cast in this explosive story about a Washington, D.C. reporter who faces a possible jail sentence for outing a CIA agent and refusing to out her source. The all-star cast includes Academy Award® nominees Alan Alda (Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for The Aviator, 2004), Angela Bassett (Best Actress in a Leading Role for What's Love Got to Do with It, 1993); Emmy® Award nominee David Schwimmer (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for "Friends," 1994), Golden Globe® nominee Noah Wyle (Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture for "ER," 1997-99) and Vera Farmiga (The Departed).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Drama Based on Newspaper Headlines May 23, 2009
"Nothing But the Truth" is based on the events surrounding the prison sentence of "New York Times" reporter Judith Miller after she refused to reveal the source who identified undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Prompted by a failed assassination attempt on the President of the United States, investigative reporter Rachel Armstrong (Kate Beckinsale) discovers that a neighborhood woman is a CIA operative. Rachel believes she has happened upon the Big Story, and is backed by her editor (Angela Bassett), the newspaper's legal counsel (Noah Wyle), and her First Amendment lawyer (Alan Alda). Federal prosecutor Patton Dubois (Matt Dillon) wants her to name her sources. She refuses and is thrown in jail for contempt of court. She thinks she will soon be released, but as her incarceration lengthens, her relationship with husband (David Schwimmer) and son (Preston Bailey) starts to deteriorate.
Performances are first-rate in this tense political thriller. Beckinsale is sympathetic as the idealistic yet frightened reporter, but Dillon dazzles as the Javert-like Fed who will use anything and everything within his power to break the reporter's will. The changing relationship between Rachel and her family gives the film humanity and elevates it from a mere "ripped from the headlines" flick to one of depth.
Bonus extras include deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, and filmmakers' commentary.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I did enjoy the movie and all characters, including Matt Dillon and Noah Wyle. Though the twist at the end what what "made" the movie it also defined for me what type of character Kate Beckinsale was really playing. I thought she did a great job portraying her part, but the actors reviews of the movie praised how great it was that she was unwilling to expose her source. The problem I had was wondering how anyone could take advantage of an incident such as she and be okay with destroying everyone around her including the lives of those involved in the story. Had her source been revealed, she would never had been allowed to print the story and would have been laughed out of the pressroom. Not to mention all the wasted time and energy spent by the government,the paper, etc. in trying to determine/protect whoever was responsible for commiting treason.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must-see DVD April 16, 2009
The smart, engrossing political thriller in the tradition of All the President's Men has a welcome female twist: two working mommies -- one a DC journalist (Kate Beckinsale), one a CIA agent (Vera Farmiga) -- cross paths on their kids' soccer field with disastrous results. Beckinsale clearly doesn't need a rubber catsuit to be terrific; she's focused, genuine, and sympathetic as the investigative reporter whose first big scoop crumples the career and family of her spook subject, with plenty of collateral damage in her own life when she goes to prison for withholding her source's name. And The Departed's Farmiga balances between dangerous adversary and wounded mother in a volatile supporting role.
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18 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What most other commentaries missed September 7, 2009
**This entire comment is a SPOILER and best not to be read if you have not seen the movie or if you intend to see it.**

Throughout the movie, controversy is raised by lines being drawn between duty, occupation, integrity, and simple human decency. Sometimes these lines are crossed, depending on your point of view. Nonetheless, the viewer is looking for a strong protagonist and antagonist, which is not revealed and this is frustrating.

Most of the reviews I've read have completely misinterpreted the ending. They think it was based on the integrity of journalist confidentiality, the 1st amendment, etc. This may be because the entire movie, indeed, seemed to be about these things. All the way up to a very moving supreme court speech. So stirring that it might even persuade some viewers who were against the jailed reporter to turn to her side. It is, however, the misunderstanding of the astonishing ending which leaves viewers with a feeling of absurdity and a incorrect overall conclusion upon which many commentaries are based.

In fact, the ending made it quite clear what was going on the entire time. It also brought out who the antagonist was hands down. The movie portrays what happens when an irresponsible opportunistic journalist, in a highly responsible position, stumbles into two sources (the main source is an elementary school girl, who is the daughter of the woman she is going to expose; and a drunken high official semi-corroborator who agrees to go on record). This hand dealt to her tempts her to write a story of Pulitzer caliber.

The journalist arrogantly believes that she is untouchable if her story goes to press and sloughs off the warnings of the in-house advisor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars eh... March 16, 2014
I started out really disliking this film because it misfires so often. It kind of grew on me.

For starters, as I've said several times about films w journalists, so few films, actors ever get it right, and so is the case here. If you ever saw the film Company Town, was it, Ben Affleck? Kevin Costner, as a contractor, gives one of his best performances. And it's not how he wields a hammer. It's the weariness, the tediousness of the occupation. He nails it.

Kate Beckinsale is not very convincing as a journalist, but she's not awful either. But major misstep one: Angela Bassett as the boss. If there is one black female running a major US daily I'd be surprised. And if there is, a film I'm sure could and should be made of her. Apart from that curious, questionable casting call, nothing Bassett does -- usually a fine actress -- rings true. Nothing. Nothing to her character suggests she knows anything about a newsroom or the news business. (And when, in jail, Beckinsale asks her to write a supportive editorial, and Bassett says of course; the editorial side does not write editorials in a newspaper. The publishing side does.)

More bad news: Matt Dillon and Alan Alda. Alan Alda is one of those lucky actors w the easiest acting gig in the world, which is, basically: think you can do Alan Alda again? Which he is always able to do. However, the speech before the court, where he asks them what would happen to democracy in America if journalists weren't allowed to do their job, is very well done. He does get better as the film goes along.

Dillon, it is clear from his first moment on camera, has no clue who his character is, so he wings it throughout the film. As w every performance like that, it's really annoying.
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