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Nothing But the Truth

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Editorial Reviews

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).


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

Special Features


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 (88 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001PR0Y8K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,411 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nothing But the Truth" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

The story is compelling, based on true events but is a work of fiction.
Daniel G. Lebryk
This is one crappy movie, the only reason I gave 2 stars is it seemed to have some idea, some point it was going to make until the lackluster end.
We are also responsible to value and respect the individuals who protect us despite their own personal risk.
Kinga Ling

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Man VINE VOICE on May 23, 2009
Format: DVD
"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 By Jamie K. Douglas on May 2, 2010
Format: DVD
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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wilson on October 1, 2009
Format: DVD
The freedom of the press, issues of national security, and the consequences of standing by one's personal principles are all on trial in "Nothing But the Truth." I'm not sure why the reviews here tend to be so negative, save the ranting of those who fail to see that this film represents two sides.

Kate Beckinsale plays the role of a journalist who writes a story implicating the government's top echelons in declaring an act of war with trumped-up evidence. Matt Dillon plays the prosecutor who pressures her to reveal her source--since that source has violated the law by naming a covert CIA agent, played to great effect by Vera Farmiga. Yes, the plot has some obvious correlations to events of the past few years, which seems to be the thorn in the side of some reviewers, but it gives both sides important things to say. While the film does center around Beckinsale, building sympathy for her, it also gives Dillon's character a chance to stand by his own moral codes to protect his country. The issues of the First and Fifth Amendment are considered here.

"Nothing But the Truth" keeps us hooked by the secret identify of the source that Beckinsale protects with such ferocity. Alan Alda plays her lawyer, while Angela Bassett plays her editor. Though both add layers, it's Beckinsale, Farmiga, and Dillon who drive the story. Beckinsale and Farmiga are strong female characters, both threatened with the losses of marriage and family ties, both feeling persecuted for doing their jobs.

I hold dear the power of the written word and the right to speak the truth. I also believe national security is of vital importance, and I like the fact this film honors that as well.
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18 of 26 people found the following review helpful By GatheringTree on September 7, 2009
Format: DVD
**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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