The Fifth Estate
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Based on true events, this fast-paced global thriller takes you behind the shocking headlines. It reveals the mission of WikiLeaks' rebel founder (Benedict Cumberbatch) to expose fraud and corruption to the world. With an all-star cast including Laura Linney and Stanley Tucci -- and complete with exclusive never-before-seen bonus material -- THE FIFTH ESTATE is a riveting story of intrigue and espionage.
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As an analogy for whether or not you would choose to watch this film ask yourself if you are first a fan of what Julian Assange has contributed to society and journalism. If you think he's a creep, you'll love this movie, which is told from the point of view by a person who was Assange's right arm until Assange kicked him out of WikiLeaks.
A comparison would be: what if a movie were made about Jesus but the source material was taken from a book written by Judas? In such a version Judas would be the hero and therefore Jesus, according to the rules of story telling would have to come off as an egotistical, megalomaniac who cared primarily for glory. Judas, conversely, would come off as the voice of reason who betrayed his master for the greater good.
This is the version of the WikiLeaks story you will see in The Fifth Estate.
Aside from the fact that this is a one-sided telling of the story there are other problems with this piece from a filmmaking point of view. First, it is extremely long and second it is packed with tons of information to which you must pay very close attention. Watch this movie with a large coffee and your finger on the pause button because it is the only way you'll be able to follow the nuance and minutia of detail necessary to understand the character's motivations.
For example: for reasons I cannot understand the filmmakers decided to frame shots that include words you're supposed to read off laptop screens with the laptop framed in a medium-shot. Meaning, it's like reading micro font and because of the fast-paced editing you get mere seconds to assimilate important data.
For this reason I deducted two stars. This is a ok first effort on telling the WikiLeaks story but history will demand a need for more versions.
The previews for this movie looked exciting, and i'm wondering if this is the same film I saw in the previews. With me being a cumberbatch fan and being interested in learning more about Wikileaks, I decided to rent The Fifth Estate. Bad idea! My biggest problem is that the dialog in this movie is unintelligible. For some reason I can only make out about half of Cumberbatch's dialogue and the rest is muttered. I'm not sure if this is part of his character, but it's really annoying. Like others have said in the reviews, his hair really is annoying. And i've never found hair to be annoying in my life. The music in this film doesn't fit the premise of the scenes leaving you scratching your head wondering what is going on. The pacing of the film is totally off and the camera action is confusing. Cumberbatch is a fantastic actor but this movie is total trash! Save your money.
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flag pole to sell ya.