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The Fifth Estate

  R HD Closed Captioning

Bill Condon

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Plot Summary

Triggering our age of high-stakes secrecy, explosive news leaks and the trafficking of classified information, WikiLeaks forever changed the game. Now, in a dramatic thriller based on real events, “The Fifth Estate” reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization. The story begins as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) team up to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. On a shoestring, they create a platform that allows whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data, shining a light on the dark recesses of government secrets and corporate crimes. Soon, they are breaking more hard news than the world’s most legendary media organizations combined. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society—and what are the costs of exposing them?

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

37%
  • Reviews Counted: 165
  • Fresh: 61
  • Rotten: 104
  • Average Rating: 5.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: As nervy and as excitable as the trade that it depicts. – Anthony Lane, New Yorker, Oct 21, 2013

Rotten: The movie can't quite decide what it thinks of [Assange] - or even if it should decide at all. – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct 17, 2013

Rotten: "The Fifth Estate" tries to be a cross between "The Social Network" and "Zero Dark Thirty." Only it's more like "The Sociopath Network" meets "Zero Dumb Thirty." – Kyle Smith, New York Post, Oct 18, 2013

Rotten: The material covered in the production's 128 minutes is not only inherently non-cinematic but not remotely "thrilling," at least in the conventional sense. – James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Oct 21, 2013

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Great

This movie is amazing !!!
What the hell is wrong with the critics

Tense, fascinating thriller!

Yet another example of how the critics are brain dead. The Fifth Estate is full of surprises, intrigue and talented acting. The roller coaster rise and fall of Wikileaks, and the friendship between Assange and Ellsberg, is riveting. Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Bruhl are brilliant and the cinematography lends a brooding intensity to the whole movie. If you like smart films that will have you talking about how far freedom of information should go and how much friendships should demand this is definitely for you.

Critics be hanged!

"The movie can't quite decide what it thinks of [Assange] - or even if it should decide at all." ala Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chonicle, Oct. 17, 2013

I do not call what LaSalle uses as a distinct derogatorial neither intelligent nor germane. We do not need a film to decide for us in these situations. Instead, 'The Fifth Estate' takes us on a fascinating journey of discovery, unfolding characters and information along the way that, hopefully, will cause us to be curious enough to investigate the issues and players for ourselves. That is great cinema in my estimation!