Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Fifth Estate Movie Review

The Fifth Estate movie review, rating, trailer and photos.

Director: Bill Condon

First Release Date: 11th October 2013 (UK)

Running Time: 128 minutes

 Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, David Thewlis, Stanley Tucci, Peter Capaldi, Alicia Vikander, Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie

"The Fifth Estate" is a film based on  real events - the 'information revolution' of the 21st Century.  It's story and content is based lossely on two books both published in 2011; Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World's Most Dangerous Website by Domscheit-Berg and WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy by David Leigh and Luke Harding.  It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, the man behind the WikiLeaks website and also Daniel Brühl, David Thewlis, Stanley Tucci and Laura Linney.

The film centers around journalist Daniel Berg (Brühl). From his first encounter with Julian Assange (Cumberbatch) to the stories and secrets they revealed via WikiLeaks.  Daniel finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of activism for freedom of information.  As time goes on, cracks can be seen to form in his relationship with Julian as he finds himself in over his head going up against the biggest and most powerful governments of the time. 

Movie review of the Fifth Estate - a film about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks

Half of the aspects of "The Fifth Estate" are excellent however the other half ruin the film. It is a real mix of good and bad but despite this is still a relatively okay film overall.  For anyone who has followed the news the last few years will be familiar with the story and rise of WikiLeaks - a non-profit organisation that uploads secrets, news leaks and classified truths from anonymous 'whistle blowers'.  This movie depicts to the full extent the major stories and cover-ups that WikiLeaks has leaked.  It is filled with basic content of the countless leaks they made available to the world. 

"The Fifth Estate" features a relatively well known cast but the one stand out is Cumberbatch.  With dyed white hair and an Australian accent, Cumberbatch is Assange.  He portrays Assange's, mannerisms perfectly and is extremely convincing in the title role.  Without Cumberbatch, "The Fifth Estate" would have petered out into nothing.  He really is the driving force behind any success or positive reaction that the film gains. 

The other well known actors are all okay. However, they do fall into the shadows, cast by Cumberbatch's performance.  Brühl is good as Daniel Berg and the supporting cast including Thewlis, Linney, Tucci and Peter Calpaldi are all solid but far from amazing.  In this film they define the word 'supporting'.  Not one stands out or affects the overall outcome of the film from their own performance.  

Movie review of The Fifth Estate starring Cumberbatch, Bruhl, Thewlis, Capaldi, Tucci and Linney.

It is the look, feel and directing of "The Fifth Estate" where it ultimately falls down. The content is there albeit very consuming, however director Bill Condon does well to make this understandable for the audience.  The problem is that in a way there is too much content - it does not allow for any real story or drama to occur or take place.  It is based on two books so does has room to maneuver in a story that could grab and pull the audience in yet it sticks to the rather risk-less portrayal of event after event (this happened, then this happened and so on ).  When thought about and understood in this manner "The Fifth Estate" is not a good film at all.  There seemed to be no effort to make it into an exciting film - in fact you could go as far to say this would have been better as a documentary rather than a movie. 

"The Fifth Estate" is an interesting film in two ways; firstly, the content is relatively engaging and engrossing, secondly it really is difficult to work out your own feelings about the film.  On the one hand, you have an excellent performance from Cumberbatch that is unmatched by anyone else on set, but then the general direction of the film really lets it down.  Saying this, the film is still above average but this is down rather to the true story content that the film depicts from the two books it is loosely based upon. "The Fifth Estate" is an okay film that is far from excellent. It is spearheaded by the sublime performance from Cumberbatch but with below average direction the movie equates to nothing more than a content filled, drama lacking movie. 

M+F Rating: 6/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

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