The Pentagon Papers (2003)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Drama, History, Thriller  |  9 March 2003 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,162 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

Defense worker Daniel Ellsberg seeks to publish a series of classified government documents detailing the true nature of America's involvement in the Vietnam War.



0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Stickup (2002)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

It's a quiet little town where nothing happens - until the day the bank is hit for half a million dollars by a thief wearing a clowns mask.

Director: Rowdy Herrington
Stars: James Spader, Leslie Stefanson, David Keith
I Witness (2003)
Drama | Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

After 27 bodies are discovered in a collapsed tunnel in Tijuana, a man tries to unravel the mystery before becoming the next victim.

Director: Rowdy Herrington
Stars: Jeff Daniels, James Spader, Portia de Rossi
Driftwood (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When Sarah walks alone along the desolate beach one day she find an unconscious man, who has been brought to land by the waves. When he awakens he doesn't remember anything. He has no name ... See full summary »

Director: Ronan O'Leary
Stars: James Spader, Anne Brochet, Barry McGovern
Jack's Back (1988)
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A serial killer in Los Angeles celebrates Jack the Ripper's 100th birthday by committing similar murders.

Director: Rowdy Herrington
Stars: James Spader, Cynthia Gibb, Jim Haynie
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two men face the consequences of gambling after playing with men beyond their league.

Director: Philip Haas
Stars: James Spader, Mandy Patinkin, M. Emmet Walsh
Alien Hunter (2003)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An alien black box is found in the South Pole, where a government agency is conducting botanical experiments.

Director: Ron Krauss
Stars: James Spader, Janine Eser, John Lynch
Fantasy | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A bachelor afraid of marriage angers his long-time girlfriend by buying a splendid townhouse just for himself, only to find it haunted by the ghosts of a famous theatrical couple, who teach... See full summary »

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: James Spader, Polly Walker, Michael Caine
Keys to Tulsa (1997)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Richter Boudreau, the son of local celebrity Cynthia, is not very successful and works as a film critic for a local newspaper. In a short time he loses his job and his heritage, and one of ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Greif
Stars: Eric Stoltz, James Spader, Deborah Kara Unger
Storyville (1992)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

While investigating his own blackmailing, a young politician uncovers his family's deep secrets.

Director: Mark Frost
Stars: James Spader, Joanne Whalley, Jason Robards
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A female marriage counselor and a male depression expert try to solve the marital problems of a troubled couple.

Director: John McNaughton
Stars: James Spader, Melora Walters, Jay Mohr
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

"The Most Dangerous Man in America" is the story of what happens when a former Pentagon insider, armed only with his conscience, steadfast determination, and a file cabinet full of ... See full summary »

Directors: Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
Stars: Peter Arnett, Ben Bagdikian, Ann Beeson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

When a young man accidentally kills someone, he is plunged into a rich man's world of blackmail, betrayal, adultery and ...murder.

Director: Rich Cowan
Stars: Matthew Davis, James Spader, Aidan Quinn


Cast overview, first billed only:
Patricia Marx
Anthony Russo
Harry Rowen
John McNaughon
Carol Ellsberg
Sean McCann ...
James Downing ...
Richard Fitzpatrick ...
Neil Sheehan
Jan Butler
Randy Kehler
Senator Fulbright (as George Robertson)
FBI Agent
Roland Rothchild ...
FBI Agent


Daniel Ellsberg, a hawkish analyst for the Rand Corporation think-tank and later for the U.S. government, supports the war in Vietnam until two powerful occurrences: the experience, first-hand, of combat and political turmoil in Vietnam, and the discovery of secret Defense Department documents detailing the deliberate fabrication of reasons to initiate and expand the war. Facing a crisis of conscience, Ellsberg becomes convinced that the American people have not been told the truth about the war, its justifications, or its likely outcome. He decides to expose the secret history of the war in hopes that the American public, its eyes opened, will force the government to end the war. In order to do so, he must risk his career and his freedom, perhaps even his life. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


His greatest act of patriotism was an act of treason.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some war images and brief sexuality | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Pentagon-ügyirat  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The exterior of a bar supposedly located in Saigon clearly displays signs written in the Thai language, and some of the signs are from contemporary times, as evidenced by product logos, rather than from 1965. See more »


Referenced in Spook (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A traitor? I don't think so.
21 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

This real story describes how did Daniel Ellsberg try to stop Vietnam War. He was one of them who thought the victory belongs to USA. But when he was being a inspector in Vietnam, he started to doubt himself. The papers for evaluating the situation of the war for Vietnam from Rand Corporation is totally changed him. I don't know anything about Vietnam War before seeing this movie. And this movie makes me to recall another movie, Fahrenheit 911. Both movies are different in style. One is telling the truth in back, the other one may be a truth, too. One is using serious way, the other one using a humorous way(but we should take it seriously, war is not a funny thing). I think anything has connection with politics, that will be the most terrible thing. Because everybody has a dark side. No one is totally bright!(That is that guy's dark side is having huge bright proportion.) I don't think Daniel Ellsberg is a traitor. If he is, he betrayed to the law which protect people who make wrong decision and don't want to take responsibility.

11 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Documentary or fiction film? DiamondHobbit
adding another post, since there's so few of them Clover827-1
how can i see this movie? Shaheen03
Discuss The Pentagon Papers (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: