Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb. The film takes place in the mid-1990s, when Webb uncovered the CIA's past role in importing huge amounts of cocaine into the U.S. that was ...
See full summary »
Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb. The film takes place in the mid-1990s, when Webb uncovered the CIA's past role in importing huge amounts of cocaine into the U.S. that was aggressively sold in ghettos across the country to raise money for the Nicaraguan Contras' rebel army. Despite enormous pressure not to, Webb chose to pursue the story and went public with his evidence, publishing the series "Dark Alliance". As a result he experienced a vicious smear campaign fueled by the CIA. At that point Webb found himself defending his integrity, his family, and his life. Written by
Milena Joy Morris
Spanish actress Paz Vega portrayed Coral Baca, "who is always in control, and her only motivation in contacting Webb [Gary Webb, played by Jeremy Renner] is to get her boyfriend out of jail. She's very authentic, even though she lives in a world full of lying and worse, she is strong, she would have to be, in order to survive in that world. But [director] Michael Cuesta made sure we kept a sense of humor about the scenes, and gave Jeremy Renner and I the freedom to play. "To me, the story of 'Kill the Messenger' is how blind we are; we don't know anything about the people who are leading us. Is it better not to know? Sometimes, but also sometimes we have to open our eyes and look at the truth." See more »
There are new (large face) $100 bills in the crack-selling montage. See more »
Public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.
For nearly a year, I have been devoting increasing attention to a problem which strikes at the very heart of our national well-being: Drug abuse.
I did not condone any drug abuse, and we'll do everything possible to reduce this serious threat to our society.
Drugs are menacing our society. They're threatening our values and ...
[...] See more »
Just before the closing credits, there is a short video showing the real Gary Webb at home with his children. See more »
"National security and crack cocaine in the same sentence. Does that not sound strange to you?" Kill The Messenger dives into an intense and important, often forgotten, segment of history. That being said, as the title implies, the film ultimately centralizes around reporter Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner) and what happens to him when he comes across this shocking discovery. With strong performances by the cast and a clear focus by the director, the film comes out shaky in a few parts but overall provides a riveting and respectful look at this man's life.
Jeremy Renner is the star of this story, and he performs excellently. Renner fully commits into becoming Webb. Besides decently looking like the real Webb physically, he captures a wide range of emotions that the man would have faced - from being a cool reporter to a struggling and scared husband and father. Some characters do not impress as much in their performances, but Renner is able to carry the lead role well enough to support the film.
The cinematography and visuals fit the tone of the film very well. Stylized heavily with its colors and the other external footage it uses, the film gives off an aged and exciting feel, similar to other movies from past decades. What ties it all together though is its clear focus. Director Michael Cuesta has a clear goal of what he wants the film to be about - Gary Webb. While not all the scenes succeed in contributing to that, the majority of it is cohesive enough to let audiences understand the characters without losing the intensity and action of the larger picture - the cocaine smuggling.
With its commendable technical aspects and the important subject it deals with, Kill The Messenger is definitely a film worth seeing. Jeremy Renner and the director together bring a lot to the film, and while it's not entirely superb, it gives a good two hours of entertainment that means something, especially today. RATING: [8/10]
81 of 85 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?