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Kill the Messenger (2014)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,045 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 19 user | 64 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A reporter becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to the point of suicide after he exposes the CIA's role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Ronald J. Quail
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Quail's Girlfriend
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L.A. Sheriff
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Bob
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Anna Simons
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Ian Webb
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Sue Webb
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Eric Webb
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Christine Webb
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Sacramento Journalist
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Rich Kline (as Josh Close)
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Coral Baca
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Rafael Cornejo
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Storyline

A reporter becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to the point of suicide after he exposes the CIA's role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into California. Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb. Written by IMDb editor

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Can you keep a national secret?


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and drug content | See all certifications »

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

9 October 2014 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Elçiyi Öldür  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$941,809 (USA) (10 October 2014)

Gross:

$1,846,417 (USA) (17 October 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Cuesta directed Jeremy Renner in the 2005 movie "12 and Holding" See more »

Quotes

Gary Webb: American kids did die and are still dying, just not the ones you care about apparently.
See more »


Soundtracks

Cumbia de Guerra
Written by Reinery Diaz
Performed by Rey el Vikingo
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User Reviews

 
National Security and Crack Cocaine
12 October 2014 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. This is one of those true stories that probably works better as a drama than as a documentary. Jeremy Renner brings passion and believability to his role as infamous journalist Gary Webb. This allows us to gain insight into Mr. Webb as a father, husband and man, rather than only as a fiery investigative reporter.

You likely recall Webb's published story from 1996, when his research uncovered the likelihood that cocaine imported into the US was being sold as crack cocaine and the profits were going towards funding arms for the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. The kicker being that the CIA was well aware of these activities.

The film presents Webb as an idealist, too naive to comprehend that the story would have ramifications to his employer, his family and his self. The use of actual news footage adds a dose of reality, as does the mention of Ronald Reagan, Oliver North, John Kerry ... and even the role Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky played in outshining the ultimate acknowledgment of Webb's work.

The underlying message here ... beyond the governmental cover-up ... is the lack of a true free press. Of course, this issue remains front and center today, but in this particular instance, it's surprising to see the influence and pressure applied by outside forces. It's further proof that any hope for checks and balances from our news outlets was snuffed out many years ago.

The movie is based on two books: Gary Webb's own "Dark Alliance" and Nick Shou's "Kill the Messenger". The frustration as a viewer is derived from the fragmented presentation brought on by steady stream of new characters who mostly only appear in one or maybe two scenes. The list of known actors is impressive: Rosemary DeWitt, Oliver Platt, Robert Patrick, Tim Blake Nelson, Michael Sheen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Paz Vega, Barry Pepper, Michael Kenneth Williams, Andy Garcia, Gil Bellows, Lucas Hedges, Richard Schiff, and Ray Liotta. That should help explain what I mean by fragmented.

The story is an important one and the film is worth seeing. It's impossible to not think of All the President's Men while watching. The Grandaddy of crusading journalism continues to produce heirs ... even those that are a black eye for the newspaper industry and our government.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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