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The Fifth Estate (2013)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Thriller  |  18 October 2013 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 26,426 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 102 user | 221 critic | 42 from Metacritic.com

A dramatic thriller based on real events that 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.



(book), (book), 2 more credits »
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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Philip Bretherton ...
Ian Katz
Michael Kranz ...
Christin Nichols ...
Otto's Girlfriend
Christoph Franken ...
Game Console Hacker
Ben Rook ...


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 whistle-blowers 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? Written by DreamWorks Pictures

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You can't expose the world's secrets without exposing yourself. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


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Release Date:

18 October 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The 5ifth Estate  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,673,351 (USA) (18 October 2013)


$3,254,172 (USA) (29 November 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


James McAvoy was cast as Daniel Domscheit-Berg but he dropped out due to scheduling conflicts his stage play, Macbeth. Daniel Brühl replaced him. See more »


During a scene in London where Julian is inside a taxi, we see a blonde women with a ponytail approaching the taxi. However on the next shot showing Julian inside, her hair is now visibly showing wavy hair instead of a ponytail. See more »


Sarah Shaw: Do you think the President of Turkmenistan will be more upset that I called him a practised liar or that I called him vain?
James Boswell: I don't think he's worried about the opinions of a mid-level foreign attaché.
Sarah Shaw: That's why I signed Hillary's name to it.
See more »


References Pee-wee's Playhouse (1986) See more »


Written by Anthony Gonzalez and Justin Meldal-Johnsen
Performed by M83
Courtesy of Mute
By Arrangement with Bank Robber Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Fifth Estate is only one side of the story
19 September 2013 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

THE FIFTH ESTATE is based on two books, both written by people who had personal and legal disputes with WikiLeaks.

These are personally biased sources and are now outdated by three years. They tell only one side of the story.

These authors had an interest in portraying Julian Assange as dishonest or manipulative for competitive, personal and legal reasons.

It is hard to imagine how a film which aims to dramatize only their version of events could genuinely aspire to being fair or accurate.

The film does not tell the story Julian Assange or WikiLeaks staff such as Sarah Harrison, Joseph Farrell or Kristinn Hrafnsson would tell. Hopefully, soon, their story too can be told.

332 of 460 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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