IMDb Polls

Poll: Most Courageous Whistleblower Movie Character?

Which of these real-life or fictional movie character portrayals demonstrates the most courage in their whistleblowing?

Discuss the topic here.

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    William Binney in A Good American (2015)

    Real-life whistleblowers: William Binney, Kirk Wiebe, Edward Loomis , Diane Roark and Thomas Drake

    Case: U.S. NSA's decision to use "Trailblazer", a NSA electronic surveillance program that was a billion-dollar failure over "ThinThread", a less costly in-house program with built-in privacy protections for United States citizens. In a secret 2002 test run, the cheap surveillance tool predicted the attacks on September 11, 2001.

  2. Vote!

    James Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

    Fictional whistleblower: Jefferson Smith

    Case: U.S. Congress and Jackson City's Jim Taylor Willet Creek Dam Project (graft/political corruption)

  3. Vote!

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Snowden (2016)

    Real-life whistleblower: Edward Snowden

    Case: U.S. National Security Agency's use of illegal mass surveillance programs

    *also Edward Snowden as himself in Citizenfour (2014)

  4. Vote!

    Jack Lemmon in The China Syndrome (1979)

    Fictional whistleblower: Jack Godell

    Case: California Gas & Electric's Ventana nuclear power plant (nuclear power safety/contruction)

  5. Vote!

    Russell Crowe in The Insider (1999)

    Real-life whistleblower: Jeffrey Wigand

    Case: Brown & Williamson's cigarette additives cover-up (carcinogenic/addictive)

  6. Vote!

    Charlize Theron in North Country (2005)

    Whistleblower: Josey Aimes (based on real-life Lois Jenson)

    Case: Pearson Taconite and Steel female verbal/sexual harassment and physical abuse

  7. Vote!

    Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz in The Constant Gardener (2005)

    Fictional whistleblowers: Tessa Quayle and Justin Quayle

    Case: Karel Vita Hudson Pharmaceutical's unethical Dypraxa drug trial on impoverished African test subjects

  8. Vote!

    James Spader in The Pentagon Papers (2003)

    Real-life whistleblower: Daniel Ellsberg

    Case: U.S. Department of Defense's Pentagon Papers scandal

    *also Matthew Rhys as Daniel Ellsberg in The Post (2017)

    *also Daniel Ellsberg as himself in The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009)

  9. Vote!

    Ewan McGregor in The Ghost Writer (2010)

    Fictional whistleblower: Mike McAra and The Ghost, an unnamed ghostwriter

    Case: CIA's manipulation of British Prime Minister, Adam Lang by his wife, Ruth Lang (a foreign intelligence agent)

  10. Vote!

    Daniel Brühl and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Fifth Estate (2013)

    Real-life whistleblowers: Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Founder and Daniel Berg, OpenLeaks Founder

    Cases: Various Leak websites serve as a whistleblower conduit and are devoted to making thier information public

    *also We Steal Secrets (2013) and as themselves in We Steal Secrets (2013)

  11. Vote!

    Michael J. Fox in Casualties of War (1989)

    Whistleblower: PFC Max Eriksson (based on real-life PFC Robert M. Storeby)

    Case: Incident on Hill 192, kidnap, gang rape and murder

  12. Vote!

    Robert Redford in Three Days of the Condor (1975)

    Fictional whistleblower: Joseph "Joe" Turner, CIA code name "Condor"

    Case: CIA's rogue operation to seize Middle Eastern oil fields

  13. Vote!

    Matt Damon in The Informant! (2009)

    Real-life whistleblower: Mark Whitacre

    Case: Archer Daniels Midland's food and commodities price fixing

  14. Vote!

    George Clooney and Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton (2007)

    Fictional whistleblowers: Arthur Edens and Michael Clayton

    Case: U-North's toxic agrochemicals, murder and attempted murder

  15. Vote!

    Al Pacino in Serpico (1973)

    Real-life whistleblower: Frank Serpico

    Case: N.Y.C. Police Department police corruption

  16. Vote!

    Yoo Yeon-Seok in Whistle Blower (2014)

    Whistleblower: Shim Min-Ho (based on real-life whistleblower Ryu Young-joon)

    Case: Korean researcher's fabricated and unethical medical research are exposed and undermine what were thought to be groundbreaking experiments cloning human embryonic stem cells.

  17. Vote!

    Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams in Dick (1999)

    Fictional whistleblowers: Betsy Jobs and Arlene Lorenzo, aka "Deep Throat"

    Case: U.S. President Richard "Dick" Nixon's Watergate scandal

  18. Vote!

    Liam Neeson in Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (2017)

    Real-life whistleblower: William Mark Felt Sr., aka "Deep Throat"

    Case: U.S. President Richard "Dick" Nixon's Watergate scandal

    *also Hal Holbrook as "Deep Throat" in All the President's Men (1976)

  19. Vote!

    Humphrey Bogart in The Harder They Fall (1956)

    Fictional whistleblower: Eddie Willis

    Case: Boxing Promoter Nick Benko's fixing of professional boxing matches

  20. Vote!

    Sean Penn in Fair Game (2010)

    Real-life whistleblower: Joseph C. Wilson

    Case: U.S. President George W. Bush's misrepresentation of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capability (yellowcake uranium)

  21. Vote!

    Lena Stolze in The Nasty Girl (1990)

    Whistleblower: Sonja (based on real-life Anna Rosmus)

    Case: an unnamed Bavarian Village's Nazi Germany Third Reich connections

  22. Vote!

    Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

    Fictional whistleblower: Jason Bourne

    Case: CIA's "Operation Blackbriar", a targeted assassination program

  23. Vote!

    Rachel Weisz in The Whistleblower (2010)

    Real-life whistleblower: Larysa Kondracki

    Case: DynCorp International's United Nations peacekeeper sex trafficking

  24. Vote!

    Tom Cruise in The Firm (1993)

    Fictional whistleblower: Mitch McDeere

    Case: Bendini, Lambert & Locke's tax fraud, money-laundering and mob connections

  25. Vote!

    Paz Vega in Kill the Messenger (2014)

    Real-Life whistleblower: Coral Baca

    Case: CIA's supported cocaine trafficking into the USA

  26. Vote!

    Cary Elwes in The Pentagon Wars (1998)

    Whistleblower: James Burton (based on real-life James Burton)

    Case: U.S. Military's Bradley Fighting Vehicle project

  27. Vote!

    Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront (1954)

    Fictional whistleblower: Terry Malloy

    Case: New York Harbor Longshoreman's Union Malloy gave testimony to the New York Harbor Waterfront Commission against union boss Johnny Friendly for murder and other illegal activities

  28. Vote!

    Meryl Streep in Silkwood (1983)

    Real-life whistleblower: Karen Silkwood

    Case: Kerr-McGee Corporation's health and safety practices and anti-union backlash at its Cimarron Nuclear Fuel Fabrication Site

  29. Vote!

    Sharlto Copley in District 9 (2009)

    Fictional whistleblower: Wikus Van De Merwe

    Case: MNU's barbarous alien experimentation

  30. Vote!

    Keira Knightley in Official Secrets (2019)

    Real-life whistleblower: Katharine Gun

    Case: U.S. National Security Agency's bugging of the foreign offices of Angola, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chile, Guinea and Pakistan. All were Security Council "swing" vote members on the United Nations resolution regarding the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

  31. Vote!

    Bill Camp and Mark Ruffalo in Dark Waters (2019)

    Real-life whistleblower: Robert Bilott and Wilbur Tennant

    Case: DuPont knowingly contaminates the public drinking water supply for decades with the toxic chemicals used to make Teflon. Corporate defense lawyer Bilott exposes the company and fights a twenty year battle against the chemical giant to win compensation for over 70,000 clients nationwide.

    Added 10 November 2019

  32. Vote!

    Naomi Scott in Charlie's Angels (2019)

    Fictional whistleblower: Elena Houghlin

    Case: Brock Industries' head of development, Peter Fleming covers up a dangerous flaw in Calypso, an energy conservation product that can be weaponized and used to trigger fatal seizures in humans.

    Added 15 November 2019

  33. Vote!

    Brittany Kaiser in The Great Hack (2019)

    Real-life whistleblowers: Brittany Kaiser, Christopher Wylie, and others

    Case: Facebook's & Cambridge Analytica's data scandal and related manipulation of political elections through personal data mining, targeted social media and voter mind control, most notably, the Leave.EU Brexit campaign and Donald Trump's 2016 US presidential bid.

    Added 25 November 2019

  34. Vote!

    Jennifer Lawrence in Don't Look Up (2021)

    Fictional whistleblower: Kate Dibiasky

    Case: U.S government officials and technology giant, BASH corportation conspire to suppress public knowledge of an extinction level comet that threatens all life on earth for political and commercial gain.

    Added 25 January 2022

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