6.9/10
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129 user 167 critic

Kill the Messenger (2014)

Trailer
2:19 | Trailer
Journalist Gary Webb, California 1996, started investigating CIA's role in the 1980s in getting crack cocaine to the black part of LA to get money and weapons to the Contras/freedom fighters in Nicaragua.

Director:

Michael Cuesta

Writers:

Peter Landesman, Gary Webb (book) | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Renner ... Gary Webb
Robert Patrick ... Ronald J. Quail
Jena Sims ... Quail's Girlfriend
Robert Pralgo ... L.A. Sheriff
Hajji Golightly Hajji Golightly ... DEA Agent
Ted Huckabee ... Bob
Mary Elizabeth Winstead ... Anna Simons
Lucas Hedges ... Ian Webb
Rosemarie DeWitt ... Sue Webb
Matt Lintz ... Eric Webb
Parker Douglas Parker Douglas ... Christine Webb
Kai Schmoll Kai Schmoll ... Sacramento Journalist
Joshua Close ... Rich Kline (as Josh Close)
Paz Vega ... Coral Baca
Aaron Farb ... Rafael Cornejo
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Can you keep a national secret? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor and producer Jeremy Renner remarked: "When my producing partner, Don Handfield, alerted me to this story, I knew I wanted to portray Gary [Gary Webb]. I started calling in, or just asking for, favors to help get this movie made. Gary's story needed to be told." Renner added: "Gary's journey was emotional, exciting, and relevant to us today, given how impacted we all are by surveillance and social media. Accountability in government and from our leaders only comes when an ethical, free press is engaged and energized. Gary did the right thing at great personal and professional cost, and his plight moved me." See more »

Goofs

Immddiately after Webb's first meeting with Frank Wiel, there's a quick shot of an airport. The main aircraft in the shot, a 737, has winglets, which weren't used at the time of this story (mid-90s). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Richard Nixon: 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.
Gerald Ford: 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.
Jimmy Carter: I did not condone any drug abuse, and we'll do everything possible to reduce this serious threat to our society.
Ronald Reagan: Drugs are menacing our society. They're threatening our values and ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Just before the closing credits, there is a short video showing the real Gary Webb at home with his children. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill the Messenger: The All-Star Cast (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Ball and Chain
Written by Mike Ness
Performed by Social Distortion
Courtesy of Time Bomb Recordings
See more »

User Reviews

 
Well done keeps the can of worms open
18 November 2014 | by phd_travelSee all my reviews

This is a true story about a San Jose Mercury News journalist who wrote articles about the CIA and cocaine being brought into California in order to fund contras in Nicaragua. Good to see the journalist's difficulties in exposing big issues. In the light of all the whistle blowing of recent days it's interesting to see the earlier cases that didn't have the media explosion of today.

It's told in a matter of fact way. There is a familiar cast who don't have too big personalities so they are believable. Jeremy Renner suits the role well your typical everyman against the establishment. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is good too - not to glamorous but watchable.

After watching this movie it makes one want to read up further into all sides of the story like did the Washington Post attack the journalist rather than further investigate the issue and how much of the CIA's involvement is fact vs fiction.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site | Production Notes | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 October 2014 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

Kill the Messenger See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$941,809, 12 October 2014

Gross USA:

$2,450,846

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,218,973
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat

Color:

Color | Color (archive footage)| Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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