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Kill the Messenger (2014)

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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 »
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3,932 ( 2,029)
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Action

A DEVGRU special forces soldier framed for a massacre in Afghanistan and sentenced to life in prison, fakes his death to escape incarceration and enact revenge on those who framed him.

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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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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, 10 October 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,450,846, 27 January 2015
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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Oliver Platt mused: "Here were highly respected news outlets devolving into a high school brawl. You'd think that they would want to support one of their own. My character, [Mercury News executive editor] Jerry Ceppos, ultimately had to make the decision that he thought was best for his newspaper; when he did, he was lauded for it by those other news outlets. "My take on all of it is that there are people who do heroic things. Gary ['Gary Webb (II)] was one. However, he got out in front of the story too much, initially, with the unwitting help of his editors." See more »

Goofs

The first time Gary visits Nicaragua there is a shot of one of the streets, there you can see the logo of the telecommunications company Claro, which did not exist until 2003 and didn't arrive to Nicaragua until 2006. 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 »


Soundtracks

Escape From Babylon
Written by Paris (as Oscar Jackson)
Performed by Paris
Courtesy of Guerrilla Funk Recordings and Filmworks, LLC
By arrangement with Shelly Bay Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Renner may not seem like much of an actor in 'THE AVENGERS' but in the right role he's fantastic!
27 October 2014 | by HellmantSee all my reviews

'KILL THE MESSENGER': Four Stars (Out of Five)

Dramatic thriller film telling the true story of journalist Gary Webb. It centers on Webb's efforts to expose the CIA's former involvement in importing cocaine into California, in order to raise funding for Nicaraguan Contra rebels. It was directed by Michael Cuesta and written by Peter Landesman. The script is based on the book, of the same name, by Nick Schou and the novel 'Dark Allaince' by Webb himself. Jeremy Renner stars as Webb in the movie and also served as a producer. The film costars Rosemarie DeWitt, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Oliver Platt, Lucas Hedges, Barry Pepper, Tim Blake Nelson, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia and Michael K. Williams. It's a very fascinating and informative movie.

The film is set in the mid-1990s when Gary Webb first learned of the CIA's past involvement in importing large amounts of cocaine into the US. They did this in order to sell it in ghettos, primarily in California, in order to raise money for supporting Contra rebels in Nicaragua. He goes public with the story, in a series of articles called 'Dark Alliance' (which he later based his book on). As retaliation the CIA aggressively smeared Webb's name and harassed him and his family.

The film is really interesting and involving, from the opening scene almost till the last. It's fast paced and brilliantly directed, by Cuesta. Renner may not seem like much of an actor in 'THE AVENGERS' but in the right role he's fantastic; this is one of those roles. I'm a big fan of DeWitt, her part here is small but she's still powerful in it, and the rest of the cast is good as well. This is also a story I previously knew very little about, so for me it was very informative too. I definitely recommend it.

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