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Kill the Messenger (2014)

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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 ... See full summary »



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1,959 ( 1,357)
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Quail's Girlfriend
L.A. Sheriff
DEA Agent
Eric Webb
Parker Douglas ...
Christine Webb
Kai Schmoll ...
Sacramento Journalist
Rich Kline (as Josh Close)
Rafael Cornejo


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


How the CIA's crack-cocaine controversy destroyed journalist Gary Webb See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

9 October 2014 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Secret d'état  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$941,809, 10 October 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,450,846, 27 January 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



| (archive footage)| (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Incarnated on-screen by Jeremy Renner, who was also a producer of the movie, Gary Webb was a respected, hard-charging investigative journalist who longed to land a career-making story. Kill the Messenger (2014) tracks Webb as he uncovers the "Dark Alliance" between drug dealers, a rebel army, and their Central Intelligence Agency handlers - and also tracks Webb himself, a flawed and vulnerable man and a tireless reporter who fiercely believed that his job was to shine a spotlight on even the darkest corners of the world so that the public good was served, no matter how it impacted him. See more »


Jerry Ceppos announces that Gary has been named the National Press Association's Journalist of the Year. There is no such thing as the National Press Association. He was named Journalist of the Year by the Bay Area Society of Professional Journalists. This is why he is speaking at the SPJ awards at the end of the film. See more »


[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 ...
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Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Filmbarátok Podcast: Episode #1.59 (2014) See more »


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

Great subject, average movie
16 February 2015 | by See all my reviews

Even though I'd never heard of Gary Webb, I wanted to see the movie because the story sounded interesting and I enjoy movies based on true events. I'm wiser for having watched it, but to call it a movie might be a stretch. It's almost like the director didn't want to use creative license, so he just left stuff out. There's a focus on Webb the family man, but hardly enough to endear the viewer to him or his family. There's a focus on his investigative reporting, but its not like the movie followed the events step-by-step, which would have been great. Then, to top it all off, they plug Ray Liotta and Andy Garcia in as pivotal figures to Webb's investigation, but they only get like 5 minutes of screen time. You expect to see them again at some point but never do. Again, the decision to make a film on this subject was great, the vision for the movie, however, doesn't do the subject matter justice. Great subject, average movie.

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