Sunday, October 20 2013, 12:57 PM MDT
Movie Review: The Fifth Estate
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Bill Condon
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Bruhl, Carice van Houten
Genre: Biography, Drama, Thriller
Recommended To: Those interested in Julian Assange and Wikileaks but cant be bothered to watch the documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks.
Synopsis: The rise and fall of Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his website Wikileaks.
Review: Considering director Bill Condon's early career (we'll blink past Breaking Dawn) and actor Benedict Cumberbatch's terrific performance as Julian Assange I would have thought The Fifth Estate would be a much better film than it is. After all in the modern age few have ruffled more feathers while gaining celebrity status than Assange. Wikileaks changed the whistleblowers world forever and left the worlds most powerful governments back on their heels. Wikileaks didn't topple any empires, but it came closer than anyone could have ever expected. So, if that's the case, why does this film feel so passive? There is no tension or real sense of danger. Simply knowing how a story ends doesn't necessarily rob it of its drama. I knew how Argo, Schindler's List and numerous other films ended long before they began and yet they held my attention and pushed me to the edge of my seat. The Fifth Estate doesn't. Maybe its because Assange is the sort of ego that we love to see humbled, but even in that case the film should be more interesting. It just isn't.
If you're a fan of Cumberbatch you'll want to catch his performance. If you're simply interested in Wikileaks and Julian Assange youd be better off renting the documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks.
-Ryan Michael Painter