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In the 1990s, this dedicated reporter's quest for the truth took him from the prisons of California to the villages of Nicaragua to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. - and his investigative reporting drew the kind of attention that threatened not just his career, but his family and his life.
Crime Drama - This is a talky fact-based drama aimed at adult moviegoers. This is
a big starring showcase for Jeremy Renner, with all other actors,
including a number of recognizable faces, in supporting roles.
Constant language and adult subject matter make the film not for kids.
PROFANITY: 28 F-words; 15 S-words; 7 GD's; a few others. SEX/NUDITY: None. VIOLENCE: None. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Frequent tobacco and alcohol, including by teens. ACTION: Stock footage of war combat. COMEDY: None.
Roger EbertFull Review Good The movie is, in its details, relatively discreet about laying blame but fairly definite in depicting a media culture now so entrenched in the establishment that it doesn't even have to be coerced into serving the interests of the powerful.
USA TodayFull Review Good Kill the Messenger is an intriguing, chilling and briskly paced film that, despite its flaws, seems particularly timely, given the level of distrust for the government and its intelligence-gathering efforts.
NY PostFull Review Poor But shame on the movie as well, for all but declaring that Webb was vindicated by a 1998 CIA investigation. He wasn't.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
After relocating with his family to California, Webb is a seasoned and respected
reporter at the San Jose Mercury News. His career takes a startling turn when an
upscale cocaine trafficker's girlfriend, Coral Baca (Paz Vega), slips him a
Grand Jury transcript which reveals a link between U.S. intelligence and Central
American cocaine smuggling. Webb begins shadowing Alan Fenster (Tim Blake
Nelson), the defense lawyer for Los Angeles crack kingpin "Freeway" Ricky Ross
(Michael Kenneth Williams). The journalist soon realizes that he has stumbled
onto a story which leads to the shady origins of cheap, seemingly limitless
cocaine on the nation's streets, all too apparent in South Central Los Angeles...
...and which further alleges that Nicaraguan rebels working directly with the CIA
were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., using the profits to arm Contra militias
back home. Webb makes a risky run into Nicaragua to get crucial information from
imprisoned drug baron Norwin Meneses (Andy Garcia). With the backing of his
paper's editor Anna Simons (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Webb's reportage runs in
print and online as a series of articles entitled "Dark Alliance," and executive
editor Jerry Ceppos (Oliver Platt) welcomes the nationwide attention that the
But Webb himself becomes the story and a target, as jealous rival reporters who
missed the CIA-Contra-cocaine story move to discredit his work and reputation in
an increasingly vicious smear campaign. His wife Sue (Rosemarie DeWitt) tries to
stand by him even as, despite warnings from drug kingpins and menacing
surveillance intended to deter his investigation, Webb keeps digging to prove a
direct link between cocaine smugglers and the CIA, a conspiracy with explosive