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Plot: A reporter becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to the point of suicide after he exposes the CIA's role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine ... Runtime: 112 mins Release Date: 17 Oct 2014
Superb acting,writing & three interwoven themes: government corruption, whistle blower retaliation, rare integrity (by Kansas-5)
I drove 140 miles, round trip, in foreboding weather, to attend the nearest U.S. opening.It was well worth it.First some context.I've freelanced for decades, including during a war, successfully exposed major governmental corruption, weathered concerted retaliation and have been regularly appalled at the weakness of corporate, bureaucratic and political weasels who abandoned ideals, professionalism and integrity, "going along to get along." I was aware of Webb's writing and vilification at the time they occurred, in the late '90s, but for over 50 years I had a front row <more>
seat for even pre-Nixonian "drug wars" through the "crack epidemic," genocidal American imperialism, and the treatment of many other reporters who dared challenge the status quo, who had the courage to painfully examine the quaint and naive notion of collective national decency.Webb's story, so artfully recounted and performed, was unfortunately true. He was accused of distorting the actuality of Reagan-era hypocrisy, but his reporting was accurate. He never accused the CIA of intentionally destroying the social fabric of minority communities, but made it clear that Harlem and Watts and Chicago's South Side were victims of "collateral damage," the inevitable consequences of the abandonment of any pretense of morality ostensibly possessed by the Reagan administration.Indeed, spurred by new information about the practice of questionable property seizures, Webb had once again picked at the scab covering the decade-old, gangrenous infestation of our government, later well described by Robert Parry in his October 2004 Salon piece, "How Kerry exposed the Contra-cocaine scandal." To get the story, Webb had exposed himself to blood curdling danger, both at his own home in the U.S. and on the scene, in Central America.Perhaps the worst betrayal of public trust by this film is depicted in recapitulation of the collective response of the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, after being pressured by the CIA and the State Department. The papers' responded with hyperactive involvement in the personal destruction of Webb's reporting, reputation and life. Previously. the same papers, pressured by Reagan administration officials, buried Senator John Kerry's investigation, and shared subsequent malfeasance in their facilitating the Bush/Cheney administration's illegal and genocidal invasion and occupation of Iraq.The NY Times and Post had some odious history themselves. Reporters Ray Bonner and Alma Guillermoprieto were reassigned to boring beats after their courageous exposure of the incredibly savage El Mozote Massacre in El Salvador.There, the U.S. trained, funded and armed Atlacatl Battalion murdered almost a thousand peasants, largely neutral evangelical Protestants, and mostly women and children, on December 11, 1981. Stanley Miesler's El Mozote Case Study, published in the Columbia Journalism Review, exhaustively documented their fates.This film captured all those similar disgraceful elements. It needs to be seen by a wider audience just as it would be wise to make "Dr. Strangelove" part of a core curriculum in the formal education of American adolescents.
"Kill the Messenger" is both a very gripping film and an important film. Even though I know what our government was up to in those days as if things have changed , I could hardly breathe, anticipating what would come next in the movie. My only concern about the film is the speculation that those who are ignorant of what occurred in those days would grasp that the money from drug sales went to buy weapons it was almost glossed over . The acting in this film is superb, with one exception the person who played Coral Baca--way overdone and not convincing . Knowing that the film is <more>
based on true events gives it amazing heft. I think it's an unforgettable portrayal of how our government can go astray--it's history but also a warning for those of us who have been demoralized by the current state of politics and who tend to trust certain names in the media. The film should be required viewing by every member of Congress, by every high school student, by those who call themselves journalists.
This Journalist Happy To See This Get Into The Light (by Theterritorial)
Partial spoiler alert.See this film. As an investigative reporter that worked on a connected aspect of this entire saga we exposed one of the CIA drug/arms pilots and how he was indicted in San Diego, only to get off scott-free living in New Zealand , I saw this unfold in real time when Gary Webb's own editor Jerry Ceppos spoiler here reversed course and betrayed him at the San Jose Mercury News. This film will anger and depress even the most casual viewer. However, for an investigative reporter who has never gotten over what happened to Webb, the only positive takeaway - besides the <more>
fact that Webb was right and he could have gone further - is that the world can now see Ceppos for what he is. The worm went into academia and is out there still lecturing on "journalistic ethics" - which, as the term applies to him, is the ultimate oxymoron. Considering how convoluted the entire saga was and remains to this day - this film is done in an extraordinary fashion. Renner is Oscar worthy here. The cast is outstanding.
Well done keeps the can of worms open (by phd_travel)
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 <more>
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.
Hope more people get to see this film than Gary Webb's original article. (by makelvin)
Jeremy Renner did a great job playing the Gary Webb character. It is sad to see that our own government can do such horrible thing to its own people. It does not seem like to this date that anyone have been held accountable to such action even after the truth have been revealed.That fact that the government can so easily cover up any articles that it does not like is troubling. It makes it hard to distinguish the U.S. journalism as oppose to the Putin's controlled news media or the Chinese government news reports. The final thing I find troubling is how on earth can someone commit a <more>
suicide by shooting themselves in the head "twice"? That alone seems a bit suspicious.
Hollywood quality film that somehow died and was forgotten about like the story it tells (by misterphilipj)
Shame on whoever is at fault for this movie not getting a major release. This is a story that needs to be told and available to everyone... but it sadly died and was forgotten about just like the story it told. Focus features seems to never let me down, and they came through once again. Acting was superb, storyline was fluid, just the right amount of action and suspense to get a non-fictional story a fictional feel. You really get into what's going on from the main character's point of view and looking at what he did, it makes me proud and I wouldn't have done a thing differently <more>
myself. If you're on the fence about seen this one go for it, you won't have any regrets.
"National security and crack cocaine in the same sentence. Does that not sound strange to you?" Kill The Messenger dives into an intense and important, often forgotten, segment of history. That being said, as the title implies, the film ultimately centralizes around reporter Gary Webb Jeremy Renner and what happens to him when he comes across this shocking discovery. With strong performances by the cast and a clear focus by the director, the film comes out shaky in a few parts but overall provides a riveting and respectful look at this man's life.Jeremy Renner is the star of <more>
this story, and he performs excellently. Renner fully commits into becoming Webb. Besides decently looking like the real Webb physically, he captures a wide range of emotions that the man would have faced - from being a cool reporter to a struggling and scared husband and father. Some characters do not impress as much in their performances, but Renner is able to carry the lead role well enough to support the film. The cinematography and visuals fit the tone of the film very well. Stylized heavily with its colors and the other external footage it uses, the film gives off an aged and exciting feel, similar to other movies from past decades. What ties it all together though is its clear focus. Director Michael Cuesta has a clear goal of what he wants the film to be about - Gary Webb. While not all the scenes succeed in contributing to that, the majority of it is cohesive enough to let audiences understand the characters without losing the intensity and action of the larger picture - the cocaine smuggling. With its commendable technical aspects and the important subject it deals with, Kill The Messenger is definitely a film worth seeing. Jeremy Renner and the director together bring a lot to the film, and while it's not entirely superb, it gives a good two hours of entertainment that means something, especially today. RATING: [8/10]
Politically explosive film about President Reagan's support of Nicaraguan Contras with drug money (by graupepillard)
I try to see every one of Jeremy Renner's films after his great performance in Kathryn Bigelow's THE HURT LOCKER where he played a Sergeant in Iraq dismantling IED's improvised explosive devices in the dusty, tension filled streets of Baghdad. I will never forget a scene in the shower, water pouring over his bloodied body slowly slumping down to the ground, tears mixing in with the wet spray that was bathing his body; an attempt to cleanse his psyche of the horrors of warfare. In KILL THE MESSENGER directed by Michael Cuesta, based on a true story, Renner is in another descent - <more>
one that is politically driven - in an intense performance as Pulitzer Prize winner Gary Webb, an investigative journalist for the San Jose Mercury News writing a series entitled "Dark Alliance" on the CIA's drug dealing connection to the "Contras" in the war in Nicaragua in the 1980's. " Webb investigated Nicaraguans linked to the CIA-backed Contras who had smuggled cocaine into the U.S. Their smuggled cocaine was distributed as crack cocaine in Los Angeles, with the profits funneled back to the Contras. Webb also alleged that this influx of Nicaraguan-supplied cocaine sparked, and significantly fueled, the widespread crack cocaine epidemic that swept through many U.S. cities during the 1980s. According to Webb, the CIA was aware of the cocaine transactions and the large shipments of drugs into the U.S. by Contra personnel. Webb charged that the Reagan administration shielded inner-city drug dealers from prosecution in order to raise money for the Contras, especially after Congress passed the Boland Amendment, which prohibited direct Contra funding " Wikipedia In this film we see the backlash to Webb's reporting including correspondents from the mighty NY Times, The LA Times and The Washington Post who had glazed over the story in their own papers; the tragic manipulation of facts in order to destroy the veracity of Webb's coverage of events. We view the absence of San Jose Mercury News' editorial support at critical moments in Webb's heroic scrutiny of the research; the Reagan Administration's financing of a war through drug trafficking pitting "truth vs. power"; the perversion of principle to the needs of "security" on the backs of the South Central Los Angeles community. One does not need to "kill the messenger" with bullets - one can do so through the media attacking the person not the story under the potent pressure of the government.KILL THE MESSENGER attempts to portray Gary Webb in his domestic, familial role as a loving though humanly "flawed" father of 3 children, with a supportive loving wife the beautiful actor Rosemarie De Witt all in danger and threatened by Webb's probing into the murkiness of political sludge - the undisclosed secrets of the inner workings of government aired out inviting dirty revenge. This is also a David vs. Goliath tale - a lone person who in his "innocence" believes in the unveiling of the machinations of authority through the pen and the judiciousness of our legal system. The portrait of Gary Webb is a tenacious and vivid study of idealism in the fight for the unearthing of corruption. I left the theater saddened and disheartened, but at the same time hopeful for those rare individuals who are fearless enough to stand up for what they believe when their support system has been paralyzed. Hard to do! They merit my deepest respect and admiration.
Really liked the whole thing. A great drama. (by bbickley13-921-58664)
It was a movie that made me think, as it involved a different angle to a subject that I knew something about. The trailer suggest that the movie is about the true story of Gary Webb's article that suggest the CIA were evolved with drug dealing as a way to fund a war in the 1980's, but as the title of the movie described the people read the article and ran with their own conspiracies which lead to a CIA cover up that lead to Webb's downward spiral.It is an Intriguing tell of a journalist trying to keep his integrity while forces were trying to ruin it to keep their own.Jeremy <more>
Renner drove his acting vehicle well, not well enough in my opinion to win an Oscar or anything, but it proves that he can headline anything.Definitely a good movie to sit through.