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The Fifth Estate | 2013 | R | - 3.5.5

By creating WikiLeaks Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) aimed to become government watchdogs, developing a website that would allow whistleblowers to safely leak covert data from governments and corporations. Also with Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Alicia Vikander, Stanley Tucci and Laura Linney. Directed by Bill Condon. The film includes English subtitles for computer and text messages and for foreign languages. [2:08]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A clothed man kisses his girlfriend before leaving his apartment; she is shown under a quilt on the bed (her bare shoulders and arms are exposed and sex is implied). A man and a woman are shown in bed with her shoulders and arms exposed and he is shirtless, exposing his chest, back, arms and shoulders; they kiss in close-up and the scene ends (sex is implied). A woman asks a man if he remembers the last time they had sex and he replies that he will remember the next time and kisses her; they kiss passionately and begin to remove their clothing until a knock at the door stops them and the woman leaves.
 Several couples kiss briefly in corners at a dance club. A man seated at a laptop at home hugs his standing girlfriend's waist and hips.
 A shirtless man sits at a computer revealing his full back, chest, arms and shoulders and large tattoos cover his back. A young boy washes his hair at a sink and we see his bare back and shoulders. We see a man washing his hair at a sink and his bare back and shoulders are shown. A man and a woman step behind a frosted glass panel and begin unbuttoning their shirts in order to exchange them for disguises and the scene ends; we do not see them wearing each other's clothing.
 A woman meeting with a man at a cafe reminds him of a party they attended years ago where she became drunk and he says he remembers staying near her to keep an eye on her; they both smile and seem to be flirting as she mentions that she would like him to come to DC (where she lives), but he says he is unable to do so. We read a message on screen that a man was charged with sexual misconduct with two women. A White House staff member speaks to a man vaguely about their former brief affair.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - Masked men with automatic handguns surround a car on a street and shoot two men inside; the windows shatter loudly, the two victims slump forward and blood splatter covers the inside of the car and remaining glass; a man cries when he hears of this murder. A man is killed by helicopter fire and falls dead on a beach (we see some blood). Riot police in Kenya shoot unarmed protesters as many men and women fall (some blood is shown). Black and white film footage shown twice features sniper fire killing military and civilian casualties in Baghdad, while an explosion topples a van onto its roof; we hear that many people died. Three sequences of film footage show soldiers, military cannons, and rifle fire, along with explosions that kick up sand in a desert.
 After a warning about assassination attempts a man drives erratically to his home, packs up his family and has a friend drive them to the Syrian-Egyptian border where they are questioned and released. A man becomes fearful and shakes after another man tells him that Russian spies are watching.
 A man, in his imagination, smashes computers in a large computer lab, wrecks furniture and sets dozens of large cardboard file boxes on fire, destroying the computer room. A man has a vision of a dark wilderness, the ground covered in gray ashes and burning embers falling around him from the sky. A man imagines himself and young boys around a campfire on a beach at night and all their hair is dyed white.
 Two men argue continually about whether to use volunteers or not, reporting news too soon or too late, and about hacking and security risks. A man confronts another man (his business partner) about why an article in a major magazine says that the other man is a founder and then fires him. A man and his girlfriend argue loudly several times about his work on a website and in one scene she leaves angrily (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details), slamming the door. Two men argue in a chat room whereupon one of the men begins to publish negative data about the other man on a website, stating that the other man is schizophrenic and a danger to himself and others; the other man curses, shouts and slams his laptop closed. A man speaks harshly to a cat and sweeps it off a pile of papers on a desk during a dinner party and another man takes exception to the first man's behavior and leaves. Staff of a website argue after the release of classified information. Some White House staffers are forced to resign after the release of classified information. Large groups of people are shown protesting around the world and one group is shown making obscene hand gestures. White House staffers argue loudly several times about a whistleblowers' website; one of them goes on TV and says that the founder of the website has blood on his hands, because the information leak will cause murders and assassination; in an interview, the founder states that no one was physically harmed by the release of Afghan war data on his website. A website releases classified information about American actions in Afghanistan and calls it "Collateral Murder." We hear that a man's mother dated a New Zealand Neo-Nazi who imposed starvation diets on them and administered psychiatric drugs randomly (please see the Substance Use category for more details); the man says that the maltreatment turned his hair white. A man says in a speech that his website will protect whistleblowers and there is no need for them to be afraid of retribution.


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 7 F-words and its derivatives, a large group of people display obscene hand gestures, 1 sexually suggestive hand gestures, 13 scatological terms, 10 anatomical terms, 19 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, madman, sick, gob smacking, High Priest of Truth, freaks, junk, clown, mealy-mouthed, manipulative, spooks, geeks), stereotypical references to reporters, Americans, CEOs, politicians, terrorists, computer hackers, men, women, people who are different, 2 religious profanities (GD), 7 religious exclamations (Oh my God, Thank God, Jesus, God forbid, Christ, Holy [scatological term deleted]).


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SUBSTANCE USE - We hear that a man gave psychiatric drugs to a woman and her son for no reason (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). Beer bottles are seen on a counter at a convention (no one is shown drinking), several dance club scenes feature beer bottles as well as glasses of wine and mixed drinks on tables while some men and women are shown drinking and others dance while holding beer bottles, one scene features a large round bar with bottles of liquor and wine glasses on a center counter, a woman drinks a bottle of beer in a café, a glass of wine is shown in a table beside a woman, a man drinks wine at a table, a man drinks a bottle of beer at a desk, two men drink beer twice while driving and riding in a car, a man gives a farmer a case of bottled beer, a member of the British Parliament says she wants to buy a drink for two men in a crowd, in a home we see men and a woman drink wine, in a restaurant we see two men and a woman drink cocktails and wine, in a pub we see two men drink glasses of beer, a White house staff member speaks of being drunk at a party in the past, a banquet features many tables with glasses of wine (no one is shown drinking), and a woman in an office drinks whiskey as she watches a news telecast and a male colleague enters and drinks whiskey with her.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Whistleblowers, keeping secrets, corruption in government and corporations, war, child abuse, mental illnesses.

MESSAGE - Telling secrets can be dangerous.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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