Coming to theatres this Friday from director Bill Condon and Dreamworks comes the story about the infamous WikiLeaks with THE FIFTH ESTATE.

This film tells the story of Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch), the creator of WikiLeaks. Catching the attention of Daniel Berg (Daniel Bruhl), the two men work hard to brings the world’s secrets to the internet. From crooked politicians and banks to corrupt world leaders they dig and post.

The two men begin breaking hard news that comes to the attention of the larger media. Then Assange comes into possession of intelligence that would bring the largest leak of information in U.S. history. Now U.S. officials Sarah Shaw (Laura Linney) and James Boswell (Stanley Tucci) must save the informants they can!

Now Assange and Berg are at odds as one man thinks the world has a right to know while the other thinks the world has a right to be safe.

FINAL WORD: Cumberbatch as Assange is hard to follow to be quite honest. There were times I couldn’t understand what he was saying or perhaps it was more that I didn’t want to. I became cold with this characters inability to see past the nose on his own bleached face. There is nothing likeable here so trying to follow along with the story gets lost.

Bruhl as Daniel is fine but I also find it hard to have any emotion for this character when from the beginning he agrees to post things that hurt people. Really? Personal addresses of families? Wow, the character lost me pretty fast.

It’s nice to see Linney although who she is in the grand scheme of U.S. officials isn’t very clear to me. I’m a Tucci lover from way back and the same goes for his role – who are these people and why did they do nothing?

Other cast include: Peter Capaldi as Alan Rusbriger, Anatole Taubman as Holder Stark, Alexander Beyer as Marcel Rosenback, Philip Bretherton as Bill Keller, Dan Stevens as Ian Katz, Jamie Blackley as Ziggy, Alicia Vikander as Anke Domscheit, Moritz Bleibtreu as Marcus, Anthony Mackie as Sam Coulson, Alexander Siddig as Dr. Tarek Haliseh and David Thewlis as Nick Davies.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE FIFTH ESTATE two and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. There were several times I felt like I was seeing the same angst and egos from THE SOCIAL NETWORK except Zuckerberg wasn’t trying to bring down the safety of a country.

This is a film of Assange’s ego that was and probably still is completely out of control. The only people I felt sorry for in the whole film were those who didn’t deserve what was happening – and that would include anyone in those 90 thousand documents who help the United States.

By the time any character grows a conscious I’ve already checked out of the film. Don’t blame it on the incessant IT stuff because it isn’t that hard to follow, blame the lack luster of the film on the quick flash from one thing to another never giving the audience time to absorb everything being thrown at them.

There are some good performances here but not enough substance to truly appreciate the roles they are playing.

In the end – you can’t expose the world’s secrets without exposing yourself.



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Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.

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