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18th October
written by Adam

Credited with hacking into the computer systems of NASA as a young boy Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) always stood out as a computer prodigy, an often un-regarded accolade; but, within just the last few years, that unknown boy has become the man behind the household name Wikileaks– the website credited with anonymously bringing down and exposing countless corrupt banking institutions and political figures around the world. Initially operating as an army of one, this is the story of Assange’s orchestrated rise to fame and his few close partners in crime, namely fellow hacker Daniel Berg (Daniel Brühl). FifthEstate Based on true events but written with the prose of someone who attempts to glean facts from tabloids, Director Bill Condon has managed to put together perhaps the most romanticized view of one of the least attractive social phonemes of the 21st century. To that end, scripting often feels clunky with awkward exposition in the guise of attempting to give insight into the mind of a world changer. And, while the actors all involved manage to present their characters in a believable light, it’s unfortunately this same clunky exposition that drops the IQ of the viewer offering little new about the subject and instead essentially spoon feeds the audience a dramatization of Assange’s wikipedia file. Meanwhile, the film barely touches on what might be considered some of the more important and recent details surrounding Assange’s activities online and in person, i.e. involvement with Bradley Manning, and allegations of the rape of two women in Sweden. On the flip side, of note, some of the visuals used to depict and metaphor the Wikileaks business are rather interesting but not enough to carry the whole film. Oh, by the way, Laura Linney and Stanley Tucci make brief appearances but could have just as easily been left on the cutting room floor, hmmmm. More of a rental, The Fifth Estate is rated R.

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