Valdosta Daily Times

Features

October 25, 2013

'Fifth Estate' is third-rate entertainment

VALDOSTA —

“Fifth Estate” (Drama: 2 hours, 8 minutes)
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl and David Thewlis
Director: Bill Condon
Rated: R (Profanity, violence and sensuality)
 
Movie Review: “Fifth Estate” is an adaptation of Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s book, “Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website,” and David Leigh and Luke Harding’s book, “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy.” It follows real-life events in the life of Julian Assange, who plans to expose corruption and misuses of power via the Internet. Assange, played by Cumberbatch, with major assistance from Daniel Berg (Brühl), exposes secrets of governments, banks, corporations and other entities around the world. This revelation of information comes with a price. Many organizations, especially governments, want Assange neutralized.    
The actual Assange, the WikiLeaks’ founder, is one of the most controversial figures of the decade. Some see him as a heroic activist, while others see him as annoying agitator. While this screenplay by Josh Singer (television’s “The West Wing”) is intriguing, it misses an important key variable. It does have characters worth getting to know.
Cumberbatch and Brühl (“Rush,” 2013) are talented actors. Cumberbatch is especially talented here. The problem is that this screenplay does not make them characters you care about in any manner. For most of the film, that unique spark to care about any character is missing.
Even more, “Fifth Estate” just appears uninteresting at moments. It could have used some action. A chase scene or some other close moment would have increased the intrigue.  
Director Condon has helmed some good films. “Dreamgirls” (2006), “Kinsey” (2004), “Gods and Monsters” (1998) are the noteworthy. Those movies are great dramas, but they provide more than just drama. They each offer some new perspective of the world.
“Fifth Estate” does not compare when considering the actual Assange and Berg are alive and available for interviews. A documentary on these men would have been better perhaps with reenactments intermixed.

Text Only
Features
  • 140418-AR_Paul_Townsend001.jpg Graphic novelist draws on inspiration

    A few moments with graphic artist Paul Townsend is all you need to understand that his mind swirls with stories that he’s willing to explore on paper – no matter where they take him.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pompeys Pillar.JPG Pompeys Pillar

    Along their journey west to the Pacific and return east to St. Louis, Lewis and Clark left numerous marks recording their presence in order to validate a claim to the land for the United States.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • 1vsusr2014.jpg seen.yer-shoh

    Two of the most revealing exhibits each year at the Valdosta State University Fine Art Gallery are the fall and spring senior art shows.

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • Film Review Draft Day_Rich copy.jpg ‘Draft Day’ scores a field goal at the theater

    Our reviewer looks at the movies "Draft Day'" and "Rio 2."

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • emerging1.jpg Emerging Artists: VSU shines spotlights on student performers

    Three years ago, Valdosta State University Theatre & Dance created a twist on its seasons’ conclusions.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • bicycle safety.jpg SGMC, Kohl’s to host Bike Smart safety event

    SGMC, Kohl’s Department Store, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department and Safe Kids Lowndes County will host Bike Smart!

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140410-AR-Wake_Compound001.jpg Bringing wakeboards to Lowndes

    In college, many dream of their future career paths and, while some may seem far fetched, some people are able to make theirs a reality. Luke Tilt and Quinn Silvernale were able to do just that.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140401-Ballet003.jpg Beautiful Dancers

    The Ballet School in Valdosta offers children with special needs the chance to live out their dreams of being a dancer. For many, this may have seemed like a far fetched dream given their physical limitations, but as the Ballet School proves, there is no such thing as a physical limitation.

    April 13, 2014 5 Photos

  • Dido and Aeneas 1.jpg VSU Opera, Chamber Singers Present ‘Dido and Aeneas’ April 19-20

    The Valdosta State University Department of Music will present “Dido and Aeneas” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 19, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 20, in the West Hall Rotunda. Seating is limited to 100 people per performance.

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Film Review Captain A_Rich copy.jpg A salute to ‘Captain America’

    Our reviewer looks at "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," 'The Grand Budapest hotel' and "Bad Words."

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results