The Fifth Estate
And now for a movie about the world’s biggest tattletale. Snitches get stitches Julian, just remember that. It helps, from a realism standpoint, that Julian Assange is just so freaking distinct and creepy looking that casting someone as his likeness, in this case Benedict Cumberbatch, makes the whole thing seem kind of surreal. When I first saw the trailer I had to do a double take on whether that was actually Assange. (Not as close as, say, Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, but close.)

Unfortunately, Cumberbatch-as-Assange appears to be one of the few highlights in this film. The story of the WikiLeaks writer/editor is one of the true historical touchpoints in the internet community’s rising influence over government and corporate institutions. The site blew up a lot of bigwigs’ spots, pumping out hundreds of thousands of pages of whistleblowing info on everything from corrupt banking to military cover-ups. But the flick appears to fall short in the eyes of critics as well as Assange who hated on it in an open letter to Cumberbatch that reads as equal parts virtuous and blow-hardy. (He’s such a blond huh?). Though we aren’t here to discuss the source’s opinions. It’s the critics we care about.

Director Bill Condon’s previous work is all over the map with his early work highly praised (Dreamgirls-78%, Kinsey-90% and Chicago-87%) and his two most recent films Twilight Breaking Dawn Saga Parts 1 and 2 (24% and 48% respectively) being what you’d pretty much expect from that franchise. His latest follows more of the latter’s tone. Full of itself. Visual without much bite (that’s a vampire reference in case you missed it). Interesting without being particularly dramatic. Even the positive reviews have an air of “Cumberbatch is decent, the rest is a snoozer.” Hey that’s what you get for being a tattletale. The Rotten Watch for The Fifth Estate is 40%

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