A petty thief is gunned down in an alley and a Congressman's assistant falls in front of a subway - two seemingly unrelated deaths. But not to wisecracking, brash newspaper reporter Cal McAffrey who spies a conspiracy waiting to be uncovered. With a turbulent past connected to the Congressman and the aid of ambitious young rookie writer Della Frye, Cal begins uprooting clues that lead him to a corporate cover-up full of insiders, informants, and assassins. But as he draws closer to the truth, the relentless journalist must decide if it's worth risking his life and selling his soul to get the ultimate story. Written by
The Massie Twins
So I gave this movie a 10, but that's coming from a thriller fan. With most thrillers, this movie has it's faults. Some exaggeration, implausibilities, annoying twists, but the film transcends other thrillers on all other levels. Even with the overly dramatic plot and scenarios, I felt this film was a very realistic portrayal of journalism and posed an interesting argument between old fashioned print journalism and the new age of the internet. Of course, for the "thrills" they'll have to make some cliché twists, but it goes beyond the generic nonsense thriller to making a mild statement about the media today. In addition, the cast was fantastic. I couldn't be more relieved that Russell Crowe took over Brad Pitt's role, Pitt would have been a terrible choice. Russell was a much better fit for Cal. However, I kind of wish Edward Norton remained with the role of Senator Collins... Affleck and Crowe didn't have the greatest chemistry. However the many supporting players were fantastic. Rachel McAdams did a fine job. Not exactly the meatiest role but she played the revised role of Della as a young popular blogger greatly. Rachel brought that playful naivety but at the same time made Della intelligent and respectable. Helen Mirren was perfect, and perhaps a little underused. There is also a plethora of strong performances from the minor supporting players. Jason Bateman gave my favorite performance out of all of them, Harry Lennix was another who was underutilized, and Robin Wright Penn continues her reputation as one of the most consistent supporting actresses.
But as a thriller, it really was a fantastic and entertaining movie. I've never seen the BBC series and could only imagine how much better it could be with more time to develop characters and stories, but the film does the best it could and that's enough. It isn't your typical mindless thriller though, which is what I respect about it most. It is paced well but if you don't pay attention you may get lost, but seeing as the film really does keep you on your toes, it shouldn't be that hard. What makes this thriller so much better though is that it makes you think, even after leaving the theater. It isn't just some formulaic story with mindless twists and turns, it's actually saying something about the world today that is very relevant, which not only makes a great thriller, but a great film as well.
I've read some complaints about the ending, but I don't understand what the big deal was. I don't want to give anything away, but I think it's an ending that could be taken in different ways depending on the viewer.
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