Jeremy Renner Riveting in True Tale as Intrepid Investigative Journalist

Kill the Messenger

Film Review by Kam Williams

Jeremy Renner Riveting in True Tale as Intrepid Investigative Journalist

 

 

In August of 1996, the San Jose Mercury News published an eye-opening expose’ detailing exactly how the Central Intelligence Agency had orchestrated the importation of crack cocaine from Nicaragua as well as its distribution in the black community of South Central Los 118817_galAngeles. Entitled “Dark Alliance,” the 20,000-word series was written by Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner), an investigative journalist who’d risked life and limb to release the incendiary information.

For, in the midst of conducting his research, he had been asked “Do you have a family?” by a CIA operative trying to intimidate him into killing the article. The spy agency was ostensibly determined to suppress any facts which might shed light on its covert dealings with the Contras, the rebels attempting to topple the government of Nicaragua.

But Webb, already a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, would not be intimidated and went with the piece. And even though he had supported his shocking allegations with declassified documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, the Establishment secretly enlisted the assistance of the New York Times, the Washington Post and the L.A. Times to discredit him.

These prominent papers pooh-poohed the very notion that the CIA could possibly be behind the dissemination of crack in the inner-city. Nevertheless, “Dark Alliance” became the biggest story of the year, especially among African-Americans, many of whom surfed the internet for the first time in order to read the damning report.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) took to the floor to warn that “Somebody’s going to 122810_galhave to pay for what they have done to my people.” Yet, the revelations seemed to take the greatest toll on Gary Webb, who lost his good name, his job, his career, his home, and even the love of his wife (Rosemarie DeWitt ) in due course.

This shameful chapter in American history is the subject of Kill the Messenger, a sobering biopic directed by Michael Cuesta and starring Jeremy Renner. The film features an A-list cast also including Ray Liotta, Barry Pepper, Tim Blake Nelson, Andy Garcia, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Robert Patrick and Paz Vega.

However, make no mistake, this riveting thriller is a Renner vehicle, and the two-time Academy Award-nominee (for The Hurt Locker and The Town) delivers another Oscar-quality performance as a family man/respected writer slowly turned into a paranoid soul haunted by demons and hunted by Machiavellian mercenaries drunk with power.

 

A cautionary tale about what might easily transpire whenever the Fourth Estate is willing to serve as the Fifth Column rather than as a government watchdog.

 

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for profanity and drug use

Running time: 112 minutes

Distributor: Focus Features

 

 

Real Estate

meteoric rise, money, mortgage rates, politics, Federal Reserve, interest rate, adjustable-rate mortgage, economy

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category

Travel

river cruise, American Queen Steamboat Company, Hop-On/Hop-Off, shore excursions, Mississippi River, Ohio & Tennessee Rivers, Steamboat Vacation, Lewis and Clark, adventure, Tom & Huck, Columbia & Snake River Cruises

Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

  Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation by Amy Lignor   Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category

Entertainment

DVD Releases, August 21, top ten, movies, Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2

Top Ten DVD List for August 22, 2017

  This Week’s DVD Releases by Kam Williams Top Ten DVD List for August 22, 2017                       Nova: Poisoned Water [Flint, Michigan … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category