Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb. The film takes place in the mid-1990s, when Webb uncovered the CIA's past role in importing huge amounts of cocaine into the U.S. that was ...
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Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb. The film takes place in the mid-1990s, when Webb uncovered the CIA's past role in importing huge amounts of cocaine into the U.S. that was aggressively sold in ghettos across the country to raise money for the Nicaraguan Contras' rebel army. Despite enormous pressure not to, Webb chose to pursue the story and went public with his evidence, publishing the series "Dark Alliance". As a result he experienced a vicious smear campaign fueled by the CIA. At that point Webb found himself defending his integrity, his family, and his life. Written by
Milena Joy Morris
To get at the true story while also firmly placing it in a narrative context, screenwriter Peter Landesman had contacted source author Nick Schou before the latter's book was even published. Landesman began work on the script in 2006, culling material from the film's two source books, but also from his own research. Landesman recounted: "I was an investigative journalist for The New York Times Magazine for many years, and I came to realize that there are some stories that are simply just too true to tell; Gary Webb wanted to do his job and expose a corruption the government didn't want exposed, and the public, ultimately, was uncomfortable knowing. "This screenplay became a personal mission for me. Gary's not succumbing to personal and professional pressure to walk away from what he'd discovered, and the price he paid for holding his ground, is a cautionary tale among professional investigative reporters. Also, I had a similar experience with a 2005 Times Magazine cover story on sex trafficking and slavery that caused a similar firestorm. The difference was that the story, and I, were ultimately vindicated. Gary was a heroic, complicated, flawed man I could relate and connect to. His story needed to be a movie." Schou remarked: "As a former journalist, Peter had his own sources who could weigh in on all of this. But I made myself available to him to answer any questions he had about things I published, and things I hadn't published." See more »
There are new (large face) $100 bills in the crack-selling montage. See more »
Public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.
For nearly a year, I have been devoting increasing attention to a problem which strikes at the very heart of our national well-being: Drug abuse.
I did not condone any drug abuse, and we'll do everything possible to reduce this serious threat to our society.
Drugs are menacing our society. They're threatening our values and ...
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Just before the closing credits, there is a short video showing the real Gary Webb at home with his children. See more »
Renner may not seem like much of an actor in 'THE AVENGERS' but in the right role he's fantastic!
'KILL THE MESSENGER': Four Stars (Out of Five)
Dramatic thriller film telling the true story of journalist Gary Webb. It centers on Webb's efforts to expose the CIA's former involvement in importing cocaine into California, in order to raise funding for Nicaraguan Contra rebels. It was directed by Michael Cuesta and written by Peter Landesman. The script is based on the book, of the same name, by Nick Schou and the novel 'Dark Allaince' by Webb himself. Jeremy Renner stars as Webb in the movie and also served as a producer. The film costars Rosemarie DeWitt, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Oliver Platt, Lucas Hedges, Barry Pepper, Tim Blake Nelson, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia and Michael K. Williams. It's a very fascinating and informative movie.
The film is set in the mid-1990s when Gary Webb first learned of the CIA's past involvement in importing large amounts of cocaine into the US. They did this in order to sell it in ghettos, primarily in California, in order to raise money for supporting Contra rebels in Nicaragua. He goes public with the story, in a series of articles called 'Dark Alliance' (which he later based his book on). As retaliation the CIA aggressively smeared Webb's name and harassed him and his family.
The film is really interesting and involving, from the opening scene almost till the last. It's fast paced and brilliantly directed, by Cuesta. Renner may not seem like much of an actor in 'THE AVENGERS' but in the right role he's fantastic; this is one of those roles. I'm a big fan of DeWitt, her part here is small but she's still powerful in it, and the rest of the cast is good as well. This is also a story I previously knew very little about, so for me it was very informative too. I definitely recommend it.
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