The Fifth Estate is a 2013 American thriller film directed by Bill Condon, about the news-leaking website WikiLeaks starring Benedict Cumberbatch as its editor-in-chief and founder Julian Assange, and Daniel Brühl as its former spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg.Wikipedia
The Fifth Estate Reviews
Handsomely mounted, but ultimately too safe in its reconstruction of deeply complex events, this film runs but never flies. I'm going with two-and-a-half out of five for The Fifth Estate. Watch it for Cumberbatch's appropriately creepy performance as Assange.
...you’re subjected to one quick scene after quicker scene, jumping around like a mob of kangaroos.Result: you come out blank.
...the story is so compelling and the questions it raises are so urgent.The Fifth Estate is an opportunity lost.
Cumberbatch's Assange is emotionless, cold and sometimes a bit sinister. For someone who insists on global transparency, his own personality is paradoxically as impervious as a cold steel wall. You wonder what actually is going on inside his head. A movie about Assange and WikiLeaks is bound to be tough to tackle and while it has a few things going for it, Condon could have scored better if he chose to focus deeper on Assange's admittedly complex and mysterious psyche.
On key issues, the film doesn’t really know what stand to take. Since the book is biased against Assange, it projects him as a very self centered, selfish guy. And because Daniel has written the book, he gets as much screen time and his character comes off far more polished and clear. There are moments when Assange is shown as a crusader with a vision but at the end of it all, there is no clear picture.
Condon does a disservice to both his actors as well as his material. In the nuance-less world of The Fifth Estate, Assange is bad, Berg is good and Wikileaks is the confused lovechild of these two men.
It’s adequate and often fun, but no match for Cumberbatch’s talents: physically, his Assange is far more complex and intriguing than most of the things we hear him say or see him do.