The Fifth Estate Thursday, 09 July 2020

The Fifth Estate

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    M: Violence and coarse language.

  • The pitch:

    Pleading the fifth.

  • Starring:

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Carice van Houten, Alicia Vikander, Peter Capaldi, David Thewlis, Anatole Taubman, Alexander Beyer, Dan Stevens, Jamie Blackley, Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, Stanley Tucci, John Schwab, Carice van Houten, Moritz Bleibtreu

  • Directed by:

    Bill Condon

  • Running time:

    128 minutes

  • Rated:

    M (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)


    People are shot, shot at, killed, arrested, exposed as informants, accused of rape. Reference to child abuse, maltreatment. Frequent images of armed soldiers, protest marches, riot police, masked men, shots fired, unarmed protestors fired upon, water cannons, tanks, aggressive behaviour (including toward an animal), arrests, property damage. News footage of 911 attacks, bombs, explosions, soldiers, attacks on people/vehicles. Objects smashed, slammed, knocked over; shattered glass. Burning, smouldering paper. Arguing, shouting, door-slamming. Cult activity, beatings, starvation diets, drug-taking, Neo-Nazism mentioned. War, police corruption, police misconduct, computer hacking, death squads, assassination attempts, hanged man, prosecution, sinking of the Titanic mentioned. Indictment of a minor, lying, betrayal, bribery, toxic dumping mentioned. Blood/gore: Corpses (military and civilian). Blood splatter on body, objects. Many deaths mentioned.


    Implied sex, flirting, hugging, kissing (male-female; female-female), undressing. Woman in lingerie, shirtless men, nude (assumed) couple in bed together, cartoon image of bum-flashing. Sexual misconduct, affairs mentioned. References to sex acts and infidelity. Cross-dressing implied.


    Alcohol (beer, spirits, wine, cocktails). Smoking (cigarettes, shisha). Psychiatric drugs mentioned. Rave, club settings.


    F-words, s-words, a-words, bloody, bastard, w*nker. Name-calling, slang for genitals. Religious exclamations. Obscene hand gestures. Gender, hacking, journalist, corporate, terrorism stereotypes.


    Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Bradley Manning, privacy, hacking, secrets, terrorism, war, public information, internet, paternity, sexual misconduct, affairs, accusations, smear campaigns, social media, text messaging, CIA, national security, ethics, moral dilemmas, watchdogs, whistle-blowers, consequences, conspiracy, hactivism, identity disguise.


    Abandoned child, job loss, forced resignations. Killed father, meeting biological father mentioned. Helicopters, cat, cows, barking dog. Barrel fires, bonfires. Spitting.


    Gripping, breathless, cutting-edge, smart, well-acted, entertaining, adequate, absorbing, pacy. Terrific performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, good supporting cast, feverish editing, vivid direction.


    Unreliable, dull, patchy, over-eager, stodgy. Not particularly enlightening, overuse of stylistic flourishes, too many subplots, jarring visuals, overplayed bromance, uneven storytelling.

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