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Shattered Glass (2003)



Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 166
Fresh: 151 | Rotten: 15

A compelling look at Stephen Glass' fall from grace.


Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 39
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 6

A compelling look at Stephen Glass' fall from grace.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 22,146

My Rating

Movie Info

The true story of journalist Stephen Glass, the twenty-something whiz kid who quickly rose from a minor writing post in Washington, to a feature writer in such publications as Rolling Stone and the New Republic. By the mid-90s, Glass' articles had turned him into one of the most sought-after young journalists in Washington--until a bizarre chain of events suddenly stopped his career dead in its tracks.



Billy Ray

Mar 23, 2004


Lions Gate Films Inc. - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (177) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (151) | Rotten (15) | DVD (29)

Does a superb job in presenting four of the five journalistic 'Ws' of its story: the who, what, where and when. It fails, however, on the essential 'why' of the tale.

November 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What are we to learn from this? Not the broad lesson that every line of work has its share of charlatans: The script is way too pious to swallow such a generic pill. And not anything important about Glass, since there's no real character examination.

November 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A sober, wry and often riveting account of an infamous moment in journalism.

November 26, 2003 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As directed by Billy Ray, the film has an exceptionally tight focus and a fascinating story to tell.

November 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Journalistic scandal story best for older teens.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Using unexpectedly suspenseful character drama, "Shattered Glass" elevates itself to the upper echelon of journalism films. Unless there's ever a 24 famous enough to warrant biopic treatment, this will likely be Christensen's only great performance.

October 1, 2010 Full Review Source:

Perhaps the best exploration of American journalism this past decade has seen.

September 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Journalistic ethics are scrupulously explored in this crystal-clear dramatization of real-life "New Republic" feature writer Stephen Glass's meteoric rise and rapid dissolution over falsified articles he wrote for the publication during the mid '90s as a

May 10, 2009 Full Review Source:

An excellent movie with a suspenseful and engrossing story...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Not a particularly cinematic story, but outstanding performances justify this production

April 14, 2006 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

cautionary tale for future generations

June 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Draxblog Movie Reviews

Ray stages the film not as a mystery but as a case study in all-consuming denial and professional and psychological self-destruction.

May 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

...even when faced with shame and mortification, some people will find it within themselves to do the right thing.

January 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Small and big lies

December 8, 2004 Full Review Source:

Ranks beside 'All the President's Men' as one of the great movies about journalism.

October 23, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Screenwriter and first-time director Billy Ray turns the story of Glass' self-destruction into a gripping psychological thriller.

September 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Style Weekly (Richmond, VA)

An eye-opening and gripping thriller that poses some very important questions.

August 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Oregon Herald

Shattered Glass is engrossing drama, every bit as entertaining as the story on which it's based.

July 20, 2004 Full Review Source: FilmFocus

What a powerful movie!

May 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Entertainment Spectrum
Entertainment Spectrum

Lacks the journalistic killer instinct that could have elevated it above the well-executed but slightly sanctimonious, made-for-TV feel

May 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

A tension-filled drama with great performances from Hayden Christensen and Peter Sarsgaard.

April 7, 2004 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

Glass's pattern of deceit is queasily persuasive; adding Catch Me If You Can psychologizing would only diminish the film's truthfulness, not enhance it.

March 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

Jack Safer wrote, after Glass was busted in '98, "If there's any moral to be taken from this story, it should be 'No more excuses.'" After seeing 1700 of them here, I agree.

March 4, 2004 Full Review Source:

Una mirada sumamente interesante a ese mundo cerrado (y bastante sucio desde ciertas perspectivas) de autores en franca competencia, editores...

February 19, 2004

Audience Reviews for Shattered Glass

"Read between the lies."

The true story of a young journalist who fell from grace when it was found he had fabricated over half of his articles.

A fascinating glimpse into the brain of a sociopath, all the more interesting as it's based on real events from 1997. Christensen has the lead role as the so-called journalist Glass, a far cry from his Anakin character of "Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith." He hides behind a pair of thick glasses and adopts a strange, sickeningly sweet persona that, of course, hides a manipulative psychotic. That's the trick the actor manages to pull off - he has to get the audience to believe in and understand both sides of the character. A chronic liar, his fabrications become so involved and complex that they in themselves form a fascinating thread in the story. Most of Glass's tales have a small kernel of truth, but the majority is all made up. So he invents additional bogus material and fake evidence to back up the original fabrications, such as websites & voice-mails. It's like seeing a whole separate made up world created and co-existing with ours, all springing from Glass's warped mind.

Glass also reminds me of more dangerous social misfits, such as serial killers, so a couple of scenes towards the end especially carry an extra chill. When Glass is found out, another interesting process which unravels his lies, Christensen shows us he really worked out the character. His desperation and seeming despair is alarming to behold and fits in with the character we saw in the first half of the film. The detective work done by Steve Zahn's character to begin finding out what's untrue is also very interesting to observe, and then Glass's own editor (Sarsgaard), new on the job, follows up on the groundwork laid out to finally deduce what has sort of been in front of them the whole time. Sarsgaard, a very good actor, is a standout juggling new pressures, mixed feelings and finally resolve to get at the truth. The film captured the real truth of what happened back then, based on what we can see of the real Glass on the "60 Minutes" interview.
January 8, 2012
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

What a really great movie! This is based on the true story of a guy who pulled the wool over the eyes of his employers for a long time. This was a very, very interesting story.
October 14, 2010

Super Reviewer

Would've made it to my faves list had it not been for its sloppy execution & poor acting by the lead actor.
April 14, 2010

Super Reviewer

Based on true events, Shattered Glass is a fantastic drama that flew well under the radar on its release. Christensen and Sarsgaard put in the best performances of their careers so far. Recommended!
September 16, 2009

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Shattered Glass

    1. Stephen Glass: All I know is I was here. The conference was right here. That's why the Restils didn't stay very long; because it was such a dumb place to squeeze into.
    2. Stephen Glass: And, over and over: Did I do something wrong? Are you mad at me?
    – Submitted by Darillyn S (22 months ago)
    1. Michael Kelly: Steve, I have to ask you this: did you ever cook a piece when *I* was your boss? Did you ever lie to me? The story about the mini bottles, was that true?
    – Submitted by MarieBella C (2 years ago)
    1. Stephen Glass: Hey I threw a party where all we did was play Monopoly would guys come?
    2. Caitlin: Could I be the little shoe?
    3. Stephen Glass: Of Course.
    – Submitted by MarieBella C (2 years ago)
    1. Stephen Glass: I didn't do anything wrong! C
    2. Chuck Lane: I really wish you'd STOP SAYING THAT!
    – Submitted by MarieBella C (2 years ago)
    1. Caitlin: That's what this is of course, I mean what are you gonna do Chuck? Pick us all off one by one every one that was loyal to Mike, so you have staff that belongs to you? Is that the kinda magazine you wanna run?
    2. Chuck Lane: Catlin when this thing blows there isn't gonna be a magazine anymore! If you wanna make it about Mike make it about Mike I don't give a shit. You can hate me you can resent me but come Monday morning we're all gonna have to answer for what we let happen here we're all gonna have apology to make! Jesus Christ do you have any idea how much shit we're about to eat? Every competitor that we took a shot there gonna pounce and they should. Because we blew it Caitlin. He handed us fiction after fiction and we printed them all as fact. All because we found him entertaining. It's indefensible don't you know that?
    – Submitted by MarieBella C (2 years ago)
    1. Stephen Glass: I didn't do anything wrong!
    2. Chuck Lane: I really wish you'd STOP SAYING THAT!
    – Submitted by MarieBella C (2 years ago)
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