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The Whistleblower (2011)



Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 114
Fresh: 84 | Rotten: 30

Rachel Weisz puts on a compelling smoldering act though the film suffers from a literal-minded approach to the material.


Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 35
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 14

Rachel Weisz puts on a compelling smoldering act though the film suffers from a literal-minded approach to the material.



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 12,008

My Rating

Movie Info

This ripped-from-the-headlines thriller is inspired by actual events. Kathy Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz) is a Nebraskan police officer who takes a job working as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia. Her expectations of helping to rebuild a devastated country are dashed when she uncovers a dangerous reality of corruption, cover-up and intrigue amid a world of private contractors and multinational diplomatic doubletalk. -- (C) Samuel Goldwyn

Jan 24, 2012


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August 1, 2011:
Rachel Weisz Talks The Whistleblower
The Oscar winner reflects on her time on the set of the reality-based drama.


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All Critics (116) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (84) | Rotten (30) | DVD (4)

A first-rate one-woman-against-the-system drama, a film benefiting from grim recreations of an ugly reality and a stellar cast determined to expose it.

October 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In Weisz's eyes, we see Kathryn's transformation from a public servant doing what's expected of her to a crusader driven to by her own conscience. Her performance is terrific; the movie, sadly, is not.

September 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"The Whistleblower'' effectively depicts the paranoia that builds as an increasingly frustrated and outraged Bolkovac is thwarted at every turn.

September 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Powerful and revolting, The Whistleblower makes you feel as if it could have been even more powerful and revolting.

August 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If this well-meaning melodrama contains a call to action, it's as quiet as a dog whistle.

August 26, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You come away from watching the film with a moral bellyache.

August 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Whistleblower offers fantastic performances from the entire cast. It's very atmospheric with grisly authenticity and a truly moving plot.

November 11, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

A dark, uncompromising look into the disturbing world of human trafficking.

March 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

Weisz's best role, and best performance, since "The Constant Gardener.

January 6, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

The thriller stuff is very soft, and the docudrama stuff is too focused on "Oscar moments" (i.e. huge expressions of outrage and torment).

March 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comments (2)
Common Sense Media

Yes, The Whistleblower has its heart in the right place. However, that heart is bleeding a little too much.

February 6, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures | Comment (1)
7M Pictures

The Whistleblower goes off the rails a little -- I guess in an attempt to create more drama out of an already dramatic situation. As the plot devices pile up towards the end, it's a bit frustrating because there's a good movie in there somewhere.

January 30, 2012 Full Review Source:

This is bleak terrain, but Weisz's performance helps us get through it. And as real-story films go, The Whistleblower is as accurate as can be.

January 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Weisz is made for this kind of role; from "Constant Gardener" to "Enemy at the Gates," few actors can do absolute, unshakable conviction so well on screen.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

A reasonably taut story of political intrigue, international corruption and one woman's determined fight for justice

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

The closing minutes of the film suggest the most challenging parts of the story still remains untold.

October 18, 2011 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

Don't let the impressive cast list, which includes Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci and David Strathairn, fool you: This is the Rachel Weisz show.

October 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

It's a good film with a strong central performance. The problem is that the film isn't as strong as the performance.

October 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Structured and shot like a quality premium-cable channel police drama, this fact-based story might have had more impact as a documentary.

September 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

[Weisz's] restraint offers a cold, evaluative gaze that makes what transpires all the more telling, and in the absence of direction that can make something more out of these elements than just condemnation, that becomes a strength.

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source:

Instead of capitalising on a really fine performance from Rachel Weisz in the leading role, Kondracki makes a real mess of it.

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

This is a truly depressing film, without any sense of release. You may even be tempted to give up on the human race while watching men casually trade and rape girls for a few measly dollars.

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

While the facts of the case demand this film can do no more than administer one big booster shot of buzz-kill, it is Bolkovac's ferocious will to right so many wrongs (expertly channelled by Weisz) that keeps you glued to the screen.

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

While it's overstuffed with characters - and not entirely satisfying as an entertainment, the film does manage to remind us of the human capacity for rationalizing atrocity. And the human capacity for doing the right thing nevertheless.

September 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

If the film occasionally falls into melodramatics, it's hard to see how a story like this could have been told otherwise.

September 28, 2011 Full Review Source: ArtVoice

Audience Reviews for The Whistleblower

This film is based on Kathryn Bolkovac's attempt to expose DynCorp's (Democra in the movie) sex trafficking of minors in Bosnia and is everything but an easy watch. Too bad they chose to fictionalise so much of the story.
January 23, 2014

Super Reviewer

A police officer volunteers for the UN peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and uncovers a scandal involving human trafficking.
A fine, unremarkable social issue drama that looks unflinchingly at the cruelties of sex trafficking, The Whistleblower has its moments when it is remarkably compelling only because the material is tough to watch. While it attempts to wring ethical questions out of its hero's predicament, anyone with half a moral compass would find the character's choices obvious.
Rachel Weisz has done better American accents in her other work, and that's about the extent of my criticism of her work here. She's good, but there's little extraordinary about her performance.
Overall, as social issue dramas go, this one is good but nothing profound.
April 22, 2013
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Great story about how civilized men will act like animals when put in a lawless environment. War is a dirty business. Apparently, so is peacekeeping. This movie is about real events, and a real act of bravery, and dedication. Sickening, and heartbreaking..but a story that needed to be told.
April 23, 2012

Super Reviewer

Not going to win any awards for filmmaking, but had a crucial story to tell and told it effectively. I need to look up Kathy Bolvac now. Reminds me of my purpose in life, to fight for respect for womankind. Weisz is solid as usual, playing the rock-steady female lead. Everyone involved in the movie makes me proud.
March 25, 2012
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer

    1. Laura Leviani: I don't want a scandal, I'm just doing my job.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Kathryn Bolkovac: I heard the food was really great.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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Foreign Titles

  • Whistleblower - In gefährlicher Mission (DE)
  • The Whistleblower (UK)
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