The Whistleblower Reviews

Leah Rozen
TheWrap
Top Critic
March 1, 2012

Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic
October 11, 2011

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
Top Critic
September 1, 2011

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Loren King
Boston Globe
Top Critic
September 1, 2011

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

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic
August 26, 2011

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

Full Review | Original Score: B
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
August 26, 2011

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

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
August 25, 2011

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

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
Top Critic
August 18, 2011

Part thriller and part harrowing account of an outrageous, based-on-facts story of official corruption in the former Yugoslavia, "The Whistleblower" is a tense and shattering drama.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
John Anderson
Newsday
Top Critic
August 18, 2011

Director Larysa Kondracki's debut film is unsparing in its portrayal of sexual trafficking in a supposedly civilized world. But it's valiant, too -- especially regarding Rachel Weisz's performance as reluctant crusader Kathryn Bolkovac.

Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
August 18, 2011

Somewhere inside this movie is a thought-provoking thriller about the collateral damage caused by geopolitical do-gooders. Too bad it never emerges.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
August 18, 2011

Derives its strength from Rachel Weisz's intelligent performance as the real-life Bolkovac.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
August 12, 2011

Larysa Kondracki's first feature successfully avoids the major pitfalls of the activist docudrama: the main character's heroism never overshadows the larger issue at hand, nor does exposition gum up the storytelling.

Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
August 12, 2011

In Canadian director Larysa Kondracki's gripping based-on-a-true-story debut feature The Whistleblower, Rachel Weisz delivers a subtle yet riveting performance.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
Top Critic
August 12, 2011

It reminds us that there are those, in war or in peace, who will always seek to degrade and exploit, with a precious few others to speak out against injustice.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
Top Critic
August 12, 2011

A classic example of a film that doesn't trust the strength of its source material - or the intelligence of its audience.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
August 11, 2011

Gradually, as her investigation deepens, and we see the true hideousness of what she is uncovering, the movie achieves urgency and clarity of purpose.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
August 11, 2011

These cases rarely seem to result in change, and the stories continue. We can only guess what may be going unreported. "The Whistleblower" offers chilling evidence of why that seems to be so.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
August 9, 2011

That you leave the film with nagging doubts and questions is not a problem. That you leave it with a sense of disappointment, however, is.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic
August 6, 2011

The Whistleblower is frustratingly uneven, but at least it affords us the rare opportunity these days to meet up with a movie hero who isn't wearing jammies and a cape.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Tom Charity
CNN.com
Top Critic
August 5, 2011

It's a little sluggish in the first act perhaps, and not as slick as some, but it's still more authentic than most, and angrier, too.

Bob Mondello
NPR
Top Critic
August 5, 2011

It's a thriller sobering enough in its graphic portrayal of forced violence against women that it would be tough to watch if not for the controlled fury Weisz brings to her performance as a down-to-earth avenging angel.

Full Review | Original Score: 70
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
August 5, 2011

The film swings from melodrama to sermonizing, both blunting the human drama that needs to come to the fore. Weisz holds the ground in a performance of ferocity and feeling.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Kyle Smith
New York Post
Top Critic
August 5, 2011

A pointless drama that trafficks in cliché.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
Top Critic
August 5, 2011

Director Larysa Kondracki's fictionalized account of a true story is underserved by a melodramatic script; the result is like a film of a "60 Minutes" segment.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
August 4, 2011

Clumsily didactic and flat.

Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
August 4, 2011

Too well-intentioned for its own good.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Stephen Holden
New York Times
Top Critic
August 4, 2011

"The Whistleblower" has a choppy, fumbling screenplay (by Ms. Kondracki and Eilis Kirwan) that lurches between shrill editorializing and vagueness while sorting through more characters than it can comfortably handle or even readily identify.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
August 4, 2011

Weisz is a dazzling woman, but her beauty is barely noticeable in this role; her character's integrity and her mounting anger grab all the attention.

Alison Willmore
AV Club
Top Critic
August 4, 2011

Kondracki offers a glimpse of a monstrous world -- made worse because some of the monsters in it were sent there to protect people -- but doesn't suggest any nuanced understanding of it.

Full Review | Original Score: C
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
August 3, 2011

Rarely has a movie captured the obscene violence of sex trafficking with such unvarnished grubbiness. In the end, though, The Whistleblower is a corporate thriller.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Rex Reed
New York Observer
Top Critic
August 3, 2011

The Whistleblower is a grisly, authentic, meticulously researched, pulse-quickening political chiller about a hot-button topic that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Sam Adams
Time Out New York
Top Critic
August 3, 2011

Our heroine plods doggedly through her frequently stymied investigation, and The Whistleblower follows suit, trudging forward one encumbered step at a time.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
David Germain
Associated Press
Top Critic
August 3, 2011

"The Whistleblower" is a one-note affair that offers glimpses of the rich, broad life Bolkovac clearly lives but deifies her into someone inaccessible and unbelievable.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Rob Nelson
Village Voice
Top Critic
August 2, 2011

Late-reel scenes of suspense involving the heinously victimized Ukrainians fall somewhere along the line between shocking reportage and standard-issue torture porn.

Justin Chang
Variety
Top Critic
August 2, 2011

[A] harrowingly effective thriller.

Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
September 20, 2010

Although the Canada-Germany co-production from first-time feature director Larysa Kondracki isn't as gripping as it could have been, that's no fault of Weisz's: She gives a bracing, wholly connected performance.