Broadcast News

Critics Consensus

Blockbuster dramatist James L. Brooks delivers with Broadcast News, fully entertaining with deft, deep characterization.



Total Count: 48


Audience Score

User Ratings: 10,973
User image

Broadcast News Videos

Watch it now

Broadcast News Photos

Movie Info

Writer/director/producer James L. Brooks scores on all counts with this clear-eyed look at the television news business and the dysfunctional types who work in it. Brooks' intelligent script introduces us to Jane Craig (Holly Hunter), an ambitious producer at the network news division's Washington D.C. branch, who is calm under fire yet has a good cry at her desk every morning over her empty personal life. Jane works well with Aaron Altman (Albert Brooks), an excellent reporter who lacks the visual charisma to make him a star. Into their lives comes Tom Grunick (William Hurt), a regional newscaster who admits he can't write news and doesn't understand many of the events he's covering, but has the presence and physical appeal that the increasingly entertainment-oriented network wants for its news programs. Jane is also physically attracted to him, which drives her crazy, because Grunick stands for everything she's fighting against in the news business, while Altman is devastated by her attraction because he secretly yearns for Jane. As Grunick becomes a rising star at the network, and layoffs of the old guard loom, the three leads deal with their feelings for each other, their careers, and their values. Hunter, Hurt, and Brooks are all superb, as is the excellent supporting cast (including an unbilled turn by Jack Nicholson as the network's smarmy national anchor). Brooks' script is funny, poignant, gritty, and brutally honest in its examinations of the television industry and the ways in which professionals interact on and off the job. ~ Don Kaye, Rovi


William Hurt
as Tom Grunick
Holly Hunter
as Jane Craig
Albert Brooks
as Aaron Altman
Jack Nicholson
as Bill Rorish
Robert Prosky
as Ernie Merriman
Lois Chiles
as Jennifer Mack
Joan Cusack
as Blair Litton
Peter Hackes
as Paul Moore
Robert Katims
as Martin Klein
Ed Wheeler
as George Wein
Stephen Mendillo
as Gerald Grunick
John Cusack
as Angry Messenger
Kimber Shoop
as Young Tom
Dwayne Markee
as Young Aaron
Gennie James
as Young Jane
Leo Burmester
as Jane's Dad
Amy Brooks
as Elli Merriman
Jane Welch
as Anne Merriman
Jonathan Benya
as Clifford Altman
Frank Doubleday
as Mercenary
Manny Alvarez
as Spanish Cameraman
Luis Valderrama
as Guerilla Leader
Francisco Garcia
as Guerilla Soldier
Joshua Billings
as Chyron Operator
Richard Thomsen
as Gen. McGuire
Raoul Rizik
as Assistant Director
Nat Benchley
as Commander
Marita Geraghty
as Date-Rape Victim
Nicholas D. Blanchet
as Weekend News Producer
Maura Moynihan
as Makeup Woman
Chuck Lippman
as Floor Manager
Nanette Rickert
as Paul's Secretary
Tim White
as Edward Towne
Peggy Pridemore
as Tom's Soundwoman
Gerald Ender
as Newsroom Worker
Josh Billings
as Chyron Operator
Richard Pehle
as Control Room Director
James V. Franco
as Weekend News Director
Mike Skehan
as Technician
Franklyn L. Bullard
as Audio Visual Engineer
Alex Mathews
as Lecture Host
Steve Smith
as Aaron's Cameraman
Martha L. Smith
as Aaron's Soundwoman
Cynthia B. Hayes
as Mother in Hall
Jean Bourne Carinci
as Tom's Female Colleague
Jerry Gough
as Uniformed Cop
Robert Rasch
as Defense Dept. Spokesman
Robert Walsh
as NATO Spokesman
Rochelle Deering
as Woman at Speech
Albert Murphy Sr.
as Man in Airport
Eleanore C. Kopecky
as Woman in Airport
Jeffrey Alan Thomas
as Airport Cabbie
Glenn Faigen
as Technical Director
Robert Grevemberg Jr.
as Technical Director
Jimmy Mel Green
as Assistant Director
Raoul N. Rizik
as Assistant Director
Glen Roven
as News Theme Writer
Marc Shaiman
as News Theme Writer
Dean Nitz
as Young Tough
Phil Ugel
as Young Tough
Lance Wain
as Young Tough
John Badila
as Guests at Ball
Heather Ehlers
as Guests at Ball
Arlene M. Dillon
as Guests at Ball
Sam Samuels
as Guests at Ball
View All

News & Interviews for Broadcast News

Critic Reviews for Broadcast News

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (47) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Broadcast News

  • Aug 03, 2018
    It deserved all Oscar nominations it got (especially for its exceptional script) and should have received another for best director too, considering how well Brooks understands his characters and draws impeccable performances from its three actors, who have an amazing chemistry together.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2014
    I saw all the great reviews but I did not feel this film was particularly amazing.
    Wildaly M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2014
    A very entertaining, extremely well-written and acted look at a news team and how dedicated they are to their jobs, as well as how they interact with each other outside of the office. Director/writer James L. Brooks does a near flawless job detailing each one of his characters, such as the up and coming lead anchor (William Hurt), the cute but insecure producer (Holly Hunter), and the talented but looked over reporter (Albert Brooks) who is hopelessly in love with her. The clichéd "love triangle" is actually handled meticulously well, with certain angles being thrown in that I have not seen before. But it is really the fantastic writing and the use of an overlooked detail in the story that changes everything that makes this movie all the more special. The performances are all outstanding, and the pace of the film is exceptional as it moves along with breathless ease. Highly recommended.
    Dan S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 05, 2012
    A perfect example of exactly what they teach us in my screenwriting classes. The key to a great story is a simple plot, and complicated characters.
    Jared H Super Reviewer

Broadcast News Quotes

News & Features