Shattered Glass


Shattered Glass

Critics Consensus

A compelling look at Stephen Glass' fall from grace.



Total Count: 172


Audience Score

User Ratings: 22,943
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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.

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Hayden Christensen
as Stephen Glass
Peter Sarsgaard
as Charles `Chuck' Lane
Chloë Sevigny
as Caitlin Avey
Melanie Lynskey
as Amy Brand
Hank Azaria
as Michael Kelly
Steve Zahn
as Adam Penenberg
Mark Blum
as Lewis Estridge
Simone-Elise Girard
as Catarina Bannier
Chad E. Donella
as David Bach
Jamie Elman
as Aaron Bluth
Luke Kirby
as Rob Gruen
Cas Anvar
as Kambiz Foroohar
Ted Kotcheff
as Marty Peretz
Owen Rotharmel
as Ian Restil
Bill Rowat
as George Sims
Michele Scarabelli
as Ian's Mother
Terry Simpson
as Joe Hiert
Andrew Airlie
as Alec Shumpert
Russell Yuen
as Emmit Rich
Pierre Yves Leblanc
as Monica Merchant No. 1
Pauline Little
as Monica Merchant No. 2
Kim Taschereau
as Stout Woman
Phillip Cole
as Security Guard
Mark Camocho
as Glass' Lawyer
Ian Blouin
as Chuck's Son
Lynne Adams
as Kelly's Colleague
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News & Interviews for Shattered Glass

Critic Reviews for Shattered Glass

All Critics (172) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (156) | Rotten (16)

  • Being a film about fibs, it is desperate not to tell any. Big mistake.

    Dec 13, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Writer-director Ray has a no-fuss style that is quietly, thoroughly gripping.

    Nov 1, 2007 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • 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…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Nov 28, 2003 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 28, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A sober, wry and often riveting account of an infamous moment in journalism.

    Nov 26, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Shattered Glass

  • Aug 25, 2016
    Shattered Glass, directed by Billy Ray, is based on the true story of Stephen Glass (played by Hayden Christensen), a writer for a journal who is finally caught falsifying information in his publications by a competitor and his own people. Now, I know what you're thinking. "Hayden Christensen? That HORRIBLE actor from the Star Wars prequels? No way I'll watch this garbage!" Hold on there, folks. I'm about to state the impossible: HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN IS GOOD IN THIS MOVIE. Strange, yes, but true. His honest portrayal of Glass is refreshing and heart-breaking. Peter Sarsgaard also delivers a strong performance as the editor of the journal Glass writes for. At first, it's easy to dislike Sarsgaard's character, but, as more information is discovered regarding Glass, he quickly becomes the "hero" of the story. The tension and discomfort between certain characters in this movie feels genuine; it was very well-edited and scored as well. Personally, when it comes to a true story, I like to see more of the people outside their jobs. It just makes them easier to understand. Some characters came off as very one-dimensional and didn't add much to the film. It's a picky thing, I know, but it's worth mentioning. Overall, if you enjoyed Spotlight or any other movie about writers and breaking big stories, you'll enjoy Shattered Glass. This diamond in the rough is worth digging up. Final grade: B -Ben
    Ben B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 24, 2013
    Though sometimes too "Hollywood-y" for its own good, and marred by a predictably awkward Hayden Christensen performance, Shattered Glass is ultimately saved by the undeniable intrigue of its subject matter.
    Isaac H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 08, 2012
    <i>"Read between the lies."</i> The true story of a young journalist who fell from grace when it was found he had fabricated over half of his articles. <center><font size=+2 face="Century Schoolbook"><b><u>REVIEW</u></b></font></center> 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.
    Lorenzo v Super Reviewer
  • Dec 09, 2011
    Hayden Christensen and Peter Sarsgaard finally face off in a grand, tense and long anticipated clash to resolve the question that everyone wants - nay - needs to know: who has the more obnoxious voice? Man, of all the times Sarsgaard could have calmed his emotional self down. I mean, don't get me wrong, he's a heck of an emoter, but really, there's a reason why he wasn't the "main" character in "Boys Don't Cry"; and no it's not because Hilary Swank looks more like a man than him; that's just a coincidence. Still, as great as he is when he's acting with full force and no subtlety, it's great to see Sarsgaard play this powerful role with subtlety and gra-I'm sorry, I just can't finish that statement, because I'm not totally prepared to shake an award at his clearly-going-to-get-large-with-age nose like everyone and their grandmother is doing; which isn't to say that he's not good, because he is still pretty darn good in this film; but if there's any kind of emotional resonance to be found towards the end of the film, then it can be found at the point where Hayden Christensen - of all people - is outacting Pete Sarsgaard; and you know you've reached a new low when Hayden Christens-I'm sorry, I just can't finish that statement either. Take all the shots you want, judgemental "Star Wars" geeks (*cough*ori*cough*ginals*cough*over*cough*rated*cough*), but I actually think that son of a mountie is actually pretty good; and clearly I'm not the only one who thinks that, considering that he got a nod from the Golden Globes for "Life as a House"; but then again, they gave Pete Sarsgaard a nod for this film, so what do they know? Well, certainly still more than the Oscars now-a-days. But seriously though, as great as Christensen and apparently Sarsgaard are, not even they can edit out the mistakes in this here article. Among the most damaging things in this film is in the department where it all but counts the most: the early acts. True, the hook is slick, appealing and generally great, but that only makes the sudden and drastic drop in compellingness that much harder to accept. The earlier acts of the film are non-linear, and that would be great and all were it not for a long series of expendable, sometimes repetative scenes and the slowness landing a heavy blow to your engagement and by extension, your teather to the non-linear narrative; leaving the film the get quite convoluted early on. Sure, the narrative smooths out as the film progresses, but by that time, you're a little too far out of the film; and it doesn't help that the unengaging slowness is still there to all but keep you out all together; and when your film is one big mystery, you can't afford to do that; nor can you afford to be predictable like this film gets to be. If you're going to make some major missteps like that, then you better have your strengths at the ready to pull you back in every time you get knocked out. Well, sure enough, although it's too late for this story to fix its mistakes, there's still enough strength to this piece to keep you reading. The film's compellingness is a very slow rise, but when Billy Ray's storytelling picks up, it takes off, keeping the film fascinating, as well as tense. Sadly, that tension only comes in because of the predictability of the film, but really, it's a dream accomplishment when you can exploit the predictability of a film to set tension and keep the audience invested, rather than bored as a story unravels to the foreseen point. For this investment, we not only have Billy Ray to thank, but his cast of humanly diverse and colorful performers, all of whom keep you going with some snappy dialogue when there's nothing for them to do dramatically. However, when the story does unravel, the performers really drive things home, particularly a not terribly stellar, but still smoothly subtle Peter Sarsgaard and, of course, leading man Hayden Christensen. Sure, he's playing Hayden Christensen again, but that kind of dorky, yet snappy charm fits the role like a glove and completely convinces you of all the hype surrounding Stephen Glass. Both he and Sarsgaard are a dream team when it comes to setting tense, compelling chemistry; and as their relationship - and the film with it - comes to a head, you're glued to the screen, not caring who outacting who (*cough*Chris*tensen*cough*great*cough*); you're just wondering how it all came to this point and who you should feel for. Even in the home stretch, it's Christensen that comes out on top, setting a subtle, yet powerful tone that leaves you with many questions and much shock as he, alongside director Billy Ray, carry the powerful compellingness that makes the ending so incredible and a perfect, neatly tight wrap-up to this ultimately thought-provoking tale, particularly at the applause sequence at the end, which is one heck of an example of a soft-spoken, but strongly palpable definative capper, as it leaves you in dead silent awe as the film completely defines itself and leaves you with more than enough to chew on. Somewhere in gothic literature heaven, Nathaniel Hawthorne is smiling as I say that this film suffers from often unengaging slowness, caused by a momentarily convoluted, yet consistently overpacked narrative that's made worse by predictability; but as the story unravels, director Billy Ray makes up for that predictability with compellingness that is further carried by colorful performances, especially that of leading man Hayden Christensen, who's strong embodyment of the notorious journalist and tensely fascinating acting dance with Peter Sarsgaard leave "Shattered Glass" to stand as a - as said best by the short, sweet and to the point consensus - "compelling look at Stephen Glass' fall from grace." 3/5 - Good
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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