The Fifth Estate - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Fifth Estate Reviews

October 21, 2013
As nervy and as excitable as the trade that it depicts.
October 21, 2013
The material covered in the production's 128 minutes is not only inherently non-cinematic but not remotely "thrilling," at least in the conventional sense.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 18, 2013
The Fifth Estate is also as current as a news feed, filling in the disputed facts about Assange's life beyond the headlines and chronicling the revolution that has upended the media landscape in the last decade.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 18, 2013
Director Bill Condon delivers an intelligent, dynamic, character-centered drama.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 18, 2013
Condon and his screenwriter Josh Singer don't quite know what to make of this duo, perhaps because the men didn't quite know what to make of each other, either.
Full Review | Original Score: C
October 18, 2013
"The Fifth Estate" feels unfortunately small and safe.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 18, 2013
A feeble, reactionary drama.
October 18, 2013
"The Fifth Estate" tries to be a cross between "The Social Network" and "Zero Dark Thirty." Only it's more like "The Sociopath Network" meets "Zero Dumb Thirty."
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
October 18, 2013
It may be a bit chilly, but "The Fifth Estate" is good, scary information well-processed.
Full Review | Original Score: B
October 18, 2013
The problem with director Bill Condon's fictionalized account of all this is that, like WikiLeaks itself, there's way too much data to sift through.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 18, 2013
It's not Wiki; it's just weak.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
October 18, 2013
The Fifth Estate takes on the important 21st century question of information flow vs. privacy rights and fumbles it into a middling mishmash of techno thriller and future-of-journalism lecture.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 17, 2013
The first narrative film portrait of the white-blond cyber bad boy feels undercooked and overwrought, haphazardly written and overdirected.
Full Review | Original Score: C
October 17, 2013
Benedict Cumberbatch restores mystery to the personality of WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange, and fascination to his role as a global crusader for free speech.
Full Review | Original Score: B
October 17, 2013
As much it claims urgency with current events and issues, it seems out of date, even coming just three years after the real events.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 17, 2013
The movie can't quite decide what it thinks of [Assange] - or even if it should decide at all.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 17, 2013
The movie feels both too soon and too late; an often skillful assemblage of bits and pieces, telling a story we already know and, ultimately, letting it fade away without an ending.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 17, 2013
A fairly dull thriller about a hugely influential Internet phenomenon.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 17, 2013
It's an intellectual grappling match that leaves viewers feeling worked over, disoriented and not much the wiser.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
October 17, 2013
Exhausting in a new way, the movie is a data dump devoid of drama.
Top Critic
October 17, 2013
An entertaining if inevitably unreliable current events romp.
October 17, 2013
There is something a little too pat about this narrative, and about the more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger spirit in which it is offered.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
October 17, 2013
Delves into hokum, and the bromance is overplayed, but also raises some fascinating, complex questions about 21st century journalism.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
October 17, 2013
Condon tries to dramatize the story's ideas but instead turns them into simplistic Power Point bullets that just lie there.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 17, 2013
A story that's essentially a bunch of guys looking at computer screens - a challenge that Condon wrestles with uneven success.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 17, 2013
We're snowed by a great deal of intersecting and crisscrossing information in "The Fifth Estate," and Singer's script lacks organizational skills.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
October 17, 2013
And the award for Best Actor in a Disappointing Movie goes to... Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in "The Fifth Estate."
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 17, 2013
There are very few good movies about journalism, and even fewer about computers. "The Fifth Estate" succeeds on at least the latter count.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 17, 2013
Cumberbatch's subtle and intriguing performance as the inscrutable Aussie loner behind WikiLeaks is surrounded by a plodding and minor melodrama that's ludicrously ill suited to the material.
October 17, 2013
[It] sounds somewhat schematic, [but] it plays better than that because the two actors bring quite a bit to their roles, and because the script has worked hard to make the issues feel real and relevant.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
October 17, 2013
This is the film equivalent of celebrity journalism. Which, some would say, is no journalism at all.
October 17, 2013
Cumberbatch is great.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
October 17, 2013
It's ironic that Alex Gibney's recent WikiLeaks doc uploads the same material with more dramatic oomph. The Fifth Estate is stuck running in place.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 17, 2013
A polished and engrossing Hollywood thriller, smartly scripted by West Wing veteran Josh Singer.
October 16, 2013
"The Fifth Estate" accomplishes its intent: offering some insight into an important milestone in history and prompting viewers to question and debate what they have just witnessed. Unfortunately, it takes too long to get there.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 16, 2013
Timely but sluggish and confusing, The Fifth Estate will be a hard sell. Corruption in cyberspace should be a helluva lot more entertaining than this.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 15, 2013
A film that, for all its restlessness, feels staid and dated.
October 11, 2013
It offers a compelling, complex portrait of the Wikileaks founder that will probably do precisely what the actual Assange fears - namely, paint him as a demagogue whose commitment to institutional corruption is more self-aggrandizing than sincere.
October 8, 2013
The Fifth Estate doesn't have the same sharp focus or insight [as The Social Network]. It's adequate and often fun, but no match for Cumberbatch's talents.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 13, 2013
Slick and superficially entertaining, doesn't have much news to impart.
Full Review | Original Score: c+
September 9, 2013
Feverishly edgy and exciting.
September 6, 2013
For a film that reminds use over and over that this is a whole new world, this movie feels awfully familiar.
Full Review | Original Score: 5.8/10
September 6, 2013
Both the kindest and most damning thing you can say about "The Fifth Estate" is that it primarily hobbles itself by trying to cram in more context-needy material than any single drama should have to bear.
September 6, 2013
Benedict Cumberbatch's Julian Assange is the highlight of a sometimes ordinary-feeling film.
September 6, 2013
An uneven, intermittently thoughtful but largely preachy overview of WikiLeaks' rising influence.
Full Review | Original Score: C