Synopsis: Julian Assange from the portrayal in this film would want you to describe the story as the man behind WikiLeaks but it is told from the perspective of Daniel Berg, his sometime friend and co-conspirator on the site so it's really about the relationship between the two of them during the sites early days leading up to its first big scoop.
Stan's thoughts: I think the Social Network paved the way for films of this ilk - turning the story of computer geeks creating a website into something interesting and dynamic.
The story is really about the relationship between Assange and Berg and one disadvantage of having the source material from one side - Berg's book - is that it sometimes feels like it is only really scratching the surface of Assange. He is a strange man with a strange past, or at least this portrayal would have us believe.
That to one side, the central performances are superb, particularly Cumberbatch who once again proves what a versatile actor he is. Director Bill Condon manages to mix the drama and tension with some interesting surreal metaphors - the WikiLeaks site as Assange paints it vs the reality as Berg discovers. It reminded me a little of films like Being John Malkovich.
The Fifth Estate is part thrill of journalistic chase and part thriller as the authorities close in and I enjoyed it.Ratings
- Stan's: 65%
- IMDB: 57%
- Metascore: 50%
- Rotten Tomatoes: 40%
- RT audience rating: 47%