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Journalist digs up trouble in tense thriller.

Byline: FILMS With Graham Young

KILL THE MESSENGER (15) ..... THE title of this taut political conspiracy drama subverts the old newspaper adage: 'Don't shoot the (journalist) messenger'.

Based on a true story, double Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) plays Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Gary Webb who linked the US government to a drug scandal during the 1990s.

Thanks to help from a defendant's girlfriend Coral Baca (Paz Vega) supplying him with acquired confidential information, Webb stumbles upon the secrets of a crack epidemic in US cities - and discovers the profits from smuggling cocaine into the US are helping to arm rebels in Nicaragua.

Bravely following trails into Nicaraguan prisons as well as the corridors of power, Webb's tenacity puts his career, life and family all at ever-increasing risk.

His scooping of rival journalists on bigger city papers more obsessed with the President Clinton - Monica Lewinsky scandal, means the San Jose Mercury News reporter even makes enemies within his own industry.

In this context of struggle, Renner's performance is solidly believable, while the emphasis on Webb's family life is an American Sniper-style bid to illustrate how even exceptional people can feel the greatest pressure at home.

Julianne Moore won an Emmy playing Sarah Palin in Game Change (2012)


Jeremy Renner as Pulitzer |winning journalist Gary Webb

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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Mar 6, 2015
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