If you belong to the category of people who love their journalism movies, or if you are one of those who has watched this year’s Oscar-nominated The Post, starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, then you are in for a treat. Here are five journalism movies that you can watch any time of the day, because they are not just good journalism movies, they are good movies.
All the President’s Men
All the President’s Men stars Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in pivotal roles. The movie is a political thriller based on the Watergate scandal, which was responsible for former American President Richard Nixon’s downfall.
A break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters by five men in the early 1970s creates a stir, and what follows is as atmospheric and dramatic as watching a proper mystery movie. Two investigative journalists attempt to uncover the truth of it all, and things fall apart in the most delicious manner. All the President’s Men was directed by Alan J. Pakula.
The 2003 movie starring Hayden Christensen in the lead is one of the best movies on journalism out there. Reporting facts is the cornerstone of journalism. The protagonist of the movie, Stephen Glass, ignores this truth and goes about his job, writing descriptive, pretty stories about real people in real place and time. Initially, he is admired for his style, flair and his ability to deliver good reports. But once he gets caught, things go south.
Shattered Glass is based on the life of journalist Stephen Glass, and is a fair warning to budding journalists about the music they would have to face if they let their imagination fly. The movie was directed and written by Billy Ray.
What happens when you risk everything you have ever worked for to get the truth out? There’s no country for whistleblowers. And this gets proved, too harshly perhaps, in Michael Mann’s movie The Insider.
The Insider traces the journey of Jeffrey Wigand (portrayed by Russell Crowe), who is a researcher for a tobacco company. But when Wigand reveals the addictive substance that the company has been using to sell cigarettes, Crowes’ character lands in a mess. Along comes CBS reporter Lowell Bergman, who wants to help Wigand get the facts out.
The film is based on Marie Brenner’s Vanity Fair article The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Nightcrawler was a 2014 movie featuring Jake Gyllenhaal as an anti-hero. Gyllenhaal plays a stringer who sells what he records on camera to a local news network. The movie shows how journalism has been reduced to a mere commodity. The film has been categorised as a thriller, but its commentary on media is still relevant. It has been written and directed by Dan Gilroy.
The 2015 Oscar-winner movie follows a group of journalists called the Spotlight team, who give their all to expose a series of crime involving sexual assault of children by Roman Catholic priests. The movie is based on The Boston Globe’s group of investigative journalists who uncovered the said crime and had won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
Brilliant writing and believable performances make Spotlight a movie that can be watched numerous times, despite the serious subject it deals with. Spotlight was directed by Tom McCarthy and written by McCarthy and Josh Singer.