Dead right

Kill the Messenger

Rated 4.0

In no small way, Kill the Messenger is an unusually scary movie—not exactly a thriller or a horror pic, but really haunting in terms of the compounded horrors of recent American history. As such, it has the virtue of being a movie which calls attention to history and issues still seriously in need of full national attention.

Jeremy Renner delivers a good, gritty, multi-faceted performance in the Gary Webb role, but his is the only fully dimensional character in a film that has nearly a dozen actors of note in small supporting roles. Andy Garcia (as mobster Norwin Meneses), Michael Sheen (as a troubled political insider), Tim Blake Nelson (as a flummoxed lawyer), Ray Liotta (as a fugitive whistleblower), and Rosemarie DeWitt (as Webb’s wife) all make distinctive impressions.

It would be very nice to have more of those other stories, and more of the story as well. But that of course would call for a much longer movie as well as some kind of confrontation with the dilemmas posed by classified information, redaction, forced confessions, recantations, the many devices of disinformation and “deniability,” etc.