Real-life Dublin crime-beat journalist Veronica Guerin (Cate Blanchett) was apparently a more tenacious investigator than she was a brilliant writer, but her plunge into and documentation of the local drug underworld in the late 1990s led to shocking repercussions as she tracked the trafficking pipeline from urban crash houses to the very doorstep of a filthy rich gang lord. The film begins with Guerin’s murder, a decision that stunts rather than heightens the film’s overall tension. But the film successfully explores the politics, egos and careerism that smolder in a newsroom, while not airbrushing the ambition, recklessness and mistakes of our title crusader. The arrogance of the criminals here is amazing as Guerin’s ambiguity builds, and director Joel Schumacher moves the story along at a brisk clip with vivid detail in both locale and characters. The excellent cast includes Ciarán Hinds as a deal-cutting middle-level criminal and Gerard McSorley as a pathetically dictatorial kingpin.