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"KILL THE MESSENGER"
(2014) (Jeremy Renner, Rosemarie DeWitt) (R)


Alcohol/Drugs Heavy
Blood/Gross Stuff Mild
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Extreme
Frightening/Tense Scenes Moderate
Gun/Weapons Heavy
Imitative Behavior Moderate
Jump Scenes None
Music (Scary/Tense) Heavy
Music (Inappropriate) None
Profanity Extreme
Sex/Nudity Moderate
Smoking Moderate
Tense Family Scenes Heavy
Topics to Talk About Heavy
Violence Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Thriller: A newspaper reporter must contend with the fallout of his story tying the CIA to the introduction of crack cocaine into poor Los Angeles neighborhoods.
PLOT:
Gary Webb (JEREMY RENNER) is a newspaper reporter for the San Jose Mercury News who's working on a story about the feds confiscating property of drug dealers before there's even a conviction. His work draws the interest of Coral (PAZ VEGA), the sultry girlfriend to an imprisoned drug dealer.

Her allegation that the feds were working with him immediately grabs Gary's attention, although federal prosecutor Russell Dodson (BARRY PEPPER) isn't happy to have the reporter snooping around his case that involves dealer Ricky Ross (MICHAEL KENNETH WILLIAMS) taking the stand with his lawyer, Alan Fenster (TIM BLAKE NELSON), receiving help from Gary.

That leads to the reporter heading to Nicaragua to interview imprisoned drug lord Norwin Meneses (ANDY GARCIA) whose information has Gary headed to D.C. to meet -- off the record -- National Security Council official Fred Weil (MICHAEL SHEEN). He not only warns the reporter that he should be careful, but that some stories are too true to be told.

Undeterred, Gary runs his story that connects the CIA to the introduction of crack cocaine into poor neighborhoods of Los Angeles, all as a way to fund support of the Contras a decade earlier. His editor, Anna Simons (MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD), and manager, Jerry Ceppos (OLIVER PLATT) are initially quite pleased. Not surprisingly, the feds aren't, which also holds true for rival bigger newspapers that aren't happy he broke the story.

Accordingly, both they and the feds try to discredit the story and sully his reputation, with his only support eventually dwindling down to his wife, Sue (ROSEMARIE DeWITT), and their three kids, including 16-year-old Ian (LUCAS HEDGES). As Gary tries to prove he's right, all while being unable to get anyone from the CIA to go on the record, including rogue agent John Cullen (RAY LIOTTA), the reporter finds his world unraveling as he hopes to validate his work.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the cast or if the subject matter interests them, they might, but the most likely audience among kids would be older teens.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language and drug content.


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