Verdict: 4 / 5
Based on a true story, Jeremy Renner takes on the heroic role of Gary Webb, a superb reporter that is ruined by his leading story, called “Dark Alliance”, concerning the CIA and drug trafficking.
Webb’s career spirals downhill when he is accused of falsifying information in his articles. He is transferred to write at Cupertino bureau, a small news agency in an attempt by his superior to stop the investigations. However, Webb refuses to stop and continues to dig deeper. His investigation takes him to prisons, gangland and to Washington DC when he uncovers a conspiracy theory that has explosives implications. Unfortunately, Webb makes a lot of bad friends as the truth unravels. The attention threatens his career, his life and the lives of his family.
The film has Michael Cuesta (Director) written all over it. The cinematic style, handheld shots, and fast paced sequences are a theme commonly used in his work. He is known for his work on TV series Homeland. It’s clear that Cuesta was trying to tell two parts of the story; one being the Webb’s career and two being the obvious strain on Webb’s marriage and family life. I wish these two themes were meshed in a better way as it felt that the narrative just scraped the heart of what was actually going on.
At the heart of the film, Jeremy Renner gives an outstanding performance. Overall, Kill the Messenger is captivating, the narrative is clever and the suspense keeps you at the edge of your seat until the end.