Like many of you, I'm a huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch. The guy is just an incredible actor, and he's one of the main reasons I was excited to see the WikiLeaks movie The Fifth Estate. I'm happy to say that he absolutely crushed the role of Julian Assange. He was hands down the best part of the movie, and without him I'm not sure it would have even worked.
I'll be honest, I was never really that familiar with what was going on with the whole Wikileaks scandal. I just had some basic knowledge of it, so most of what I know about it at this point came from a Hollywood film, and I'm sure they used a lot of creative licenses in bringing this story to the big screen. So I didn't walk away thinking it was fact. It did, however, spark my curiosity and make me want to learn more about the craziness that went down.
Even though I thought the movie was made well and had an interesting story, it felt very long, and it was a hard movie to sit through. There were just so many things and events that they were trying to pack into the film, and sometimes it felt very cluttered. I also didn't really care for any of the characters in the movie. As good as all the actors were, I didn't really sympathize with any of the characters. I'm not sure if that was intentionally done, but it's always nice to at least have one character that you like. This movie didn't give me that.
The film did have a few good moments though. Director Bill Condon did a decent job of bring the story to life, and he did attempt to make it more visually exciting with a few little tricks showing us what it was like to be in the minds of the characters. I understood what he was trying to do, but it kind of fell flat for me, and I think some people might find it confusing at first. There were also the digitally inspired transition scenes that got old really fast.
I was also expecting more of an intense movie. I guess I was looking for an edge of your seat thriller, but I didn't experience that at all. I never really felt a sense of danger when danger was supposed to be present.
I know I'm pointing out a lot of things that I didn't like about the movie. I didn't hate it; like I said, the story was interesting and the acting was great. It just didn't click with me the way I thought it would. Maybe had I known more about it going in the real story, I would have enjoyed it more. I wouldn't pay to watch this movie in theaters, I'd wait for VOD or Blu-Ray. But if you are into the whole WikiLeaks scene then you'll probably enjoy it more.