Good Night, and Good Luck.

Director: George Clooney
Year Released: 2005
Rating: 3.5

Historical recreation of the fight between stern commentator Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy during the days of the Red Scare, and how Murrow (and his team at CBS) were among the first to openly question the 'tactics' of the McCarthy hearings. Normally I'd object to the Stanley Kramer-like didacticism this film employs, but what saves it, in my mind, is that these things were actually said by the individuals in real life and not simply by some screenwriter with a message to hammer into your skull. Aside from the timeliness of the film's purpose - that the news media needs to question the government and not be subservient to it - the acting and direction are both remarkable: the film's tone is grave and serious and the actors just as much so: David Strathairn puts on the performance of a lifetime as the intensely serious Murrow, and Frank Langella, in a supporting role, is memorable as the head of CBS. After the embarrassing Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, I walked into this afraid of how Clooney was going to mangle it, but this is the film of a veteran, not an amateur - overnight, he learned how to tell a smart, important story, maintain mood and create one of the best films of 2005.