Kill the Messenger

Director: Michael Cuesta
Year Released: 2014
Rating: 2.0

San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner) gets a phone call one day from the girlfriend (Paz Vega) of a drug dealer who makes the suggestion to him (and provides documentation) that the U.S. government - primarily the Central Intelligence Agency - is somehow involved in trafficking crack and crack cocaine into the country in order to arm rebels in Central America. Renner is astounding in this - energetic, determined - and he's resolute in his beliefs (even when almost everyone else starts to question him), but the movie is tripped up by its own uncertainty (in its subject and its own viewpoint): Cuesta tries insinuating Webb was onto something important, but then a scene or two gets placed in there - one being Renner and shadowy Ray Liotta in the hotel room, another where Renner is told a prisoner he claims he met never talked to him - and it becomes foggy as to whether Webb is telling the truth or gone fully paranoid (some people do love a good conspiracy theory; some people wear tin-foil hats). If Webb was not fully accurate or exaggerating, such accusations can do a great deal of harm to society (the African-American community was greatly affected by the drug epidemic); that Webb's suicide is not explored is a troubling oversight.