Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that most kids will have little interest in The Fifth Estate, a docudrama about WikiLeaks, its founder Julian Assange, and the release of classified government documents. The film deals with complex issues such as whistleblowing, privacy rights, hacking, and media responsibility. Hand-held camerawork, edgy fast-paced editing, and dizzying split-screen shots of computer data further speed up and confuse these already sophisticated concepts. Aside from the topics addressed, the main issues that might concern parents are the occasional but strong language (including multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t") and the scene where two men are shot point blank in their car and the camera lingers on blood. There's also some passionate kissing between a couple and the implication of sex.
An adult couple is shown kissing, beginning to undress, engaging in moderate foreplay in several scenes. They are also seen lying in bed together after sex.
Two men are killed by gunfire at point blank range while sitting in a car and the camera lingers on the bloody windshield. Video footage of soldiers killing civilians in a way that seems callous. Newsreel footage briefly shows rioting, police repression, beatings, effects of starvation. A tense series of scenes where it seems a man, woman, and baby might be in danger.
Some swearing and obscenities: numerous instances of "f--k," "s--t," "Goddamn," "hell." Also "a--hole" and "pr--k."
Attempts to explore and balance the complex issue of transparency (the public's right to know) versus the necessity for government secrecy. Suggests that institutional corruption is common; it must be reported and the perpetrators held responsible for their actions. Questions the morality of hacking to secure crucial information. Contends that "absolute power corrupts absolutely."
A shot of a McDonald's franchise; World of Warcraft game is mentioned, as is WIRED magazine. Various actual newspapers, banks, organizations are included as part of the story.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Adults are seen drinking various alcoholic beverages in numerous settings: party, restaurants, at home, while working. A man is driving as he swigs from a bottle which may contain beer.