The Whistleblower

2010 R 1h 52m Blu-ray / DVD

The Whistleblower

2010 R 1h 52m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Sent to Bosnia in the aftermath of civil war, an American policewoman uncovers evidence that U.N. peacekeepers are covering up sex trafficking. But when she brings her findings to light, she learns that her foes are more powerful than the law.
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen 2.35:1
English SDH, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 2.35:1
English SDH, Spanish (Neutral)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 17+
Common Sense rating Not for kids
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age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this downbeat drama -- which is based on a true story about human trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1999 -- features disturbing violence involving the teenage victims, who are tortured and brutalized (though most of this is suggested rather than actually shown). A rape sequence focuses on the victim's screams and terror rather than on graphic details of the act, but in another shot, a man shoots a girl point blank in the head (with sprays of blood). Nudity (mostly toplessness) is shown via Polaroid photos but never actually onscreen. The heroine has sex with one of her co-workers, whom (she finds out later) is married. Language includes many uses of "f--k," plus "s--t" and more. The heroine (Rachel Weisz) -- a police officer who wants to save the girls but winds up uncovering layer upon layer of corruption -- is a strong role model, and the material is well-researched and undoubtedly powerful, but this movie is far too intense and depressing for kids or younger teens.

Sexual Content

Some of the teen victims are seen naked in Polaroid photos, mostly topless, though there are quick, hard-to-see shots of other regions. There are strong suggestions of teen prostitution. The main character sleeps with a married man (she doesn't realize it at the time) in a scene that includes groping, kissing, and the partial removing of clothes.


The movie depicts the trafficking of teen girls and shows many disturbing images related to this topic. There's a horrifying rape sequence; though no graphic details are shown, the scene focuses on the victim's terror and screams. There are suggestions of prostitution, drugs, and torture (with shots of needles and condoms). Teen girls are shown to be cut, bruised, and battered. The most horrifying images are seen in Polaroid pictures. One girl is shot point blank in the head, with a spray of blood. Viewers see threats, fighting, ruthless pummeling, and dead bodies.


"F--k" is heard at least a dozen times; "s--t," "bitch," and "Jesus Christ" are used less frequently.

Social Behavior

The movie illustrates the depth and breadth of corruption and cruelty -- apparently based on real incidents -- in even the most respected organizations on earth. It also depicts some racial and/or cultural discrimination. It's a bit overwhelming and depressing, but the movie also shows how one brave, caring person can make changes.


Quick shots of a U-Haul truck and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

In early scenes, law enforcement officials are shown blowing off steam by drinking beer and/or smoking cigarettes.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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