We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks

2013 R 2h 10m DVD

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks

2013 R 2h 10m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
This documentary reveals how Julian Assange fired a global debate on secrecy when his web site, Wikileaks, published thousands of confidential documents. Taking no sides, Oscar winner Alex Gibney examines every aspect of the controversial event.
DVD Streaming
Widescreen 1.85:1
English SDH
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
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 15+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 15+
age 15+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks is an intense survey of one of the most controversial information "leaks" in recent history. Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney tells the story of two men: Australian WikiLeaks founder/visionary/hacker Julian Assange and American soldier/computer whiz Bradley Manning, who is, by all accounts, the whistleblower responsible for leaking thousands of confidential videos and memos to Assange's "anonymous" online dropbox. There's grim violence, particularly in the leaked war footage, that's too disturbing for younger audiences, as well as strong language ("f--k," "a--hole," etc.) and references to sex and sexual coercion. Viewers need to be mature enough to handle the movie's difficult themes and issues and to figure out what they believe about the secrets and lies discussed in the documentary.

Sexual Content

Detailed discussion of Julian Assange's sexual coercion case, including an interview with one of the plaintiffs suing him for refusing to put on a condom and then purposely ripping it. References to an HIV test.


The "Collateral Murder" footage that Bradley Manning is accused of leaking to WikiLeaks shows American forces killing civilians they mistook for enemy combatants. The accompanying stills depict bloody, charred, and dismembered bodies. That footage is played again and again, as is video from other coalition forces strikes and documentary footage of the Twin Towers burning on 9/11.


Frequent strong language, especially from Assange. He says things like "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "bastards," "goddamn," "Jesus Christ," etc. Some swear words are shown in transcripts of leaked Internet chats and videos.

Social Behavior

Ultimately the documentary doesn't judge any of the characters involved in the WikiLeaks controversy, presenting the ideas of both those who firmly believe in the importance of open, unfettered access to information and those who believe there are some things the public shouldn't see -- at least not while it could compromise the safety and diplomacy of nations around the world.


Coca-Cola, Google, and lots and lots of Apple computers are mentioned or visible.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Adults are shown drinking and dancing in footage of a club outing.

  • 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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