A Dark Truth

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
A Dark Truth Movie Poster Image
Generic thriller has plenty of dead bodies, few surprises.
  • R
  • 2013
  • 106 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie's main take-away is that corporate greed is taking over the world, and faceless multinational conglomerates will do whatever it takes to make sure their deals go through -- even if they have to massacre an entire village to hide a deadly accident. On the other hand, some characters do try to do the right thing, even if doing the right thing is dangerous.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jack is determined to reveal the truth about a deadly massacre, even if it requires risking his own life and standing up to a powerful and ruthless corporation.


Plenty of people die -- in shootouts and hand-to-hand combat, via self-inflicted gunshots, and in two massacres of innocent civilians by soldiers. There's a good bit of blood and a few close-ups of people being killed, including an unexpected suicide. One scene features soldiers about to rape a young woman.


A strained married couple kisses.


Infrequent swearing includes "bulls--t."


Some well-known brands are visible, including a Ford SUV and an Apple laptop. The movie's whole premise is that corporate greed is destroying the world.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One person drinks a beer in a bar; another smokes an occasional cigarette.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the bad guys in A Dark Truth are business executives trying to hide a huge blunder that left an entire South American village massacred. They'll stop at nothing to keep the truth buried, but ex-CIA operative Jack Begosian (Andy Garcia) is just as determined to expose them. Expect plenty of violence in this corporate thriller, including a few disturbing images of people being shot and stabbed, as well as the central massacres, an unexpected suicide, and suggested rape. Language is infrequent but includes "bulls--t"; there's some drinking and smoking and a few product placements.

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What's the story?

Jack Begosian (Andy Garcia), a former CIA operative with a mysterious history, is persuaded to come out of retirement to rescue a South American eco-activist (Forest Whitaker) who has evidence that a multinational corporation massacred an entire village to cover up a deadly design flaw. The ruthless executives will stop at nothing to hide the truth, but Begosian hopes that exposing them will help him atone for past misdeeds.

Is it any good?

A DARK TRUTH is a standard-issue thriller, with villains straight from central casting. There's the suit-wearing corporate guy with a clenched jaw who won't let anything derail his big deal; there's the slightly unhinged underling who's willing to do whatever it takes; oh, and don't forget about the violently corrupt South American general. And it's not just the baddies who are familiar; the main character is the requisite quiet loner who cares about protecting the underdog and exposing the truth ... and who just happens to be a trained CIA field agent, now retired.

What A Dark Truth lacks is originality and suspense. It's pretty easy to spot the people who won't make it all the way to the final credits, and is there really any doubt what will happen to the nasty executives? The action sequences aren't especially exciting, and the talking scenes are filled with cliched dialog. Garcia is particularly wooden on screen (a surprise considering how gifted he is as an actor); someone should have told him that he doesn't need to be completely monotone and devoid of emotion to play the strong, silent type. It makes him look bored, rather than imposing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about A Dark Truth's message. Do you think corporate executives in the real world are willing to go as far as the ones in this movie when it comes to maximizing profits?

  • Is it always important to do the right thing in the face of deception? Can you think of other movies with this theme?

  • Why did Jack leave the CIA? And what motivates him to take this job?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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