Truth

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Truth Movie Poster Image
Engrossing drama offers inside look at the news business.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 121 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The truth will out. Also, have convictions, and stand firm when questioned.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The journalists are portrayed as tireless and committed to their calling. Dan Rather is depicted as a consummate professional, intent on doing a good job.

Violence

Photos from Abu Ghraib are shown. Discussion of wartime actions and the carnage that results. Yelling, tension-filled conversations.

Sex

Nude photo shown briefly.

Language

The strong emotions of the newsroom elicit words like "s--t," "ass," and "f--k."

Consumerism

Many mentions of CBS.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of drinking, both socially and to excess -- especially when the main character goes through a period of professional frustration.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Truth is a fact-based drama about a moment in journalistic history that eventually led to the venerable Dan Rather (Robert Redford) leaving his job at 60 Minutes. It deals with thought-provoking issues related to standing up for what you believe, staying firm in your convictions, and working hard to achieve your aims. The news business can be pretty frustrating, which leads to characters drinking to let off steam, yelling and screaming, and swearing a lot (including "s--t" and "f--k"). Images of Abu Ghraib are shown, wartime carnage is discussed, and there's a brief glimpse of a nude photo.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

In 2004, CBS news broadcast a story produced by veteran journalist Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) and longtime anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford), examining then-President George Bush's stint in the Air National Guard and how higher-ups might have helped him avoid some of his duties. Joining Mapes and Rather in putting together the story are an ex-marine (Dennis Quaid), a researcher/reporter (Topher Grace), and a college professor (Elisabeth Moss) -- all of whom are convinced they've nailed the story and are surprised when it blows up in their faces. Soon, documents meant to prove key points are called into question by bloggers and other journalists, Mapes' superiors demand answers, and Rather faces the prospect of leaving the network he's been with for decades.

Is it any good?

TRUTH may not be beyond reproach, but it's certainly interesting -- especially for journalism wonks. To start, it shows how the proverbial news sausage is made -- and it's a seriously instructive lesson. And it raises important questions about democracy, politics, and privilege. Central to the film is Blanchett, who delivers a powerful performance that relies on nuance and empathy. The rest of the ensemble cast goes toe-to-toe with her, including Redford, whose performance here serves as a book end to his All the President's Men classic.

That said, at times the story veers into "inside baseball" territory, which could confuse or alienate non-journalists in the audience. But that would be a shame, since Truth explores some, yes, hard truths that everyone should consider.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the news business these days and how journalists do their jobs in a 24-7 media world. What are the challenges of succeeding in an industry where people compete to break news online? What are the risks of rushing to report?

  • How does Truth tackle the subject of privacy for those in the news? When Mapes becomes the news, how is she treated?

  • The film addresses the political system and the relationship between the media and government. What role does the news play in a democratic society?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love dramas

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate