By S. Jhoanna Robledo,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Engrossing drama offers inside look at the news business.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The truth will out. Also, have convictions, and stand firm when questioned.
Positive Role Models
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 & Scariness
Photos from Abu Ghraib are shown. Discussion of wartime actions and the carnage that results. Yelling, tension-filled conversations.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nude photo shown briefly.
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The strong emotions of the newsroom elicit words like "s--t," "ass," and "f--k."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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.
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Based on 1 parent review
A film that centers dignity in your job...stellar acting portrayals.
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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?
- In theaters: October 16, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: February 2, 2016
- Cast: Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Topher Grace, Elisabeth Moss
- Director: James Vanderbilt
- Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: History
- Run time: 121 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language and a brief nude photo
- Last updated: December 21, 2022
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