Movies such as Spotlight and The Paper use investigative journalism, which is a disappearing art, but it makes for excellent drama.
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For decades, investigative journalism was the apex in the profession, a style that focused on a specific subject or topic and lay out the facts and information on key issues. Investigative journalists have looked into some of history’s craziest and most important topics and issues, ranging from massive scandals in politics to serial killers.
Even if it took months or even years of investigation, these journalists and their teams persevered in their efforts to uncover the truth and share it with the public. Since the advent of new media, investigative journalism has all but disappeared. However, movies such as SPOTLIGHThave preserved the best fictitious and real-life stories of journalistic investigations.
1. State Of Play (2009) 84%
starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck in a political thriller packed of duplicity and intrigue. Cal, an investigative reporter, investigates the death of a congressman’s mistress when it is mysteriously linked to other crimes, leading him down a rabbit hole he never meant to go down.
It’s impossible to tell where this film will go next because it’s crammed with political and business intrigues. State of Playis a fun and engaging investigative reporting thriller thanks to its clever directing, good acting, and a few unexpected turns.
2. Mr. Jones (2019) 85%
According to Gareth Jones’ biography, a Welsh journalist who was tasked with uncovering the Holodomor famine in Ukraine in the early 1930s, Mr. Jones tells a genuine narrative.
After interviewing Adolf Hitler, Jones is dispatched to the Soviet Union to interview Joseph Stalin, but he decides to depart from his plans and travel to Ukraine instead. On his arrival, he sees the horrible devastation that the Ukrainian people have suffered, including numerous deaths from starvation and even cannibalism.
3. The Post (2017) 88%
The Post, a political and journalistic thriller about The Washington Post’s efforts to publish the Pentagon Papers in the early 1970s, is the work of acclaimed director Steven Spielberg. A sensitive issue that the administration did not want made public, the Pentagon Papers disclose decades of deception by the United States government concerning its involvement in the Vietnam War.
When confronted by the United States government, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post demonstrate exactly how difficult and hazardous it is to expose the truth to the American people.
4. The Paper (1994) 88%
“The Paper” depicts a frantic newsroom, its staff and their investigation into a horrible crime.
Even though it’s not the typical investigative reporting method and takes place all within 24 hours, the reporters battle to get it to paper after discovering a police cover-up in the murder of an officer. A fictional New York Sun editor named Henry becomes obsessed with the case and makes it his mission to exonerate those falsely accused and bring the true culprits to justice at any costs.
5. The Parallax View (1974) 89%
The Parallax View is a gripping and suspenseful political thriller with a dash of murder and political intrigue. Assassination of presidential candidate Joe gets him caught up in a big and deadly cover-up. He starts investigating Parallax after his suspicions are awakened, suspecting they were involved in the assassination. In addition, witnesses and coworkers have also been murdered, so Joe is on edge as he gets closer to solving the case.
Alan J. Pakula and Warren Beatty appear in this political thriller that has spectators on the edge of their seats the entire time it’s running.
6. Zodiac (2007) 89%
Zodiac, directed by David Fincher and starring an all-star cast, plunges audiences into the terrifying search for the Zodiac Killer who terrorized northern California in the ’60s and ’70s.
Together, a cartoonist, a drunken crime reporter, and a hard-nosed detective search for the Zodiac killer in this suspenseful and thrilling tale. Deciphering Zodiac’s cryptic messages, as well as travelling into the field and following up on leads, is depicted in Zodiac in great detail by reporters and police alike.
7. The Killing Fields (1984) 93%
Sydney, an American journalist, and Dith Pran, his Cambodian interpreter, navigate a violent and unexpected landscape of a war-torn country in this cruel and insightful portrayal of life in Cambodia during the country’s civil war.
While investigating bombings in the neighborhood, Pran befriends Sydney, who is sent to cover the civil war in the region. As a result of his investigation into the war and his friend’s whereabouts, Sydney has returned home to tremendous acclaim in the United States.
8. All The President’s Men (1976) 94%
Two reporters begin to uncover a peculiar and increasingly shocking story after a break-in at the Watergate office complex in 1972, which was the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee.
A fictionalized account of the real-life Watergate affair that brought down President Richard Nixon in 1974 tells the narrative of the investigative journalists who uncovered the astounding cover-up and drove Nixon to resign. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman star in director Alan J. Pakula’s riveting and perilous inquiry into one of America’s most notorious cover-ups.
9. The Insider (1999) 96%
Tobacco business whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe) puts his life and career at risk to uncover the truth about the company in The Insider, an intellectual and snappy corporate thriller. Since his appearance on 60 Minutes, Wigand has been dragged from his home in an attempt to stifle his testimony.
Tobacco industry companies and their influence on the media are the subject of a thorough study that follows. Al Pacino and Russell Crowe shine in Michael Mann’s film, which tells the actual story of greed and immortality in the world of big business.
10. Spotlight (2015) 97%
Best Picture at the 2016 Oscars, this gripping film tells the story of the Boston Globe’s investigation into the Catholic Church’s cover-up of sexual abuse. Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams all give superb performances in this real story that brings to life in vivid detail what reporters must do in order to unearth proof of heinous crimes. In the wake of this crisis, the public’s demand for the truth has never been greater.