In "The Fifth Estate," the story begins as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg team up to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful.
On a shoestring, they create a platform that allows whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data, shining a light on the dark recesses of government secrets and corporate crimes. Soon, they are breaking more hard news than the world's most legendary media organizations combined.
But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society-and what are the costs of exposing them?
The WikiLeaks founder slammed the movie prior to its release. The editor-in-chief was very critical of the project and even wrote to lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch, urging him to quit the film.
Despite the film being criticized by Assange, Benedict defended against claims the role was a "character assassination."
He argued: "I think [director Bill Condon] has made a beautiful film - it's incredibly balanced. It's entertaining as well as intriguing. And what it should do is ignite a debate - that's exactly what should happen. And hopefully it will do that."